Op-ed: Patriotism vs. nationalism in a Mormon context

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  • ReplaceTheGOP Escondido, CA
    Oct. 23, 2017 9:09 p.m.

    One thing left out - progressivism. Nationalism came before progressivism in America and progressivism births from nationalism in all cases. We are no in a hybrid state; national progressivism. AKA Trump!

  • rexwhitmer ELFRIDA, AZ
    Oct. 18, 2017 1:24 p.m.

    A comment on a comment. The Church has no association with either political party. We have members in congress of both parties. At various times the goals or ideals of one party fit those of LDS member better than those of the other party. Members of my ward reflect both parties, and I suspect it is true in most wards. Likewise leadership in the church is often mixed. I often make remarks to my friends who represent the other party and they reply in kind. It isn't an effort to call their party to task, rather it's a friendly jibe and neither friendship is damaged. Presently, we have a member serving in congress who is of my party whom I will very likely vote against next month.

  • J7 Soldotna, AK
    Oct. 14, 2017 10:14 p.m.

    The pope made an interesting comment about nationalism the same day Elder Ballard did in conference.

    Read article:
    Pope urges Europeans to embrace unity, reject nationalism

  • HSTucker Holladay, UT
    Oct. 13, 2017 4:56 p.m.

    @Mez: "White nationalism" is not the same as "nationalism." Claiming that's what Elder Ballard meant is putting words in his mouth.

    What he said was "nationalism" which is a synonym for "patriotism." Instead of jumping to conclusions, let's hear from him what he meant.

  • mez Denver, CO
    Oct. 13, 2017 3:31 p.m.

    See President Uchtdorf's childhood memories on LDS.org "The Journey" video.

  • mez Denver, CO
    Oct. 13, 2017 3:16 p.m.

    For over a year Pres. Uchtdorf has talked about his childhood memories of fascism depicted in cartoon form on LDS.org. This way even children can comprehend the threat. Oct. 12, 2017, NY Times details the recent rise of white nationalism in Europe, "White Nationalism is Destroying the West". Everyone should be aware of it.

  • HSTucker Holladay, UT
    Oct. 12, 2017 2:52 p.m.

    I have a great deal of love and respect for Elder Ballard. Nevertheless, the apparent choice to focus on a politicized secondary meaning of nationalism rather than its primary meaning (a synonym for patriotism) is uncharacteristic and troubling.

    It would be easy to speculate that perhaps a modifier was inadvertently omitted, such as "extreme," but we will simply have to wait and see what the intended message really was, because to accept it at face value means either that the dictionary is wrong, or American patriotism is wrong. Neither of those conclusions rings true, so it must be something else.

    It is comforting to know that I am not alone in eagerly anticipating clarification or correction.

  • msmith9596 Lake Forest, CA
    Oct. 12, 2017 11:49 a.m.

    The author of the subject article, an Op-ed, created his own definitions of various terms, including nationalism. His definition of nationalism is wrong, and that renders his Op-ed false.

    The term "nationalism" needs to be defined for us by the Apostles who used that word. I call for that to be done, in that this is a vital matter, and we sustain what is said in General Conference sermons by members of the Quorum.

    Please, what did you mean by "nationalism" in your text?

  • my_two_cents_worth university place, WA
    Oct. 11, 2017 6:23 p.m.

    @2 bits

    "But if you join the military, you are saying you are wiling to kill people from other countries for America. Saying you are wiling to fight and kill America's enemies takes a nationalistic bend."

    42,000 troops stand ready tonight to defend South Korea from North Korean aggression. 11,000 US Troops are a part of the NATO mission in Afghanistan to help maintain stability in the region and give Afghanistan the opportunity to move into the 21st Century. The United States has military personnel supporting UN peace keeping missions around the world. Special operations forces are in countries all over the world teaching other militaries how to fight. It is in America's best interest to honor our treaty obligations and it benefits us greatly when we have strong partnerships across the globe.

    It is not in our best interest to be about "looking out for me and to heck with everyone else." That is nationalism.

  • Justavenger Houston, TX
    Oct. 11, 2017 4:34 p.m.

    Very nice article, short on facts and truth, but very nice.
    Antifa facist caused the Virgina violence.
    Nationalism is not a bad thing.
    The constructs and premises are false naratives.
    Otherwise it is a nice article.

  • Mizbok Huffman, TX
    Oct. 11, 2017 3:29 p.m.

    Mr. (Br.) Armstrong’s op-ed should have been titled “Patriotism vs. Nationalism in a LIBERAL Context”. I think one would be hard pressed to find a truly conservative professor of philosophy in any university; the bias starts there. The conservative definition of Nationalism contains a strong component of patriotism. It does not include exalting one nation above all others or placing primary emphasis on promoting its culture over those of other nations. The Liberal definition is the one that strategically intertwines the all-powerful, incontestable, underpinning vogue hot-button root of all liberal arguments; racism! Mormonism is not a respecter of liberals or conservatives, it welcomes all. I suspect that if we could get Elder Ballard to elaborate on his definition of Nationalism, we would find his answer to be satisfactory to both liberal and conservatives. Any objections would come from “haters”.

  • Vermonter Plymouth, MI
    Oct. 11, 2017 11:42 a.m.

    @JessicaR.
    Appreciate you sharing the story of your mission.

    I was lucky to serve a foreign mission in a country that had a great appreciation for American principles of freedom and equality. I learned to appreciate the many good things of their native culture as well.

    Remarkably, there was no animosity or jealousy between native and American missionaries, but more of a mutual admiration, and a desire to embrace everything that is good in the world and to love each other and serve each other regardless of ethnicity, gender or anything else.

    We recognized that everyone is a child of God and worthy of our best efforts to love and serve them. I felt like I was the luckiest missionary in the world to be able to serve where I did (and much luckier than missionaries serving in the United States).

    Though I returned to the US and have built my life here, if my lot were to return and live among the people of my mission country until the day I die, I would be very happy to do so.

    I will always love the principles of American freedom and equality. Fortunately, the country where I served has also fully embraced those principles.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Oct. 11, 2017 10:01 a.m.

    @my_two_cents_worth
    RE: "Pure codswallop"...
    ---
    But it's true. The oath is one thing. But if you join the military, you are saying you are wiling to kill people from other countries for America. Saying you are wiling to fight and kill America's enemies takes a nationalistic bend. That's a pretty nationalistic thing to commit to do.

    Most people in the military think America is better than the enemy, and worth fighting for, even dieing for. That's a pretty nationalistic attitude.

  • Sanefan Wellsville, UT
    Oct. 11, 2017 9:43 a.m.

    So Jessica, it appears from your comments that your companion was a Spanish Nationalist. That's the irony with the libs who hate this country. It is ok, even endorsed for other's to love their countries and have a "nationalist" view as in I love my NATION and believe it to be the best, but it's not ok for US citizens to be "nationalists." Kinda interesting isn't it.

  • Jessica R Buena Vista, VA
    Oct. 11, 2017 9:20 a.m.

    As a missionary in England in 1998, I had a companion from Spain who disavowed my unspoken, American-centric notion that most people throughout the world wished they were American - what I would now consider an erroneous nationalistic idea. Our shared religion gave us much in common, but my companion found great worth in her unique Spanish identity. This proved to be true with missionaries I served with from Ireland, England, Australia, Sweden, The Netherlands, Germany, Czech Republic, and Russia. Our good will and "brotherly (or sisterly) love" for each other, helped each of us move into a global sphere that hadn't existed for us before. This lesson remains with me as I continue to enjoy a patriotic appreciation for the country I came from.

  • Say No to BO Mapleton, UT
    Oct. 11, 2017 8:12 a.m.

    2 cents is right.
    It takes a certain amount of nationalism to join the military; even more to volunteer.

    Unless, of course, you take the Cindy Sheehan attitude that you just wanted a free education and weren't signing up to get yourself killed. Besides, you'll serve as long as the CIC is a Democrat.

    There's a fair amount of post-American globalism going around. It was only a matter of time before semantics began its weaseling ways to soothe the conscience.

    I believe it was Nancy Pelosi who called a church full of illegal aliens "very patriotic," and Harry Reid referred to them as "undocumented Americans."

    It's all just words anyway. Right?

  • EastCoastM Amherst, NH
    Oct. 11, 2017 8:07 a.m.

    @Impartial

    Statements that look like racism in the Book of Mormon are complicated. There are very good articles online about the issue if you're willing to read information written by church members. One issue is interpreting references to skin color in the Book of Mormon from a modern perspective of race and racism (presentism) and completely different culture (U.S. versus ancient American/middle eastern). Attitudes like racism have always existed but not often in ways that we think about race and racism today.

    There are many things in the Bible I find disturbing but that is partially because I wasn't there at the time and really don't understand all the nuances of ancient peoples and cultures. Just because we don't understand something doesn't make it untrue and none of it takes away from the importance of the salvation provided by Jesus Christ. In any case, words of modern prophets take precedence over existing scripture - that's how the LDS Church was started - new revelation to Joseph Smith.

  • unrepentant progressive Bozeman, MT
    Oct. 11, 2017 7:47 a.m.

    Mixing in an aspect of religion into the debate of nationalism and patriotism generally creates an even larger barrier to a civil mixed society. It divides rather than embraces.

    The US has many different religious beliefs/non-beliefs.

    The assertion of one religion over another for the purposes of expounding upon the benefits of American citizenship serves only to create prejudice. From prejudice we get oppression.

    And isn't religious freedom one of the cardinal values of our Constitution? Or did I miss something?

  • my_two_cents_worth university place, WA
    Oct. 11, 2017 5:37 a.m.

    @2 bits

    "Serving in the US military requires Nationalism, believing America is better than other nations. So much better you are willing to fight other nations, and even kill people from other nations."

    Pure codswallop. Here is the oath of enlistment I affirmed nine times. This is why we serve.

    "I, my_two_cents_worth, do affirm that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice."

    Nothing nationalistic about that. In fact, having served in so many different countries over my career I've seen first hand that the United States is really no better and no worse than many other countries--more powerful, yes; but not better. Make no mistake; I am proud to be an American, so much so, that I continue to serve today. But, I am also proud of those countries we call allies for their willingness to stand with us in thick and thin.

  • jparry Provo, UT
    Oct. 10, 2017 10:31 p.m.

    The distinction that Professor Armstrong draws between the words "nationalism" and "patriotism" doesn't work for me, either, but the deeper issue he and Elders Ballard and Cook are addressing is important and timely.

    Racism--thinking your biological and cultural heritage is superior to all others or to just one other--is unequivocally morally wrong. Basing your sense of your country's identity or purpose on explicit or implicit racism is also morally wrong and has proved very hazardous in human history.

    It is not hard to see that there are a number of people in the country who, in the name of nationalism or patriotism, are collectively and indiscriminately bullying, and in some cases harming, people of different ethnicities and non-Christian religions. Some are using intimidation and hate speech for a watered down version of the same thing. Bullying of any kind, even if you believe your cause is just, is morally wrong.

    Legislators or any other elected or appointed public official who facilitates, condones, or turns a blind eye, to these kinds of actions, acts immorally. These kinds of actions and attitudes should be entirely beneath the citizens of this state.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Oct. 10, 2017 9:33 p.m.

    @airnaut, OMM and LDS Liberal,
    RE: "I am a veteran, I served our country in uniform -- which is something you never did"...
    ---
    You keep reminding us you served proudly in the US military. That's great. But do you not see the irony?

    Serving in the US military requires Nationalism, believing America is better than other nations. So much better you are willing to fight other nations, and even kill people from other nations.

    Serving in the US military means you are convinced America is so special you would give your life for America.

    You kinda have to have a nationalist bend to fit in in the military and commit to fight and even kill people from other nations. That's what the military does, right?

    I respect you for your service. I think that shows the ultimate in patriotism and nationalism.

    But how do you now criticize others for being even slightly nationalist and thinking America is special, when you thought America was so special you were willing to kill or die for America?

    I think it's OK to believe America is special.

    You can think America is special, and still love people from other countries.

  • Laurent Lechifflart Saint-Vallier, France
    Oct. 10, 2017 9:33 p.m.

    A patriot is someone who would die out of love for his country, while a nationalist is someone who would kill out of hatred for everything he regards as alien.

    A patriot sparks the courage of his fellowmen, while a nationalist feeds on their fear.

    During WWII, in European countries occupied by the German military, patriots were in the Resistance, while nationalists were in the collaboration.

    Patriotism is a virtue, while nationalism is a poison.

  • Frozen Fractals Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 10, 2017 8:44 p.m.

    @Fred T
    How is the author making up a definition for nationalism? What you posted has the authors' definition as the second one. It also has xenophobia as a synonym.

  • NeilT Clearfield, UT
    Oct. 10, 2017 8:07 p.m.

    Hitler rose to power by promoting nationalism and racial superiority. I am all for patriotism. Nationalism to me means we view ourselves as superior to other nations. There are many nations on the earth besides the United States that promote freedom and democracy and have worthwhile values. I have never felt superior to others over citizenship. The lord established the United States as place to restore the gospel so the gospel could be preached to the entire world. I consider my United States citizenship a privilege that brings with it a lot of obligations. There is a component of racial superiority in nationalism.

  • Fred T PHOENIX, AZ
    Oct. 10, 2017 6:09 p.m.

    Hard to take an article serious when they start redefining words...

    From the dictionary:

    -------------

    pa·tri·ot·ism
    noun
    1) the quality of being patriotic; vigorous support for one's country.

    -------------

    na·tion·al·ism
    noun
    1) patriotic feeling, principles, or efforts.

    synonyms:patriotism, patriotic sentiment, flag-waving, xenophobia, chauvinism, jingoism
    "their extreme nationalism was frightening

    2) an extreme form of this, especially marked by a feeling of superiority over other countries.

    3) advocacy of political independence for a particular country.

  • pragmatistferlife salt lake city, utah
    Oct. 10, 2017 6:04 p.m.

    J Thompson.."God raised up America as the place where His church could be re-established"

    Nothing here that smacks of I, and my people are better than you..huh J.

    That's nationalism and it's evil.

  • Billy Bob Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 10, 2017 5:49 p.m.

    Impartial7 said "That's a great ideal. However, it doesn't correspond with quite a few passages in the Book of Mormon."

    Okay, name one passage in the Book of Mormon that it doesn't correspond with when taken in appropriate context. I'll give you a hint that will save you a lot of time: there aren't any.

  • Prometheus Platypus Orem, UT
    Oct. 10, 2017 5:07 p.m.

    No names accepted said: "We know, despite deceitful allegations, our position of marriage is not and never has been driven by hatred, bigotry, nor any desire to harm anyone. So we know that accusations of homophobia, bigotry, hatred, or a desire to deprive any of actual constitutional rights are misguided at best. At worst they are deliberate attempts to dehumanize us and shut down a legitimate point of view."

    So who was it that tried to make marriage illegal, for a group of people who have deeply held religious convictions that differ from your religion, and accept same sex marriage?

    Who tried to pass a law based on religious teachings? And your comment about unchanging for millennia is false, even the LDS church had a very different view of marriage up until they wanted statehood anyway.

    L White said: "I agree with "one nation under God". The "under God" part is very important because it requires us to put God ahead of anything or anyone who dismisses God from our lives and from our Country."

    You are aware this was added in the 50's and is not part of the original or the constitution in any way, right?

    It was added as a form of nationalism, against the red menace.

  • delasalle Sandy, UT
    Oct. 10, 2017 5:07 p.m.

    It's not possible but I think everybody ought to have an opportunity to live overseas and attend a ward (assuming one is LDS) in that local country, and not as a missionary where the dynamics are different. You'll quickly learn that many of the issues that we consider in the US to be gospel related and Sunday church topics, patriotism and gay marriage for example, are actually uniquely American and have nothing to do for the most part with the gospel itself. As Americans for some reason we tend to politicize and then moralize every single topic of the day. This moralizing then somehow justifies introduction of our politicized topics into Sunday meetings and discussions. If you speak to a non-American who happens to be attending an American ward, they will find this atmosphere foreign and even confusing, since most of their church related interactions and activities are mostly gospel focused. Even this talk about patriotism vs nationalism went over the heads of many who were listening globally, again just because these questions are saved for other forums rather than their ward houses or church meetings.

  • Egyptian origins Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 10, 2017 5:01 p.m.

    In the United States we have seen a rapid change of definitions of words at a faster pace than at any time in the world's history. As a consequence there is confusion with what people say. This is especially evident with political speech. Words such as 'patriotism', 'democracy', 'peace', and American 'values'; are now being used as doublespeak. Propaganda, rhetoric, and "diplomatic" speak have flooded the internet with the coverage of what our political leaders say. The consequence of the combination of new definitions with propaganda-type presentations through the medium of the internet will be an ideological division manifested by hostile actions on a broad scale to occur sooner than ever before in history which used to take time to build up to. Our cell phones are able to mobilize protests on a mass scale at a moment's notice, compared to the protests of the 50's, 60's, and 70's which took months to prepare and organize. We are farther along in the buildup of America's 2nd Civil War, than the time it took for the buildup of the 1st Civil War to get to this point we are currently at. Technology is not a bad thing, it is merely exposing positions who are forming oppositions.

  • RichardB Murray, UT
    Oct. 10, 2017 4:46 p.m.

    It seems to me that God went to great lengths to keep people in their ethnic groups, with the same interests, heredity, etc, and never preached diversity. He did preach love, but never conditioned it

  • L White Springville, UT
    Oct. 10, 2017 4:35 p.m.

    Is honoring the flag wrong? What does it represent?

    "I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."

    I agree with the concept of a Republic, a Democratic Republic where we are free and are represented by proxy by those whom we or our proxies elect or appoint.

    I agree with "one nation under God". The "under God" part is very important because it requires us to put God ahead of anything or anyone who dismisses God from our lives and from our Country.

    I agree with "indivisible". This nation, once established, requires all that have benefited from the Union of States to stand with all of the States forever in securing our liberties against all enemies, foreign or domestic.

    I agree with "liberty and justice for all". That means that we are free until proven guilty, but it also means that no person is above the law and that if crimes are committed EVERY person is subject to the law. Hillary's actions need to be addressed properly by the judicial system.

    I stand when the flag passes by. I stand for what the flag represents.

  • Steve C. Warren WEST VALLEY CITY, UT
    Oct. 10, 2017 4:07 p.m.

    Very good Op-Ed.

    Nationalists say, "My country, right or wrong." If America goes to war, they stand behind the president.

    Patriots say, "My country, but if it is wrong, I will work to make it right." If America goes to war, they support the president only if they believe he's right.

    Nationalists wave the flag and see it as a symbol of superiority. Patriots love the values that the flag represents, such as liberty and justice for all.

    I like the words of historian Carlton Hayes, who wrote that in our age, “nationalism’s chief symbol of faith and central object of worship is the flag.”

  • NoNamesAccepted St. George, UT
    Oct. 10, 2017 3:36 p.m.

    This article makes an important distinction between nationalism (bad) and patriotism (good). It misses another point that I will illustrate via analogy.

    The opposite of pride is humility. Humility is not self hatred or self loathing. It is not guilt nor shame. Humility embraces the love of self commanded by the Savior, "Love your neighbor as yourself." He who hates himself cannot love others.

    Similarly, the opposite of nationalism is not hatred of nation, culture, nor history. It is not to tear down. How can I love (or at least respect) others and their cultures, language, customs, and beliefs if I hate my own?

    The antidote to nationalism is love and respect. It is not to hate, denigrate, nor destroy one's own culture, nor to eliminate all borders.

    Desiring to live in my own culture is not hatred of others'. National (and State and city) boundaries allow incompatible cultural mores to co-exist peacefully by providing a bit of distance. Siesta schedules and 9-5 work schedules are equally valid, but conflict if in close proximity: yard work during siesta time or late at night will disturb the other side. Borders (like neighborhood zoning) help reduce conflict.

  • NoNamesAccepted St. George, UT
    Oct. 10, 2017 3:23 p.m.

    @Prometheus Platypus:

    It seems you would make a man an offender for a word (Isaiah 29:21) . I do not attack, hate, or disparage those who disagree with me. Neither will allow someone else to dictate the terms by which I communicate. If "real marriage" offends, we can use "God-ordained marriage". The fact is, active, observant, LDS recognize the difference between what God ordained and what 5 robed lawyers have mandated in contradiction of millennia of accepted standards and the Constitutions of 30+ States.

    We know, despite deceitful allegations, our position of marriage is not and never has been driven by hatred, bigotry, nor any desire to harm anyone. So we know that accusations of homophobia, bigotry, hatred, or a desire to deprive any of actual constitutional rights are misguided at best. At worst they are deliberate attempts to dehumanize us and shut down a legitimate point of view.

    In like manner then, we should be aware of the same tactic being employed by using false allegations of "nationalism" (or "racism" or other pejoratives) by those who would silence legitimate discussion or disagreement. Someone accusing doesn't make the accusation true.

  • 2 bit Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Oct. 10, 2017 3:20 p.m.

    A nation having borders, and enforcing the security of their borders is not "Nationalism". It's the government's job to enforce our laws.

    Expecting the government to do their job, and enforce our laws, is not evil, or "Nationalism", or seeing yourself as superior to anybody. It's part of being a civilized nation ruled by the rule-of-law. Which our Constitution is all about.

    It's true patriotism and nationalism are not the same thing. It's also true that believing in the rule-of-law does not make you a racist, or a nationalist, or mean you think you are better than anybody else. It just means you respect and obey the law. I don't think obeying the law is too much to expect of any citizen of a civilized society, especially one based on the rule-of-law.

    The prophet didn't say our laws are bad, or we can't have immigration law, or borders. He said we should love everybody, and we do.

    Not allowing someone to break our laws does not mean you don't love them.

    Also doesn't make us better than them. We can expect people to obey our immigration laws and come to America the legal way, without being labeled "nationalists".

  • Husker2 International Falls, MN
    Oct. 10, 2017 3:12 p.m.

    From the article: "Nationalism, on the other hand, is the zealous identification with a cultural group, and it often devolves into an unrighteous sense of superiority over others and breeds a desire for dominance."

    Nationalism is usually linked to race or ethnicity and, of course, history has shown it to be very dangerous. However, I am equally disturbed by contemporary American liberalism/progressivism which tells us we must feel guilty for being American or, more commonly, for being white. This is equally as racist as Nationalism because it judges people based on stereotypes instead of who they really are. Our public education system from K thru university has become overrun by this ideology and I fear for our nations future because of it.

  • Third try screen name Mapleton, UT
    Oct. 10, 2017 3:10 p.m.

    It all sounds very easy when the author can define the terms himself first. And when you create the narrative, you control the context.

    But in conference talks, one must be very careful. We know of recent examples where segments of talks were re-recorded for the archives to soften a message.

    Nationalism is a term rife with potential for misunderstanding. Terms like "Promised land" and "Chosen people" come to mind. The divine origin and destiny of the United States has been preached from the pulpit not many years ago.

    One could find a great deal of nationalism in the writings of the Brethren as studied at BYU with the textbook, "Just and Holy Principles."

    The good professor ought to tackle the term "jingoism" next, and discuss it's morality as well.

    It would be easy to believe that Elder Ballard was expressing displeasure over Donald Trump and his America First! agenda. It would also be easy to argue that God favors open borders as well.

    As I said before, "nationalism" is a poor choice of words.

  • J Thompson SPRINGVILLE, UT
    Oct. 10, 2017 3:03 p.m.

    There is a great difference between stating the illegal actions of others, such as Obama forcing Americans to buy insurance from the Federal Government when no such authority exists, and attacking him for breaking the the Supreme Law of the Land. There is a huge difference between worshipping Christ, who willingly suffered pains that none of us could ever suffer before he gave his LIFE for us, and worshipping a living soldier who beats his chest because he found himself in harm's way. Our military cemeteries are full of the truly great soldiers who paid the ultimate price for freedom. Those soldiers we revere. Those soldiers, who would never beat their own chests, or cite their own "bravery", are those whom we admire.

    We love America because it is a land where we can worship Christ without being dictated to by government how we should worship. We are "nationalist" when we give thanks that we live in such a nation. We are patriots when we stand up for the principles that Christ established for all free men to speak openly in defense of truth and right.

    America was chosen to be the land where Christ's gospel would be restored. We should be thankful to live here.

  • Frozen Fractals Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 10, 2017 2:52 p.m.

    @Desert Suburbanite
    "there is a substantive difference between Marriage as defined by Deity and marriage as defined by the U. S. Supreme Court. The first is a binding covenant between a man, a woman, and God. The second is a civil contract between two individuals of legal age. "

    Sure. Though for a long time a lot of people tried to basically make the first one the usage for the second as well.

    @J Thompson
    "I AM ashamed of those who choose, by their own agency, to attack anyone whose beliefs differ from their own."

    Then why'd you write

    "YOU tell us that those whose religion reject Christ are some of the best people that you know."

    ? Maybe you didn't mean it that way but it comes across as acting like the notion that there's great people of other faiths is preposterous.

  • airnaut Everett, WA
    Oct. 10, 2017 2:46 p.m.

    @J Thompson - SPRINGVILLE, UT
    Oct. 10, 2017 2:05 p.m.

    1. Say what YOU want to say but NEVER pretend that you can speak for anyone else.

    2. Ether told us that this land would be free as long as the people who lived in this land worshipped Jesus Christ.

    3. YOU tell us that those whose religion reject Christ are some of the best people that you know.

    4. I am proud to be an American. I am proud that many of my family members...
    .Some would call me a "nationalist".

    5. I AM ashamed of those who choose, by their own agency, to attack anyone whose beliefs differ from their own.

    6. This is America, the land of the free and the home of the brave!

    ===

    This comment is too rich with irony and hypocrisy....

    1. You attack NON-republican Mormons for being "less-than" Mormons.

    2. America has indeed fallen and elected Trump - polar opposite of everything Christ taught.

    3. Lamanites were welcomed without accepting Christ - by their fruits, "good" people.

    4. Pride & Nationalism -- have been 'specifically' preached against by LDS leadership.

    5. You attack others constantly who whose beliefs differ than your own.

    6. I am a veteran. America, is free because of the brave.

    Good day.

  • mez Denver, CO
    Oct. 10, 2017 2:20 p.m.

    Fear and negativity are behind nationalism. Fear and negativity is what Trump used to get elected. If we have no nationalist leaning members in this Church, then why would the general authorities be talking about it?

  • Vermonter Plymouth, MI
    Oct. 10, 2017 2:09 p.m.

    @LDS Liberal.
    I agree that we need to get over this idea that being a good member of the Church means you embrace a specific political philosophy (other than the basic political principles found in the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights).

    Lest you think it is only conservative Republican Mormons running around your ward and stake doing this, you might remember what the most powerful Mormon politician ever to serve in Washington said "I am a Democrat (and a liberal) because I am Mormon." Of course, the implication is that if one is not a Democrat (or a liberal) and claims to be a Mormon, then this politician probably believes they don't understand the teachings of Jesus Christ as good as he does.

    I reject such divisive thinking from anywhere on the Mormon political spectrum.

  • J Thompson SPRINGVILLE, UT
    Oct. 10, 2017 2:05 p.m.

    LDS Liberal - Farmington, UT
    Oct. 10, 2017 12:22 p.m.

    Your post was both inaccurate and offensive. Say what YOU want to say but NEVER pretend that you can speak for anyone else.

    God raised up America as the place where His church could be re-established. Ether told us that this land would be free as long as the people who lived in this land worshipped Jesus Christ. YOU tell us that those whose religion reject Christ are some of the best people that you know.

    I am proud to be an American. I am proud that many of my family members paid the ultimate price in an effort to enable other nations to enjoy the freedoms and liberties that we have. I am an America who loves God, who serves God, who looks forward to redemption through God's Son, Jesus Christ. Some would call me a "nationalist". I would call myself someone who is grateful to live in a nation that God, Himself, told us was preserved so that His Son and His Son's gospel could find a foothold. I am NOT ashamed of my country. I AM ashamed of those who choose, by their own agency, to attack anyone whose beliefs differ from their own.

    This is America, the land the land of the free and the home of the brave!

  • 1covey Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 10, 2017 2:00 p.m.

    P Platypus - You'll have to forgive some of us veterans and our dead buddies for disagreeing with your view of the flag. I suppose we're a little too sensitive on the subject. Only certain other people are entitled to be sensitive, it appears.

  • Flashback Kearns, UT
    Oct. 10, 2017 1:59 p.m.

    As an unabashed conservative, I can disagree with the other side without disparaging them. That is very hard because there is a very target rich environment and the temptation is there.

    It's like the Y fans and the Ute fans. I have many friends that are Ute fans and I give them guff all the time as they do me. But in the long term scheme of things, we still like and respect each other and are brothers in Christ. And as a Utah Alum, I have a unique perspective on my non-support of the Ute sports program.

    It's the "my way or the highway" folks I disagree with and don't like too much.

  • Desert Suburbanite Mesa, AZ
    Oct. 10, 2017 1:21 p.m.

    @Prometheus Platypus - Orem, UT

    If you want to take offense at imprecise or careless wording, feel free. Perhaps the wording that @NoNamesAccepted used, "real marriage" was a little imprecise. That being said, from the perspective of a believer in the Proclamation on the Family, there is a substantive difference between Marriage as defined by Deity and marriage as defined by the U. S. Supreme Court. The first is a binding covenant between a man, a woman, and God. The second is a civil contract between two individuals of legal age. Perhaps before you get all outraged at their view, you should inspect your own for confirmation bias.

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    Oct. 10, 2017 1:03 p.m.

    To "Open Minded Mormon" please tell us where there are any "uber-far-right-wing Nationalists" in the LDS church. I have never seen or heard of any like that.

    You should know that to be a good member of the LDS church you don't have to be a Republican. However, if you believe in what Prophets have labeled Satan's counterfeit plans known as Socialism, Communism, or State Enforced Collectivism, you should reconsider your beliefs.

  • Vengeance70 Payson, UT
    Oct. 10, 2017 12:43 p.m.

    When I heard this talk at conference, I was very confused, and thought that I was being told to repent for being a patriot. I got a little angry.
    What Ballard should have done was explain himself and clarify the meanings, because he raised more questions than he answered. Just like the statement the LDS church released on racism several weeks back, then realized it wasn't clear, and "tried" to clarify it, only to show that the first response certainly didn't appear to be inspired, and the second did very little to clarify.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    Oct. 10, 2017 12:37 p.m.

    BTW - J,
    I am a veteran, I served our country in uniform -- which is something you never did.

    I am proud to be an American,
    but
    I just as proud - equally as proud of ANYONE else who is doing their best, with whatever light and knowledge they have, to do good in this life.
    Communist, Socialist, Mexican, North Korea,
    Hindu, Agnostic, Muslim...you name it.
    There is good in the world, all of it.

    I do not run around waving a flag, look at my pasty pale white skin, going to Church on Sunday - and then blasting and ridiculing others who are not like me as somehow being "inferior".

    I am a publican, a sinner, and fall short of the Kingdom of God.
    My only saving grace, is that God will forgive me, as I forgive others.
    I believe that is what God taught us.

    BTW -- some of the BEST, honest, good, Christ-like people I know are in fact, Muslim. Let God be the judge.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    Oct. 10, 2017 12:22 p.m.

    J Thompson - SPRINGVILLE, UT
    Oct. 10, 2017 11:38 a.m.

    All people are invited to investigate the LDS Church. All people are invited to change their lives as they learn about Christ's doctrine of happiness. No one is held captive as a member of the church. If someone decides that they would rather follow someone or something other than Christ, they are free to do that.

    ========

    Really --
    try this: "'good' latter-day Saints can ONLY be Republicans, If you are not a Republican - then you are not a "good" Latter-Day Saint, so therer for you are a desciple of Satan".

    Seriously J, you L White and Mike Richards are all guilty of saying words to that effect.

  • Daedalus, Stephen ARVADA, CO
    Oct. 10, 2017 12:10 p.m.

    Yesterday this paper quoted Breitbart News about former Trump advisor Steve Bannon's excitement over the "economic nationalists" he is backing in the GOP primaries.

    So the timing of this column is perfect.

    But left out is the insidious way the seeds of nationalism are planted, cultivated, and propagated.

    The NFL/anthem "issue" is a perfect case in point.

    For the past year, a handful of players tried to raise awareness of racial disparities in use of deadly force by police, by a quiet and largely ignored protest.

    Then Trump blew the racial dog whistle in the Deep South, for no other reason than a last ditch effort to salvage the losing campaign of a candidate he endorsed.

    Surprise...a couple weeks later, this newspaper is full of letters to editor that parrot Trump's nationalistic spin that these 'others' are unpatriotic, ungrateful and disrespectful.

    He used the same template in Puerto Rico.

    Trump picks a trivial fight for sole purpose of ridiculing the 'other' and portraying 'them' as inferior to 'us'.

    The vulnerable among us buy it.

    Nationalists like Trump and Bannon prey upon human weakness and primal fears.

    The solution?

    Be stronger and less afraid.

  • Mom jeans man is gone Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 10, 2017 12:01 p.m.

    not being driven out, they are choosing to leave. That what agency is all about, even though libs say they are for choice, it's only if you choose their way. If you have a conviction to truth other's opinions should not affect your conviction.

  • Prometheus Platypus Orem, UT
    Oct. 10, 2017 11:48 a.m.

    NoNamesAccepted said: "We see posters who continue to falsely claim that proclaiming the truth is the same as disparaging or hating others. Over the past decade it had become common for some persons to vilify any who disagree with a particular socio-political agenda as being "homophobic", bigoted, or otherwise hateful. As LDS we know that support for real marriage between a man and a woman,"

    I the same paragraph that you claim to be victimized by name calling, you turn around and claim that outside of the LDS religion and there aren't "Real Marriages." or dehumanizing others, by claiming their marriage as not a "Real Marriage."

    Nationalists see the flag and anthem as sacred, patriots see them as symbols of a greater message, but just symbols not sacred artifacts.

  • J Thompson SPRINGVILLE, UT
    Oct. 10, 2017 11:38 a.m.

    All people are invited to investigate the LDS Church. All people are invited to change their lives as they learn about Christ's doctrine of happiness. No one is held captive as a member of the church. If someone decides that they would rather follow someone or something other than Christ, they are free to do that.

    In the same vein, there are those who mistake love of our free country as nationalism. It is anything but nationalism. When we realize that we are free from government interference in many aspects of our lives and that free has made us great, and then we see that government has overstepped its legal authority, we have every right to make America great again by rejecting any and all illegal and improper handicaps placed on us by government. When we realize that millions of Americans lost their jobs, their homes and that their families have greatly suffered because politicians have made it more profitable for companies to produce products off-shore than to allow true free-market competition, we have a right to make America great again.

    Every person is important, including Americans. Putting America together again is not necessarily nationalism.

  • Vermonter Plymouth, MI
    Oct. 10, 2017 11:36 a.m.

    The author very ably clarifies and defines what was meant by Elders Ballard, Cook and Nelson when they used the word "nationalism."

    These messages by living apostles are, in my opinion, a little more easily embraced by LDS members who are not Americans. Most of these non-American members live in countries where French-ness or Japanese-ness or Mexican-ness is basically identified as a common ethnicity or tribe for well over 90% of their population. So, being too proud of one's country would also necessarily mean excessive pride in one's ethnic group.

    For LDS Americans, this is a tad more challenging. Americans are Americans not because of a common ethnicity, but because of adherence to a common set of values, embodied in the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Love of country (a kind of "nationalism," at least according most commonly used English dictionaries) for an American who understands the origins of the United States should mean a love of common American principles and values. And, LDS scripture (D&C101:77) gives LDS members globally a good reason to love those unique American principles and values.

  • NoNamesAccepted St. George, UT
    Oct. 10, 2017 10:52 a.m.

    The challenge I think is to honestly recognize the difference between patriotism and nationalism, between love of ones own culture and heritage and hatred of others.

    We see posters who continue to falsely claim that proclaiming the truth is the same as disparaging or hating others. Over the past decade it had become common for some persons to vilify any who disagree with a particular socio-political agenda as being "homophobic", bigoted, or otherwise hateful. As LDS we know that support for real marriage between a man and a woman, as encouraged by the Family Proclamation and by living prophets is not at all the same as hating or wishing ill on anyone. Yet the dehumanizing labels against activr LDS continue.

    It stands to reason then that we must be careful not to invoke nor accept the label of "Nationalism" as a cudgel against any policy we dislike.

    There is a lot of room for honest and reasoned debate and disagreement on issues like immigration policy, border security, and background checks within the realm of loving others. If any disagreement with a left wing position is delegitimized by invoking the label of Nationalism, that word will lose all real meaning.

  • unrepentant progressive Bozeman, MT
    Oct. 10, 2017 10:32 a.m.

    This is the kind of opinion that I would hope we could all agree upon.

    Nationalism, in its most insidious form, is a cancer upon our society. We are not one people, but a mixture of various cultures, religions and national origins. As currently espoused openly, the advocates of nationalism threaten the comity of the country. Underneath all the nationalistic rhetoric is a bigotry against those who are not WASP's. We witness it on a daily basis, and are now so used to this aberrant behavior that we don't even notice. The KKK marching, so what else is new think most people. Anti-semitism is not always noticed, unless you happen to be Jewish. And violence against minorities, racial and sexual, doesn't seem to raise an eyebrow.

    That is what we have devolved to. And worst of it all is the grotesque mixture of nationalism and patriotism, which the opinion writer so ably shows are not one in the same.

    I wonder when those who abhor our nationalistic tendency will rise up against the voices of hate and fake patriotism? Is it so much to ask?

  • Impartial7 DRAPER, UT
    Oct. 10, 2017 10:16 a.m.

    " Elder Quentin L. Cook also of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles said, “Anyone who claims superiority under the Father’s plan because of characteristics like race, sex,nationality, language, or economic circumstances is morally wrong and does not understand the Lord’s true purpose for all of our Father’s children.”

    That's a great ideal. However, it doesn't correspond with quite a few passages in the Book of Mormon.