Slavery and the Creation of a Counterfeit ‘Biblical Civilization’ in America: 1619-1865


The King James Version of the Bible was completed in 1611. The first African slaves were imported into Jamestown in 1619. “Biblical” Christianity and the idea of “biblical civilization” grew up alongside slavery. The latter shaped the former, and the two things have been inextricably intertwined ever since. [Read more...]

Religion, justice, the good, and Brenda Russell


Is religion the source of goodness and justice? Or is religion, rather, a formidable obstacle to those things? Yes. Both. Neither. Whatever. Point is, that goodness and justice stuff? I don’t care how you get there, just get there if you can. [Read more...]

Smart people saying smart things (12.28)

Michelle Conlin on how even black cops are made to fear the police; Ta-Nehisi Coates on the true agents of violence by police; Brittney Cooper and George Orwell on the enduring white fear of black rage. [Read more...]

If your ministry involves ‘restoring’ an unjust illusion of ‘peace,’ then your ministry is a lie

The BGEA;s rapid response team headed to Ferguson "to minister to police" about a month after the group's first annual "National Law Enforcement Retreat."

The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association’s “rapid response team” was invited by members of the Ferguson police department “to minister to police.” The BGEA team says it’s helping to “restore peace” to Ferguson, by which it means it’s helping to calm people down, to get them to stop protesting and go back to accepting things the way they are. [Read more...]

Cleveland police say they’re opposed to justice, find it offensive. These boys are in the wrong line of work. Fire them all.

Photo via the Cleveland Browns

What the Cleveland police are saying, then, is that they are opposed to “Justice.” That’s a clear sign they’re in the wrong line of work. Specifically, the Cleveland police are going out of their way to make us all aware that they are opposed to “Justice for Tamir Rice and John Crawford.” I would hesitate to accuse them of such an ugly, defiantly unjust position, but this isn’t my opinion of them or anyone else’s evaluation or characterization of then: This is them, choosing voluntarily to inform us all, unambiguously, that they stand opposed to and are offended by “Justice.” [Read more...]

Two reasons we know Frosty the Snowman was white


“He led them down the streets of town, right to the traffic cop / And only paused a moment, when he heard him holler, ‘Stop!’” [Read more...]

Commies and papists and whiskey, but not civil rights


John Fea plucks an odd nugget of history out of Molly Worthen’s Apostles of Reason: The Crisis of Authority in American Evangelicalism: The Resolutions of the National Association of Evangelicals’ Commission on Evangelical Action, organized early in the NAE’s history, give some measure of what “social action” meant to mainstream evangelical leaders in the early 1960s. [Read More...]

White evangelicals, Southern Baptists, and #BlackLivesMatter

Dozens of heavily armed police in Oakland line up to contain the threat posed by a citizen bearing a dangerous message. (Reuters photo by Elijah Nouvelage)

Southern Baptist spokesman Russell Moore’s response to the killing of Eric Garner is a remarkable change from the odious statements his predecessor, Richard Land, made in response to the killing of Trayvon Martin. Land was worried about not being perceived as racist. Moore, on the other hand, sounds like a man who has decided he doesn’t want to be a racist. It will be interesting to see if he’s allowed to continue talking like this. [Read more...]