But we need to start seeing more than red and blue. We need to see each other (and our leaders) as more than representatives of our political identity and ideology and demand that our leadership work for all of us. And we need to require that of each other.
When I walk into church, I am a Christian first, an American second. When I walk into the voting booth, I am an American first, a Christian second. That isn’t because my faith doesn’t take priority over everything else, but because it is my duty as an American to vote in the best interests of my country, my whole country. I’m not voting to further the heavenly kingdom; I’m voting for the creation of a more perfect union.
I love my country and I want better for her. I want to see those blinding transgressions transformed into a beautiful sunset, multiple colors mingling with the imperfections in the sky to create a stunning tapistry. I want to develop a mature patriotism, one that doesn’t put up blinders but one that sees the flaws and works towards transformation so that all citizens can feel they truly belong to the country that they call home, whether by birth or adoption.
Taking our kids to our national parks teaches them the importance of respecting nature, preserving our ecosystem, and learning from our history. In short, it teaches them how to be better citizens and how to demonstrate their love for their country. If more adults did that, maybe our country wouldn’t be such a mess right now.