Nationalism Is A Secular Religion


In the past few years, many scholars and researchers have tried to examine the intrinsic characteristics of nationalism and its relation to secularity and religion. The purpose of this paper is to provide empirical evidence for establishing that nationalism is a secular religion.

Nationalism and Secularism

In strict dictionary terms, secularism is the principle that emphasizes on the welfare of mankind as a whole, excluding any considerations of religion or any belief in God. Correspondingly, nationalism is the attachment that people develop towards their nations. It is the undercurrent of belonging that unites the people of a nation and makes them feel pride and responsibility towards it. It transcends the barriers of religion, caste, gender, sexuality or other classifications and is shared by each and every person of the nation. Hence it can be said that nationalism is a unique approach towards secularism.

Nationalism and Religion

Nationalism and religion have long been at odds with each other. Ardent believers of God and followers of religion are quick to deny the existence and credibility of nationalism as a mere fad. However, after in-depth factual research, it can be justifiably said that nationalism and religion share various common properties. The followers of any religion believe in their God and his teachings. Similarly, nationalism requires that the people of a nation regard it as fervently as they regard God and abide by its constitution as devotedly as their religious customs and teachings. Therefore, it can be inferred that both nationalism and religion are similar approaches towards distinct ends. The United States is a fine example for drawing similarities between nationalism and religion. In America, Americanism is the national religion

Conclusion: Nationalism is a Secular Religion

With all this debate over the definition of nationalism, one thing which can be concluded safely is that nationalism is both secular and religious. Whether nationalism is a secular religion or not is yet to be proved. Nationalism is the profound attachment an individual, without the distinction of caste, religion, gender or race, develops towards his/her nation. Thus, it is definitely secular since it satisfies the basic definition of secularism. Similarly, just like religion demands infinite devotion towards God, nationalism demands whole-hearted belief in the nation and its constitution. Conclusively, after equating nation to God and excluding the variables of caste, religion and belief, we get to the final equation that nationalism is a secular religion.