In Defense of Patriotism

There was a brilliant essay by Ron Rosenbaum in Monday’s Slate.com that I didn’t hear until today on Slate’s daily podcast. It’s titled In Defense of Obama’s Patriotism: a dissent on the pledge.

You should read the whole thing, but here’s a snip:

I certainly feel allegiance, though less to the inanimate flag than to “the republic for which it stands,” but, paradoxically, the moment when I feel most rebellious about that allegiance is when I’m being forced by state or social coercion to pledge allegiance. The America I feel allegiance to isn’t the America that requires compulsory displays of loyalty.

All in an atmosphere of Barack Obama being chastised for his purportedly less-than-patriotic behavior, this short piece gives a few lessons on Minnersville School District v. Gobitis, et al. that most Americans could do to relearn.