Do Religious Conservatives Love Damned America?

Just read this brief passage and tell me if this sounds like someone who really “loves America:”

Our nation is ridiculed abroad and morally crumbling within. We are in trouble. We have turned our back on God.

This sentiment, expressed yesterday by the Rev. Franklin Graham, is very common among politicized conservative evangelicals. What makes it unusual is that he uttered it in the same breath as a defense of Rudy Guiliani for doubting that the president “loves America.”

If you’ve ever actually read Jeremiah Wright’s infamous “God Damn America!” sermon, it involves a judgement of this country no more striking than what people like Franklin Graham say every other day with their jeremiads about a baby-killing Holocaust and legitimized abominations to the Lord like same-sex marriage. They’re entitled to their opinion, and to the spiritually perilous and self-aggrandizing step of adopting the prophetic stance against their own country. But please, don’t tell me Franklin Graham is a “patriot.” Unless his words are meaningless, he’s telling us being “patriotic” in a wicked society represents disobedience to God.

So spare us the pieties about the president’s questionable “love for America,” Rev. Graham. You’re living in a house with no mirrors.

Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.