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We would prefer to imagine the founding of this country in a more mythological way, where everyone held to excelsior moral standards. Yet in fact the history of the War for American Independence is shrouded in a lot of darkness. Concepts that we take for granted today as purely American ideals (specifically founding ideals)–freedom of religion, gun ownership, personal liberty, defense of property–were not set in stone during the war. And frequently, Patriots and Loyalists alike breached those ideals without much need or excuse. People’s homes were destroyed, property burned, firearms confiscated, faced persecution for their religious beliefs, were jailed unjustly, were fined exorbitantly, were stripped of dignity, and were dealt with sinisterly. The First Civil War: The Revolution for America’s Soul

Why would Luke want his audience to know that God publicly confirmed Jesus to be king through the flight of a dove, when the normative avian sign was the flight of an eagle? The dove narrative likely functioned in the same manner as the account of Jesus riding into Jerusalem on a donkey. Each depicts Jesus’ kingship in contradistinction to imperial expectations. The flight of the dove is a confirming sign that Jesus is God’s king, whose rule stands contrary to the Roman notion of power as confirmed by an eagle. Throughout his gospel, Luke consistently portrays God’s kingdom as the antithesis of the Roman Empire (Luke 6:20; 13:29–30; 18:16; 22:25–27). Jesus is a different kind of king than Caesar. He is a king who brings peace not at the expense and suffering of others but through his own service and suffering. This is symbolized by the descent of a dove rather than an eagle, the national emblem of Rome. Subversive Meals

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Nowhere in the world as of 4 January 1861 was the Bible freer and more open to the public than in the United States of America; nowhere did less authority from tyrants, prelates, or priests constrict the meanings that ordinary men and women took from the Bible; and nowhere in the world did more pious believers hold that the Holy Scriptures sanctioned the institution of slavery. Mark Noll

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By failing to recognize the anti-imperial nature of first-century Christian meals, the modern church has eviscerated the Lord’s Supper of its political significance. As a result, the Lord’s Supper rarely serves the same function as it did at the time of Peter and Paul but has devolved into a symbolic act that offers spiritual solace to the partakers but does little to contest the policies of modern-day tyrants who rule their empires for the benefit of the few and to the detriment of the oppressed masses. Subversive Meals

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White supremacy does not contradict American democracy—it birthed it, nurtured it, and financed it. That is our heritage. It was reinforced during 250 years of bondage. It was further reinforced during another century of Jim Crow. It was reinforced again when progressives erected an entire welfare state on the basis of black exclusion. It was reinforced again when the intellectual progeny of the same people who excluded black women from welfare turned around and inveighed against it through caricaturization of black women. Other People’s Pathologies

The United States of America did not save black people; black people saved the United States of America. With that task complete, our “ally” proceeded to repay its debt to its black citizens by pretending they did not exist. In 1875, Mississippi’s provisional governor, Adelbert Ames, watched as the majority-black state’s nascent democracy “progressed” from terrorism to anarchy and then apartheid. Taking in regular reports of blacks being murdered, whipped, and intimidated by the Ku Klux Klan, Ames wrote the administration of President Ulysses Grant begging for aid. The Grant Administration declined… Ta-Nehisi Coates

New Deal denialism, much like creationism, entails blotting out whole swaths of contradictory evidence—not merely the bulk of FDR’s contemporaneous record, but also the decades of growth and comparative stability that succeeded it, Chris Lehmann

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