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patriotism good, nationalism bad?

February 28th, 2022 | 7 min read

By Matthew Loftus

There is a recurrent discourse about nationalism and patriotism that I generally find stultifying. In general, many have (following C.S. Lewis) declared that patriotism is a good love of one’s country and people, while nationalism is the bad belief that your country is superior to all others and that this justifies some policy that others object to. The opposite side, sometimes following Yoram Hazony (and here I think Brad Littlejohn is the best articulator of this position), see a virtue in nationalism itself or is simply unapologetic about considering the modern borders of a nation-state more or less inviolable.

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Matthew Loftus

Matthew Loftus teaches and practices Family Medicine in Baltimore and East Africa. His work has been featured in Christianity Today, Comment, & First Things and he is a regular contributor for Christ and Pop Culture. You can learn more about his work and writing at