American Atheists Fly "Atheism is Patriotic" Banner Over NYC on July 4th

Jul 5, 2012 Full story: CNN 7

JoyfulGypsy was in Jersey City's Liberty State Park on July 4 when she photographed the American Atheists flying a banner over New York City that read, "Atheism is Patriotic." JoyfulGypsy , an atheist who often feels ostracized for her beliefs, says seeing the banner was a liberating experience.

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“Why does my ignorance”

Since: Mar 11

justify your deity?

#1 Jul 6, 2012
Totally and 100% true. Hence all the believers are too frightened to post here. Your gods are fake, believers. How childish of you to worship them.

Ok, bring on the insults. That's your best argument.
EdSed

Hamilton, UK

#2 Jul 6, 2012
Nothing wrong with the banner, but I think the three causes of human conflict are religion, nationalism and ideology. Try having a war without them. Arguably, none of the three are especially creditable or desirable.

Nations are practical entities in that they aren't easily discarded. Humans need political and secular structures, organisations and institutions but "patriotism" of the 'my country right or wrong' type isn't helpful.

“It's just a box of rain...”

Since: May 07

Knoxville, TN

#3 Jul 6, 2012
As is so often the case, defining one's terms is essential for understanding each other. I make a distinction between patriotism, a sane and reasonable love of one's country, and nationalism, a desire to see one's country prevail over and dominate all other nations. The one leads to a desire to preserve what is best about one's country and improve it wherever possible, the other to a "my country right or wrong" attitude that can justify the kind of injustices, oppressions, and horrors that ultimately bring a nation down. A patriot holds his country's leaders accountable when necessary, while a nationalist stifles and suppresses such dissent wherever it crops up. The one works to "Keep America Beautiful," the other chants, "Love it or leave it!"

Within that framework, I am a patriot. I love this country and the people in it. I still love fourth of July celebrations and displays of Old Glory and her color. I relish the political back-and-forth that I see in the legislatures, courts, and media and I have confidence that core American values will always come out on top in the long run.

Yes, I am a patriot. But I will never be a nationalist.
EdSed

Hamilton, UK

#4 Jul 8, 2012
NightSerf wrote:
As is so often the case, defining one's terms is essential for understanding each other. I make a distinction between patriotism, a sane and reasonable love of one's country, and nationalism, a desire to see one's country prevail over and dominate all other nations. The one leads to a desire to preserve what is best about one's country and improve it wherever possible, the other to a "my country right or wrong" attitude that can justify the kind of injustices, oppressions, and horrors that ultimately bring a nation down. A patriot holds his country's leaders accountable when necessary, while a nationalist stifles and suppresses such dissent wherever it crops up. The one works to "Keep America Beautiful," the other chants, "Love it or leave it!"
Within that framework, I am a patriot. I love this country and the people in it. I still love fourth of July celebrations and displays of Old Glory and her color. I relish the political back-and-forth that I see in the legislatures, courts, and media and I have confidence that core American values will always come out on top in the long run.
Yes, I am a patriot. But I will never be a nationalist.
While I agree with the above I think it a mistake to try to distinguish between nationalism and patriotism. I think it a pity that American&English language has two different words for the same phenomenon. It is unhelpful that people assume patriotism to be healthy and right and nationalism to be wrong, or potentially so.

The healthiest way to look at it is that people say 'patriotism' when they believe they are stating something positive about the phenomenon, but they say 'nationalism' when they see the subject as negative. Better to accept that nationalism and patriotism is essentially the same. Nazis were patriotic. Saying 'no, that is nationalism' is not just pedantic but potentially unhealthy as it suggests that patriotic acts are always, or by definition, right.

I think that one helps one's country by conscientiousness and trying to do the right thing. And by trying to improve its society, or at least avoid harming it by illegal activity or destructive inclinations (e.g. graffiti and littering).

So, call it nationalistic or patriotic, one should always take the question or subject at hand (e.g. National Socialism or graffiti) and subject it to reason and evidence just the same.

“Blue Collar Philosopher”

Since: Nov 08

Texas, USA

#5 Jul 11, 2012
I agree with both of you! It's interesting to note that " dictionary.com 's" definition of Nationalism mentions [excessive] Patriotism, but the definition of Patriotism makes no mention of Nationalism. Hmmmmmm. The two words do seem to evoke different mental images / emotions, but are very similar. Like Nightserf, I tend to think of Nationalism as "bad" ... patriotic fervor taken to the extreme where a country feels it has the right (or duty) to export or force itself upon other nations. You know ... like the Nazis, whereas Patriotism is as American as Apple Pie.

“I see quantum effects”

Since: Jan 11

In the macro world.

#6 Jul 11, 2012
RHill wrote:
I agree with both of you! It's interesting to note that " dictionary.com 's" definition of Nationalism mentions [excessive] Patriotism, but the definition of Patriotism makes no mention of Nationalism. Hmmmmmm. The two words do seem to evoke different mental images / emotions, but are very similar. Like Nightserf, I tend to think of Nationalism as "bad" ... patriotic fervor taken to the extreme where a country feels it has the right (or duty) to export or force itself upon other nations. You know ... like the Nazis, whereas Patriotism is as American as Apple Pie.
I think Nightserf said it best.

A patriot wants his country to be the best it can be.

A nationalist thinks it already is.

“Blue Collar Philosopher”

Since: Nov 08

Texas, USA

#7 Jul 11, 2012
Aerobatty wrote:
<quoted text>
I think Nightserf said it best.
A patriot wants his country to be the best it can be.
A nationalist thinks it already is.
Nailed it!!! Short, sweet and to the point!

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