July 4th—a “Right Wing Celebration?”

A new Harvard University study claims that celebrating America’s heritage may turn your kids into Republicans.  It says the patriotic activities in Republican dominated counties actually energize right-wingers. “It raises the likelihood that parade watchers will vote for a Republican candidate by four percent.”

While we used to take for granted a mutual love for our country by all its citizens, the study’s authors* claim “The political right has been more successful in appropriating American patriotism and its symbols during the 20th century.  Survey evidence also confirms that Republicans consider themselves more patriotic than Democrats.”

Doug McIntyre, a Los Angeles radio personality, said in a recent column for The Daily News of Los Angeles “The learned professors have it wrong. The political right didn’t ‘appropriate’ American patriotism as much as the political left abandoned it.”

Patriotism is not a tool nor a tactic for any one political party. Rather, national pride is a foundational value of our country’s culture and heritage.  It must be intentionally taught and intensively lived out, “…Under God…with liberty and justice for all.”

* David Yangizawa-Drott of the Kennedy School of Government and Andreas Madestam of Milan, Italy’s Bocconi University

About Along The Way with Gary Curtis

Gary Curtis served for 27 years, as part of the pastoral staff of The Church on The Way, the First Foursquare Church of Van Nuys, California. In October 2015, Gary retired from leadership of the church’s not-for-profit media outreach, Life On The Way Communications, Inc. He continues to blog at worshipontheway.wordpress.com. Gary and his wife, Alisa, live in southern California. They have two married daughters and five grandchildren.
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