Dear Members Lord of Life Lutheran Church Darien,

Greetings in the spirit of July, a month that invites us to reflect on our nation's values, celebrate our heritage, and aspire for a better future. This month I feel called to delve into a topic that might stir some thought-provoking discussions: the possibility of being patriotic while criticizing certain aspects of our beloved United States.

Recent decisions by the Supreme Court have sparked conversations and concerns among many, particularly regarding affirmative action, LGBTQIA+ protections, and student loan forgiveness. It is essential to recognize that criticism and dissent are not inherently unpatriotic; in fact, they can be viewed as acts of love for our nation. The ability to voice our concerns and hold our elected and appointed officials accountable is one of the fundamental pillars on which this country was founded.

As Lutherans, we can look to our namesake who sought to reform the church without abandoning it entirely, we can draw parallels to the notion of striving for a better United States of America while remaining committed to its core values. Martin Luther wanted the church to be better and more aligned with the teachings of Christ, just as we, as citizens, can work towards a more inclusive and just society. It is within our patriotic duty to engage in constructive criticism and advocate for change when we believe that our country's actions fall short of its founding principles.

Affirmative action, as a policy aimed at rectifying historical injustices, has been a topic of intense debate. While some argue against it, claiming it contradicts the principle of equal opportunity, it is an essential tool for addressing systemic inequalities. By engaging in discussions around affirmative action, we demonstrate our commitment to ensuring fairness and equal access to opportunities for all members of our society who historically have always had them. 

Likewise, the recent Supreme Court decisions concerning LGBTQIA+ protections have sparked concerns about the progress we have made towards equality. It is our patriotic duty to advocate for the rights and dignity of all individuals, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity. By standing up for LGBTQIA+ rights, we uphold the values of equality, justice, and the pursuit of happiness that our nation holds dear.

Lastly, the ruling against student loan forgiveness has also raised concerns about the accessibility of education and the burden it places on individuals and families. As we reflect on the principles of justice and the pursuit of a better society, it is essential to hold our officials accountable for their decisions and advocate for policies that promote equal access to education and economic opportunities.

As Lutherans, we are called to be engaged citizens, actively participating in the ongoing dialogue about how we can improve our nation and ensure that it lives up to its ideals. By engaging in conversations, remaining committed to justice and equality, and working towards positive change, we contribute to the fabric of our country in a truly patriotic manner.

Let us remember that love for our nation does not mean blind acceptance of its flaws, but rather a passionate dedication to its improvement. May we approach these conversations asking the Holy Spirit to give us words of wisdom and to make us bold like Martin Luther as members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and citizens of the United States.

Wishing you a thoughtful and meaningful July.


Pastor Adam