A British man, who was forced into joining the Patriarchate of Constantinople as he was not allowed by his government employer to join the Russian Orthodox Church (so much for freedom in the UK), asked me about patriotism and nationalism and how we can be British but also ‘support Russia’.
Nationalism is an artificial, manmade construct of the State and entails racist dislike and even hatred for everyone who is not of your own ‘nationality’. It is therefore not Christian. Though there are examples everywhere, Nazism and Zionism are prominent examples of racism. The United Nations agrees.
Conversely, patriotism entails a love for the positive sides of the country where, by God’s will, you have been born. It is, in other words, a love for God’s creation and inspiration. It also implies the innate ability to love the positive sides of other countries where others have been born.
As Christian patriots, we ‘seek the kingdom of heaven first’. This means that we obey our governments only inasmuch as they obey the Gospel. In other words, we are first of all patriots of God. We do not put any Establishment/Deep State, those artificial constructs, first. However, in obedience to the Apostle Paul, we do pray for Non-Orthodox secular authorities. Moreover, if they are Orthodox Christian, we pray for them by name.
Some people who claim to be Orthodox, but in fact are still pagans, are shocked that we pray for Non-Christian authorities, for example, for enemies of Russia, Greece, Romania etc. These people have not yet understood that the very definition of Christian is someone who not only loves his friends, but also loves (and so prays for) his enemies – so that they may stop doing evil.
Therefore, the old words of the German national anthem ‘Deutschland ueber alles’ (Germany above all) are a piece of pagan blasphemy. (The French national anthem is even worse – it is full of a barbaric desire for bloodshed). As for the 18th-century invented British imperialist national anthem ‘God save our gracious Queen/King’, it seems a good wish, but when the anthem goes on to proclaim ‘Scatter her/his enemies, And make them fall; Confound their politics, Frustrate their knavish tricks’, we begin to sense nationalism.
As for ‘supporting Russia’ (or Romania or Greece or any other ‘Orthodox country’), this is only possible if that country is actually Christian. (Obviously, I use the word ‘Christian’ as a synonym for ‘Orthodox’). Thus, I have no time for today’s corrupt oligarch Russia, created by the consumerist West, just as I had no time for Soviet atheist Russia, nor for the pre-Revolutionary aristocratic traitors who carried out the anti-Christian palace coup (‘Russian Revolution’) of February 1917. Inasmuch as the ‘Reds’ were atheists, Orthodox could not support them. However, according to St John of Shanghai and a host of others in the emigration (and I can confirm this from my own experience), 90% of the ‘Whites’ also had no time for the Church.
In other words, we are patriots of God, patriots of the Church, patriots of Orthodoxy. Our patriotism for countries is strictly limited to their Christian content. Thus, I am a patriot of Christian (= Orthodox) England, but also of Orthodox Scotland, Wales and Ireland, as also of Orthodox Russia, Orthodox Lithuania, Orthodox Greece, Orthodox Argentina or Orthodox anywhere else. But I have no time for anti-Orthodox Britain or for anti-Orthodox Russia.