Suppose a small team of highly-trained American special ops was smuggled behind enemy lines for a dangerous mission. Suppose furthermore that they were aided by loyal civilians on the ground, who were eventually captured and proved willing to die rather than betray the mission. Suppose finally that the troops themselves were eventually detained and, under torture, renounced their loyalty to the United States, joined their opponents and lived comfortable lives under the aegis of their former enemies. Would anyone be eager to celebrate the layered complexity and rich ambiguity of their patriotism? Wouldn’t we see them rather straightforwardly as cowards and traitors?
My biggest disagreement with Bishop Barron– go read Donald’s whole commentary, then read his original!– is that I think you would find folks who’d praise their “love” or “loyalty” or some other phrasing a bit less laughable than “patriotism.”
It just hasn’t been mangled quite as much as “faith.”
…On the other hand, people have talked about Manning’s “patriotism,” and he’s a full-on freaking traitor.