Linda & Richard Eyre: Helping kids separate patriotism from nationalism

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  • antodav TAMPA, FL
    July 8, 2013 5:34 p.m.

    I know more than a few adults, including within the Church, that need to learn this lesson as well.

  • Jack Aurora, CO
    July 7, 2013 9:51 p.m.

    American exceptionalism is because we are blessed to live in a land of opportunity, of freedom and liberty that is the bastion of those virtues. The US has been the one to step in and save other countries from their predicaments, we have carried the standard of freedom and the burden of ensuring that other countries are not invaded and conquered to lose theirs. Our exceptionalism has led to inventions and discoveries that the world enjoys. We aren't better than other people, but we have opportunity that others don't. We can shout for our countrymen to win at the Olympics, that's being a fan not a Nationalist. We admire what is good in others, we don't have to be ashamed about what is good about the US.

  • NeilT Clearfield, UT
    July 7, 2013 5:46 p.m.

    A few years an anti-immigration rally was on the news. A lady was shouting (referring to Hispanics) they are not Americans and can never be Americans. I thought really. There have been many posts on here alluding the fact that immigrants don't hold the same values, they just come here for welfare and free stuff. My opinion is that nationalism is elevating ourselves above others due to citizenship or political affiliation. I am a patriot. I served 25 in the armed forces of this great country. American exceptionalism is based on our form of government, not racial superiority. Please don't accuse me of supporting illegal immigration, I do understand the difference.

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    July 7, 2013 10:39 a.m.

    Nationalism leads to excessive pride and war.

    True patriotism is adherence to the golden rule and recognizing that everyone is our neighbor.

    Even a great nation is better served by patriotism than by nationalism.

  • TimBehrend Auckland NZ, 00
    July 7, 2013 7:48 a.m.

    In academic studies i don't recall having seen this distinction drawn between nationalism and patriotism, except that the former term is very widely used while the latter is less common. The semantic differentiation made by the authors is interesting but strikes me as sectarian in nature, i.e., as part of an internal debate about the limits of patriotic fervour within US culture. It does not, however, reflect the way the words are used around the world or by specialists in social and political studies. A simple search on Google Scholar shows 830 thousand hits for "nationalism" but only 265 thousand for "patriotism"; a quick survey of the first pages of links for each search indicates the contrasted definitions of the two words are not reflected in normal scholarly usage.

    July 6, 2013 8:56 p.m.

    Kent C. DeForrest, where in the world did your Republican/Democrat stereotype come from? Seems to me the article pointed out we treat people as individuals, regardless of their country of origin or their beliefs. Doesn't the same hold true for their political persuasions?

    Or were you making an attempt at sarcasm? If so, it didn't come across that way.

  • oldalum IDAHO FALLS, ID
    July 6, 2013 12:53 p.m.

    It is not Nationalism to teach that America is exceptional. We should be thankful and humbled to be privileged to be a part of this blessed land. Harold B. Lee said it as we'll as anyone, but wait, he certainly wasn't someone we would want to exemplify now was he? Word restrictions wii not allow me to print the entire quote.
    "...This is the cradle of humanity, where life on this earth began in the Garden of Eden. This is the place of the new Jerusalem. This is the place that the Lord said is favored above all other nations in all the world. This is the place where the Savior will come to His temple. This is the favored land in all the world. Yes, I repeat, men may fail, but this nation won't fail. I have faith in America...
    ...Preach that this is the greatest country in all the world. This is the favored land. This is the land of our forefathers. It is the nation that will stand despite whatever trials or crises it may yet have to pass through."

  • Brother Dave Livermore, CA
    July 5, 2013 4:34 p.m.

    Thank You Brother Richard and Sister Linda

    for this article that puts things into Good Perspective!!

    Lord Bless!!

  • Just the Facts, Mam! Meridian, ID
    July 5, 2013 4:28 p.m.

    Freedom and liberty are not partisan ideals. America is founded upon much more than political law. It is the law of nature and of nature's God that our founders looked to for inspiration. I really like the idea that Glenn Beck shared a bit ago...America is an idea, a set of beliefs and values and not necessarily a place. We really do have some exceptional and unique ideas framed into law by our founding documents here in the US. Imagine if all the world could "hold these truths to be self evident" and have those same ideals built into their laws! Zion also is not necessarily a place but a people, pure in heart.

    America the idea, the experiment in freedom and liberty is exceptional! I'll shout it from the roof tops! Where much is given much is indeed required. Thanks for the reminder, but if we were teaching real history in our government run schools, we wouldn't need so much of a reminder!

  • Third try screen name Mapleton, UT
    July 5, 2013 1:59 p.m.

    Wow! Thank you so much for this article. It may very well have saved my family.
    Here I've been teaching the evil concept of American exceptionalism.
    (Shakes head.)

  • Cass9 La Grande, OR
    July 5, 2013 1:12 p.m.

    Thank you for you article. We just adopted four children from Ethiopia. They are very patriotic and love their country. I have thought a lot about how to teach them that America is a special country while retaining the love that they have for their country.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    July 5, 2013 11:53 a.m.

    Definitely an important lesson to teach. Great article.

  • Kent C. DeForrest Provo, UT
    July 5, 2013 9:30 a.m.

    Thanks for pointing out a primary difference between Republicans, who worship at the altar of American exceptionalism, and Democrats, who are grateful for our government but don't try to rub the rest of the world's face in it.

  • dr.bridell mclean, VA
    July 4, 2013 9:18 p.m.

    And here's the thing: Kids really can't tell the difference between nationalism and patriotism unless their parents explain to them the simple fact that all human beings are equal and that no group is inherently superior to any other group. Of course they should learn to be grateful to be an American, but never, never at the expense of others.
    And the biggest problem with nationalism is that it goes against the will of God. Anyone who believes in a Heavenly Father would logically conclude that that Father could not be pleased when one group of His children thinks they are better than others of his children!

  • vern001 Castle Rock, CO
    July 4, 2013 9:17 p.m.

    Great article. As an LDS member who grew up abroad, I'm so tired of hearing how the US is the best country in the world. There are plenty of wonderful places in the world, the US included, and God loves all his children equally, regardless of nationality or religious belief.

  • Kim Cedar Park, Texas
    July 4, 2013 4:05 p.m.

    Excellent article. This nationalist fervor is especially evident during the Olympics. I often wonder what other countries think when American fans constantly chant "USA,USA,USA", while showing little appreciation for the athletic achievement of anyone from another country. It is great to love one's country, but not great to feel better than those of another.