Re: “A case for patriotic education” [July 13, Opinion]:

In stating his case for a “patriotic education,” columnist Ross Douthat falls short because he fails to identify what about our country should give rise to a sense of patriotism and how that sense of patriotism is or should be expressed.

The United States, more than any other country in history, is defined by a set of ideas. It was born of ideas, and it is those ideas that deserve our patriotism. It is those ideas that should be taught in our schools so that our children might learn the meaning of, and be able to recognize, true patriotism, and distinguish it from self-serving politics, demagoguery and lies.

The American story is the story of its ideas. It is one with great heroes and terrible villains, full of excitement and adventure, greater than any work of fiction. It is a story that should be taught in every school and read by every student because it is one that is still being written, and they will be its authors.

If they are taught the true meaning of patriotism, it will be a great story that will continue to inspire generations of Americans and citizens of the world.

Campbell Kintz, Bellingham