Thursday, March 20, 2008

Repentant Patriotism

March 19 was the fifth anniversary of the war with Iraq. Jim Wallis and several other Christian leaders issued a "Call for Lament and Repent" and invited other Christians to sign on in support. They write, "As U.S. Christians, we issue a call to the American church to lament and repent of the sin of this war." The Sojourners campaign is good for what Lutheran theologian Gary Simpson calls "repentant patriotism." Gary presented a paper on this topic at the LWF seminar on "Being the Church in the Midst of Empire" and explores this idea in his new book, War, Peace, and God: Rethinking the Just War Tradition [click here to read a chapter from the book]. Another thoughtful reflection on this idea is offered by Donald W. Schriver in a 2006 speech given at Chicago Theological Seminary: "Repentant Patriotism: An Oxymoron?"

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