Mormon Parenting: The difference between patriotism and nationalism

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  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    July 14, 2012 7:17 p.m.

    Real patriotism is a love of ones neighbors. Real patriotism adheres to what is just and right. Real patriotism means you will serve your nation, but real patriotism doesn't put over emphasis on national borders. Real patriotism includes all people.

    Anything short of this is a pseudo patriotism.

  • louie Cottonwood Heights, UT
    July 13, 2012 11:45 a.m.

    I love this article

  • Lagomorph Salt Lake City, UT
    July 13, 2012 9:26 a.m.

    Excellent. I find it deeply disturbing that declaring a belief in American Exceptionalism became a litmus test in the GOP presidential primaries this spring. This despite the fact that the US lags far behind many other countries in several measures of social achievement: education levels, crime rates, incarceration rates, costs of health care, obesity, health, etc. Sure, the US and the American character have many fine qualities, even some exceptional ones, but fervent unqualified passion that "We're No. 1!" in all things and blindness to the realities is dangerous and embarassing. Nowadays, if a politician dares to make an appearance without an American flag lapel pin, his or her career is toast. Since when does a single piece of jewelry define a person's character or patriotism?

    "And in verse seven: America! America! God shed his grace on thee, Till selfish gain no longer stain The banner of the free!"

    "Selfish gain" for me strikes a chord with the Robber Barons of the Gilded Age and the 1%-ers today (or make that the 0.01%-ers).

  • Nonconlib Happy Valley, UT
    July 13, 2012 9:06 a.m.

    This is an excellent article. Thanks for drawing the distinction between patriotism and nationalism. What is clear from this distinction is that all the calls for American exceptionalism from the Right are really just thinly cloaked nationalism. Humility, as the Eyres point out, is a vital component of patriotism. There's no room in true patriotism for a belief in American exceptionalism.

  • Kings Court Alpine, UT
    July 12, 2012 10:58 p.m.

    Interesting article. Hitler tapped into the nationalistic fervor that helped cause World War I and took it much further. Patriotism can quickly devolve into nationalism if one is not careful. It can happen on a micro-level as well. How many sports fans become violent when their team wins or loses? How many people place political parties above civil liberties or religion? There are signs of a growing nationalistic fervor in America and this article is a must read for everyone.

  • sergio Phoenix, AZ
    July 12, 2012 9:16 p.m.

    A good article that should provide food for thought for the extreme politics of those who insist on American Exceptional-ism as a political motive to bully other nations.

  • David King Layton, UT
    July 12, 2012 8:58 p.m.

    I'd like to share a thought by Spencer W. Kimball on patriotism:

    "When threatened, we become anti-enemy instead of pro-kingdom of God; we train a man in the art of war and call him a patriot, thus, in the manner of Satan’s counterfeit of true patriotism, perverting the Savior’s teaching..." He goes on to quote Matthew 5: 44-45 about loving our enemies. Is it possible that President Kimball was correct when he labeled us a "warlike people"? Do drone strikes, assassinations of American citizens overseas, and preventive wars represent the best America has to offer? It should be noted that both major political parties have supported these policies. What if we actually lived the Golden Rule as a nation? What if we promised never to do to another country what we wouldn't want done to the USA? I believe this is consistent with something Russell M. Nelson said in a 2002 talk entitled, "Blessed are the Peacemakers":

    "...the Golden Rule encompasses the moral code of the kingdom of God. It forbids interference by one with the rights of another. It is equally binding upon NATIONS (bold added), associations, and individuals."