We often think of patriotism as loving our country. But what if our country is going completely off the rails? What if our culture and society is so broken and divided that we can’t even agree on why we should love our country and how best to express that love?
In this episode, we take a look at patriotism through a different lens - one that might be more satisfying, settling and capable of navigating the ethical and moral questions that arise when our country is headed in the wrong direction.
This perspective involves looking at patriotism as a form of piety - meaning it’s not necessarily about feeling the love, but more about acknowledging and honoring a debt that can’t possibly be repaid.
Our guest is Dr. Sarah Houser, professorial lecturer in the Department of Government at American University in Washington, DC. Dr. Houser’s areas of expertise include patriotism and the nation-state, and she’s the author of the forthcoming book Recovering Patriotism: Friendship and the Politics of Place.
Dr. Sarah Houser (biography)
A Tour of the Summa: Piety
“What St. Thomas Aquinas teaches us about patriotism”, The Catholic Herald (July 2019)
“White House accused of US Flag Code violation over Pride Month display”, Fox News (June 2023)
“POLL: Majority of Americans disagree with Colin Kaepernick's protest”, CBS Sports (September 2016)
Please note that this podcast has been edited for length and clarity.