Years ago during my first trip to Israel I woke up and had breakfast in the Crown Plaza in Jerusalem. As I ate I noticed that the guy making the omelet was Jewish. Then I noticed a few other guys serving juice and coffee were Jewish.

And then it hit me- everyone here was Jewish. I put my fork down and got a bit choked up because I had never been in a city or a state where I was not in a minority. (OK New York City is close). I also realized that there is no other country in the world where this is the case.

While the United States is the most tolerant and free country, there are still constant reminders that non Christians are a minority. Those who are “tolerated” are seemingly somehow a little less free than those doing the tolerating. There is a big difference between being free and being tolerated.

Americans are largely “ethno centric” especially outside of the major metropolitan areas where ethnic subcultures thrive. We have a hard time seeing beyond our religious and cultural lens. This often includes our political preference as well. Few American Christians imagine living as a minority, even when our media and culture sometimes seems hostile to Christian values (Christaphobic).

Yet I also believe that America is more understanding of much of the rest of the world than they are of us. It is rare in history for one nation to fight to free another nation without seeking material gain as a result.

America is a very special place. We just need to understand that it is not the only special place.