Ted A. Smith

Ted A. Smith teaches at Emory University’s Candler School of Theology. His most recent book is Weird John Brown: Divine Violence and the Limits of Ethics (Stanford University Press).

On July 4, 1976, bicentennial fever swept through the U.S., and I caught an especially acute case. Soldiers from George Washington’s army occupied my bedspread. The seal of the Continental Congress dignified my bedroom rug. On the Fourth I put on a tricorner hat, rolled up my jeans to turn them into knee breeches, donned my mom’s ruffled blouse and grabbed my musket so that I could march with a hundred other suburbanites in a neighborhood parade.
July 1, 2008