On Fourth of July and on other patriotic holidays, we have the opportunity to celebrate our national community. The recent tragedies in California and Florida have allowed us to bring the nation together.
The way that nationalism fits in with our belonging to a global community may not be a simple matter, however.
The terrorist attack in Western Europe elicited greater empathy than bombings in Turkey, Bangladesh, or Iraq, although the latter were more cruel.
The media coverage of these atrocities around the world certainly make them very present to us. But the media’s hunger for the “new” also shortens our attention span as our interest shifts from one thing to the next.
In the midst of this global interdependence, there is still room for a national community where we can attend to immediate needs of the imprisoned, of those with addictions and cancer, of immigrants who have lived among us and who work here, and of our countrymen and women who struggle daily in an economy that does not offer equal opportunities to everyone.
“America the Beautiful,” a favorite patriotic hymn sung in many churches, does pray that God blesses us with brotherhood.