In his Book, The Science of Fear, author Daniel Gardner says: “Self interest and sincere belief seldom part company”. This concept explains much about the resiliency and influence of Christian Orthodoxy in western society. A theology which identifies westerners as the favored of God and relegates the rest of the world to eternal damnation is exactly the self serving belief that the human mind subconsciously seeks. Nothing is more self promoting than the notion that I am superior and special and therefore dramatically different and more deserving than the vast majority. Regardless of the theological arguments or supposed scriptural support, the end result of this belief is the same, a pernicious bigotry which undermines societal ethics and our ability to relate to the rest of the world in any meaningful way.
This “me first” mentality, which is a direct by-product of traditional theology, explains the longstanding support of the institutional church for traditional American nationalism. Flag waving of the type so prevalent in conservative Christian churches is the natural outgrowth of feeling more deserving of God’s blessing than the rest of the world. Under this paradigm, whatever maintains my advantage and special status is God ordained, making all human activities which promote the same God sanctioned.
Little attention is paid by these churches to the essential, universal, i.e. non-nationalistic nature, of the