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I guess culturalism has a point...

Reader comment on item: Europe's Civilizationist Parties
in response to reader comment: Patriotic Nationalism vs. the Uncivilized

Submitted by Peter Herz (United States), Nov 3, 2018 at 23:24

There is a continuum between anyone's amour propre and a dangerous chauvinism. It dismayed me greatly when I was in China to encounter people who expected an American with a German last name to have a "warm spot" for Hitler (and those people even spoke well as of him as someone who had revived his country); and when I explained the horror of the holocaust and that I had uncles who served in the US Army in Europe in WWII, I think I left the impression that I (and General Eisenhower, and however many American soldiers) were some kind of "ethnic traitors".

On the other hand, in Taiwan, I knew a man who was an unabashed Chinese Nationalist every which way, who, when I asked why he identified with the Christian faith as well, gently reminded me that in the Tang Dynasty, China's heyday, his country (understood as the poor, occupied Mainland as well) was the one that received immigration and studied new religions while being Number One in the world.

I admit to being one who believes that our prejudices are often necesary, protective walls. But it is also my prayer that our "walls" also have sufficient doors, windows, and other apertures to admit what might also be good coming to us from outside. Now that a savage anti-Semitic event has rocked our own Pittsburgh, I am painfully aware that even a good amour propre can be turned in an evil direction.

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