It’s not the 1930s but you can see them from here. If we are to defeat the rise of religious nationalism, we will need a faithful patriotism equipped with new ideas and new skills.
The cross-cultural religious literacy skills of covenantal pluralism remind us of the best of who we are (defined by what we are for), equipping us to engage us at our worst (defined by what we are against).
It will take individuals and faith communities (the scriptural literacy of knowing what your beliefs say about the other); it will take education (the religious literacy to know enough about our neighbour’s faith to respect it); and it will take the cross-cultural skills of self- and contextual evaluation, communication and negotiation to lead and prepare faithful patriots to stand against the authoritarianism of religious nationalism.
I returned to Poland on 24 August, 1989. It was the day after the 50th anniversary of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, which divided Poland between Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia. And a week later, on September 1st, church bells tolled across the land, marking the 50th anniversary of the Nazi invasion of Poland in 1939. The next year, the Soviets would massacre Polish elites in Katyn, and soon the Nazis established their death camps in Auschwitz and Majdanek, among other places.