Dear Mr. Perkins:
I was initially delighted to see that you had joined so many other American Christians in responding to the Born Again American campaign. But your recent "Last Word" column makes it clear that you have misunderstood the campaign, and I'd like to give you a better sense of our goals.
In your column, you say that our theme song, "Born Again American" by songwriter Keith Carradine, misuses themes of God and country to "lure" people into a "big government, anti-family agenda." You seem to be particularly disturbed by the line, "My country 'tis of me." You even call it "humanist dogma." I think of it another way entirely. I hear and feel "My country 'tis of me" as an assertion of the responsibilities of citizenship. It's a patriotic anthem, like "This Land is Your Land, This Land is My Land," which so many Americans joined in singing during the pre-inaugural concert at the Lincoln Memorial in January.
I'm glad that you find the refrain hopeful and instructive: "I'm a Born Again American, conceived in liberty. My Bible and the Bill of Rights. My creed's equality." I'm just sorry that you cannot overcome your unwillingness to believe that someone you disagree with politically might just be motivated by genuine patriotism, or your cynical insistence that we view the Bible and the Bill of Rights as mere props.
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