On Patriotic Idolatry
Christians have a word to describe the worship of that which is not God: idolatry. Idolatry, of course, can be a quite impressive form of devotion. The only difficulty is idolaters usually end up killing someone for calling into question their ‘god.’
Trump’s inauguration address counts as a stunning example of idolatry. His statement — ‘At the bedrock of our politics will be a total allegiance to the United States of America and through our loyalty to our country we will recover loyalty to each other’ — is clearly a theological claim that offers a kind of salvation.
Christians believe that only God demands ‘total allegiance.’ Otherwise we run the risk, as Trump exemplifies, of making an idol out of some human enterprise.