American Christianity has faced theological-political crises before. Repeatedly, visions of what is possible for the nation have fallen short of reality. In the past, periods of change pushed faithful people to reconsider what they believed, not only about the nation but also about the meaning of God’s call to justice. In each critical moment, for good or ill, Americans altered their religious views, and the horizon of what was possible expanded or contracted. In revolutionary America, disunity resulted from debates over whether faith required obedience to the king or a revolt.
Where independence and freedom were proclaimed, dependence on African slavery persisted. As Jesus was preached in this land, everything that Jesus taught against was practiced.
Lincoln understood that the dream of well-being, if not radically democratized, would for some people only be a nightmare.
When I read the book of Joshua, it is easy for me to miss God's call for genocide.
Ammon Bundy’s militia has occupied the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon since January 2. The standoff with authorities continues despite the arrest of Bundy and 11 of his followers and the shooting death of LaVoy Finicum during a traffic stop last week, and despite Bundy’s pleas that the four remaining militia members leave the refuge. They insist that they will not leave until their comrades are released and everyone is pardoned. These conservative Mormons have claimed that God told them to seize the land in defense of ranchers sentenced to jail time for setting fires on federal land.
Eric Foner resurrects the history of the Underground Railroad, its powerful place in New York City, and how it helped Harriet Beecher Stowe and others bring about the war that ended slavery.
Many scholars have traced the intra-Christian conflicts over slavery. Less noticed are the situations in which Christians were themselves enslaved.
It seems like everywhere you go Christians in one way or another are talking about Christendom. Actually, the word being used most is post-Christendom.
We are endlessly being misdirected in search of the crude “hate crime.” After centuries of racial oppression and violence, our society eventually became uncomfortable with the overtness of the racism of the past. Slavery is taken for granted as a horrific thing, something that couldn’t be assumed a few generations ago. For mainstream America, to be accused of being racist is to have been labeled something despicable. Few would willingly accept this charge upon themselves, defending themselves adamantly against such accusations. However, even worse than the racist label for those within the dominant culture, is for a person to be accused of a hate crime. Hate crimes have been created to isolate the most heinous of offenses that have been committed because of prejudice.
I wished that Hosea and Philemon were not in the lectionary. My reasoning? I don't like that the books uphold the notions of people being bought and sold as property.