True Nationalism

Throughout human history men have associated themselves in tribes, clans, and nations because of common interests and aims or for the purpose of mutual protection against potential enemies. This has developed to such an extent that where the people of any country seem lacking in national spirit they are regarded as abnormal; their thought and condition seem anomalous to others. Due in large part to modern inventions, which have greatly lessened the limitations of time and space, nations which formerly were regarded as isolated now find themselves "rubbing elbows" with other nations, and it is being learned that, as Paul said, "none of us liveth to himself." Thus a correct understanding of true nationalism and internationalism is of prime importance.

Now a right sense of nationalism is based upon and also develops qualities which bespeak divine Principle, Love, qualities such as unselfishness, cooperation, and justice. Therefore the subject is of practical interest and value to Christian Scientists of every nation, because they are vitally concerned with the development and expression of the brotherhood of man. There are many idealists who recognize the wrongs in human activities, affairs, and relations, and who believe that these wrongs can be corrected only by replacing nationalism with internationalism. But surely the right sense and expression of nationalism is a means to and furnishes a proper basis for internationalism.

In a message to The Mother Church, written in 1899 and found in "The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany" (p. 129), Mrs. Eddy says: "I reluctantly foresee great danger threatening our nation,—imperialism, monopoly, and a lax system of religion. But the spirit of humanity, ethics, and Christianity sown broadcast—all concomitants of Christian Science—is taking strong hold of the public thought throughout our beloved country and in foreign lands, and is tending to counteract the trend of mad ambition." The selfishness, fear, greed, and injustice manifested in governments merely indicate the wrong mental conditions which are finding response in and are using individuals composing those nations. As the individual citizens of a country measurably replace selfishness and greed with unselfishness and brotherly kindness, as they consistently strive to displace fear of evil and distrust of men with confidence in God and His children, they are laying the foundation for the right expression of nationalism.

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Item of Interest
November 18, 1933

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