February 27, 2022- Recently, we have been treated to the spectacle of a field grade officer, in the United States Army Reserves, making public statements supporting the unprovoked attack of one country upon another-as a way of expressing opposition to our own sitting president.
Baha’u’llah taught that love of one’s country, as expressed in patriotism, should be sane and intelligent. Shoghi Effendi, His great-grandson and the Guardian of the Baha’i Faith, from 1922 until his passing in 1957, explained the Baha’i teachings on this matter further: “Let there be no misgivings as to the animating purpose of the world-wide Law of Baha’u’llah. Far from aiming at the subversion of the existing foundations of society, it seeks to broaden its basis, to remold its institutions in a manner consonant with the needs of an ever-changing world. It can conflict with no legitimate allegiances, nor can it undermine essential loyalties. Its purpose is neither to stifle the flame of a sane and intelligent patriotism in men’s hearts, nor to abolish the system of national autonomy so essential if the evils of excessive centralization are to be avoided.”-Shoghi Effendi, The World Order of Baha’u’llah.
This World Order, as opposed to the partisan or financial globalist orders, recognizes the essential need for society to be constructed from the ground up, first with a securely functioning family, then community, state/province/prefecture, nation and commonwealth. None may be allowed to cancel the other, particularly from the top down.
This principle honours the human need for loyalty and belonging. By its lights, a citizen exhibits loyalty to family, state and nation, then gradually may reach the understanding that the human race is one entity. This understanding can never be forced upon anyone. Conversely, peace officers, military and government officials-at any level, must honour the citizens and their elected representatives, regardless of the officer’s or official’s personal views about those representatives.
In my humble opinion, that is the meaning of sane and intelligent patriotism.