Patriotism strikes me as being on an equal footing with God in terms of irrational thinking. And, of course, they are tightly intertwined in the American Right. 

 

An on-line friend sent me this (for strong stomaches only). How should I reply? She's a nice lady.

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Excellent point. If it were Nationalism being addressed, I would have agreed that it is a horrible thing. However, to be fair, many people are running around espousing Nationalism but dressing it up as Patriotism. Unfortunately, too many can't see past the facade. Or, in this case, there is a confusion on terms.
Whew, saved me from having to explain it.

"Nationalism is an infantile disease. It is the measles of mankind."
- Albert Einstein
YES thank you!

It depends on how "Patriotism" is being shown. If it's simple "Go America!" stuff, that's fine. When you start to include religion like in the song, I think that's where we need to draw the line. To this day, I refuse to recite the pledge of allegiance. In fact, I almost got in trouble one day in high school years ago when I deliberately left out under god. Patriotism should also be fought when it's really nationalism disguised as patriotism, as others here have said. Most times when I see "Patriotism" it's either tied in with christianity or thinly veiled nationalism.

I take no issue with the person who says "I love America!" but I do take issue with the person who says "I love America! We're the best country in history!"

And how skillfully the faithful like to merge the two eh?
There are two diametrically opposed forces acting on humanity: Biology wants as much diversity as possible to improve the odds that the species will survive times of cataclysm; social forces want uniformity, my tribe is the best other tribes are the enemy.  The latter is exemplified in the high school "Pep rally", we are great, they suck!  Patriotism is of this last ilk.  I was born (fortuitously) in the greatest country on earth, and will declare war on those who disagree.
You might think this is painful to watch, but you will never know the pain of being in 5th grade choir when this song comes out.  Never...
WE atheists can be patriotic and nationalistic as well (see Christopher Hitchens). I am Patriotic because I value the global good of the U.S. government and western nations as we are facing a "battle of civilizations" within two fronts: Islamic fundamentalism and our border down south. I am nationalistic because I am also Persian and I value my national heritage and history and this united me with my Patriotic prose in understanding the importance of assisting the Iranian people in liberation of the Islamic Republic of Terror. There is nothing wrong with the two if it backed up with rationality rather than blind conviction and credence.
and our border down south
Um, could you clarify exactly the battle you are referring to on our border?
see my post below

Patriotism is the U.S. word for nationalism.  Nations are quite recent--about 1400 in western culture--and nationalism, as someone wiser than I has averred, is "the philosophy of idiots."  I was born on this clod of earth rather than that one, so I need to murder and die in Afghanistan to defend my clod.

 

Foolish and vicious.

Patriotism is the illogical belief that your country is better than any  other simply because you were born there.

 

It's a useful tool though for those willing, cynical and manipulative enough to pull at the old heartstrings with a few waving flags and songs shockingly scored songs...

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