In the best selling “Left Behind” series on the end of the world, the Anti-Christ was presented as someone from the United Nations who would seek world peace. Watching that movie, I remembered again how so much hate and xenophobia can slip into American churches.

The American people, and we Christians in particular, are taught to be arrogant from the cradle. We are taught that we are God’s favorites. We remember as sacred those dates when we were attacked and consider it un-American and un-Christian to remember our own crimes against humanity. Most American Christians have never read one page of another’s religion’s scripture, nor do most of us know as much as as one full page of another nation’s own version of history.

I do not understand that patriotism that sees its own nation as superior simply because its citizens were born on one side of a river and not the other. I do not understand any religion that says that God is universal, but has whispered into its ear alone. I count as great every nation and religion that serves the common good, and count as evil every nation or religion that does not.