A few months ago I was accused of being a closet nationalist and, more recently, a crypto hardline unionist, or words to that effect.
The truth is I am neither a closet nationalist nor a crypto hard-liner but I am unionist.
There was a time, many moons ago, when I could have been accurately described as a right-winger or more accurately an Ulster nationalist with a fundamentalist streak.
Then I spent a lot of time trying to understand what makes Irish nationalism tick.
I soon realised that the blame for the problems of this society cannot be laid exclusively at the feet of nationalists or blamed entirely on republican conspiracies.
Wrongs were perpetrated by unionists, although perhaps the biggest wrongs were by right-wingers who refused to make space for change in the 1960s.
There were wrongs committed by the British and Irish authorities but most were probably not as bad as some people like to think.
It cannot legitimately be denied however that Northern Ireland was a cold house for Catholics, just as the Republic was and largely remains a cold house for unionists.
After a lot of thought and experience I came to the view that both kinds of nationalism are dangerous.
They feed off each other and during times of tension people quickly revert to type, convinced they have their backs to the wall and are again facing, as Kipling put it, "every evil power we fought against of old".
It is not only unionists who have this siege mentality, although republicans tend to have more of a victim mindset. These mentalities have fostered vicious circles that were so easily activated in the past.
The core of nationalism is exclusive and violent and in its full expression, inhuman and unchristian.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the radical German theologian who opposed Hitler and paid with his life, believed that a Christianity that embraces humanity and a nationalism that excludes humanity are incompatible.
He had of course experienced the consequences of nationalism taken to the ultimate. Nationalism is something people kill and die for and at its core are sacred cows demanding human sacrifice and bloodshed, as famously exemplified by Patrick Pearse.
Indeed this is why the taoiseach's revival of military parades to commemorate Easter 1916 is problematic.
Nationalism can become sanitised and, on the surface at least, distanced from all semblance of violence.
We live in a relative peace that, it can be argued, was paradoxically bought about through violence.
The late Roel Kaptein, a Dutchman who tried to understand and explain the mechanisms that made Northern Ireland what it became, said our stability and relative peace was not built on justice but rather on past bloodshed.
Possibilities, therefore, remain that violence could again engulf us but we seem to have chosen a more tolerant inclusive way forward and are trying to leave the dark legacy behind.
Roel Kaptein once made a startling statement. He said paramilitaries had been (subconsciously) seeking peace through bloodshed.
They were mistaken, of course, in that violence in modern society breeds violence and cannot solve disputes. Yet he believed that deep in the human psyche remains the knowledge that human society owes it origins and stability to primeval violence, bloodshed and sacrifice.
This is why, in situations of tension and conflict, people seek culprits to blame and perhaps torment. Onlookers try to avoid being seen as culpable and easily collude in victimising the vulnerable.
They know that those who don't collude may easily share the fate of the scapegoats.
As Frank Wright said, communal violence drives us back to the bosom of our respective divided communities where we again become part of the problem.
Nationalism, like all isms, tends to drive out humanity in order to ensure conformity to strange deities.
One priest said that some of us are closer to the core of our (nationalist) traditions, while others are removed from it in varying degrees. Those furthest from the heart of their peculiar nationalism are freer to look at things from a reasonably rational and humane perspective and work with others for the common good.
At times of crisis, however, people may look again to the tribal deities. Thus today we find ourselves having to make peace after having selected the more tribal warlike people as our leaders.