What do you think? Why do YOU love America?

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Today is a special day on OurValues.org. Today we join David and Benjamin Crumm on their America Journey—a 40-day, 9,000-mile trip across the nation to explore our love for it. David is the editor of OurValues and ReadTheSpirit and a former award-winning religion writer for The Detroit Free Press. Benjamin is a senior and presidential scholar at Eastern Michigan University. Their America Journey began last week and continues this week in ReadTheSpirit. You also can read their daily stories in The Detroit Free Press all month.

OurValues.Org’s Important Contribution to Exploring America:

I’m not in the car with them, but I’m in regular communication with David and Benjamin. They’ll be relying on my latest national survey of American Values, bringing up in conversation the latest findings about our values. For the next two weeks, I’ll reveal day-by-day key insights from the survey. Let’s start with the theme of the America Journey: love of country.

Do you love our nation? Love can take many forms.

If you love our nation, what kind of love do you feel? Is it “blind love” or “tough love”? “Love it or leave it!”—that’s an expression of blind love.

Here’s another: Almost 60% of Americans say they support U.S. policies simply because they are the policies of this country, according to a national poll I conducted in March. Just under half believe that U.S. policies are morally correct. Do you feel the same?

Love is complicated and millions of us also have tough love for our country. Nine of ten Americans say that, if they oppose U.S. policies, it’s because they want to improve the country, according to the same poll. Over three of four Americans say that if they criticize the U.S., they do so out of love of country. That’s the kind of tough love I’m describing. Do you share that feeling?

Virtually all Americans love American symbols. Over 90% say that if makes them feel good to see the American flag flying and to hear our national anthem.

Pride is yet another expression of love. Over 65% of Americans say they are very proud to be American, based on the 2007 World Values Surveys. This is much higher than many European nations. Among the lowest are Germans (only 22% say they are very proud to be German), the Swiss (only 35%), and the Dutch (only 27%). But our neighbors to the north—Canada—are as proud to be Canadian as we are to be American. The Aussies are the same.

How do YOU answer the question: How much do you love America?

Please, leave a comment below!

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