Best Defense

Thomas E. Ricks' daily take on national security.

Some time to think: Supporting the military as a form of American religion?

One reason I take time away from the blog in the summer is to gain perspective, which often comes from distance.

150508-N-FQ994-161 MEDITERRANEAN SEA (May 8, 2015) The guided-missile destroyer USS Ross (DDG 71) transits the Mediterranean Sea. Ross is conducting naval operations in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of operations in support of U.S. national security interests in Europe. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Robert S. Price/Released)
150508-N-FQ994-161 MEDITERRANEAN SEA (May 8, 2015) The guided-missile destroyer USS Ross (DDG 71) transits the Mediterranean Sea. Ross is conducting naval operations in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of operations in support of U.S. national security interests in Europe. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Robert S. Price/Released)
150508-N-FQ994-161 MEDITERRANEAN SEA (May 8, 2015) The guided-missile destroyer USS Ross (DDG 71) transits the Mediterranean Sea. Ross is conducting naval operations in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of operations in support of U.S. national security interests in Europe. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Robert S. Price/Released)

 

One reason I take time away from the blog in the summer is to gain perspective, which often comes from distance.

A question that struck me this summer: Is supporting the military a secular religion for Americans? This is not a dis. But is standing by the roadside, in stiff support for a passing flag for body, a form of American worship? Yes, I know it is a way of offering respect and tribute. But has it become something more? I wonder.

 

One reason I take time away from the blog in the summer is to gain perspective, which often comes from distance.

A question that struck me this summer: Is supporting the military a secular religion for Americans? This is not a dis. But is standing by the roadside, in stiff support for a passing flag for body, a form of American worship? Yes, I know it is a way of offering respect and tribute. But has it become something more? I wonder.

And if the answer is yes, what does that mean?

 

Thomas E. Ricks covered the U.S. military from 1991 to 2008 for the Wall Street Journal and then the Washington Post. He can be reached at ricksblogcomment@gmail.com. Twitter: @tomricks1

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