Trying to make sense of the storming of the Capitol building. What leads to this? Why were people claiming Jesus? Or the Confederacy?

Sound and music from Storyblocks

If you prefer reading, the script I used is below.

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                      This isn't the video I was planning on

                      making this week. I'm still working on

                      that one. But in light of recent

                      events, this seemed like a good topic.

                      One of the easiest things for

                      Americans to miss about the Bible is

                      its communal nature. It was written by

                      people in community for people in

                      community. It can be hard to see

                      sometimes because it was so assumed at

                      the time, it'd be like telling fish

                      about the need for water. But you can

                      see it in communal sacrifices and

                      laws, in Moses and others forming

                      community and identity, in prophets

                      addressing the community as a whole,

                      and in the people understanding

                      communal punishment.

                      To understand what I mean by communal

                      vs non-communal think of it like a

                      child in a family. The child has just

                      learned about the idea of freedom and

                      has not stopped letting his parents

                      know about it.

                      Every time a parent says no, the kid

                      says something like, "It's a free

                      country I can do what I want," or

                      "Stop oppressing me." The parents will

                      usually just role their eyes because

                      they understand intuitively, this

                      child isn't a slave, but their actions

                      affect others in their community, in

                      this case that community is their


                      This might be intuitive at first, but

                      historically it has been advantageous

                      for certain people and groups of

                      people to ignore the communal nature

                      of the Biblical text and the Christian

                      tradition. If you can ignore the

                      community, Biblical morality can be

                      watered down to practically just being

                      nice. If you're nice or loving when

                      you interact it doesn't matter what

                      the greater affect of your actions

                      have on the community. Some examples

                      in American history: If your nice, it

                      doesn't matter that you own black

                      people as property. If you nice, it

                      doesn't matter that your land was

                      stolen from native people.

                      If your nice, it doesn't matter that

                      your wealth was made by exploiting

                      your workers.

                      And unfortunately, the stories and

                      heresy that allowed for the

                      confederacy, manifest destiny, and the

                      robber barons is still alive and well. 

                      The day I'm recording this is January

                      9th, 2021. Last Wednesday the United

                      States capitol building was stormed by

                      a mob. They claimed they were

                      defending freedom, but they meant the

                      childish kind of freedom. Some even

                      wore costumes or carried a confederate


                      Sure, one might say they truly

                      believed the conspiracy theories about

                      the election, and I'm guessing they

                      did. But they don't believe because of

                      the evidence. They need the so called

                      evidence as an excuse to keep

                      believing their non-communal heresy

                      and childish view of freedom.

                      I could go on for a long time about

                      powerful people tricking the less

                      powerful to give away even more in the

                      name of freedom.

                      I mean tax cuts are community resource

                      cuts. Or how the white supremacy story

                      ties in, like how "State's Rights" was

                      the cry of the Confederacy for a

                      reason. But I'll leave you with this:

                      The heresy of the non-communal (also

                      sometimes known as rugged

                      individualism, among other things) is

                      both non-biblical and impractical, and

                      I hope we can take the good of that

                      phase, but grow beyond it, like our

                      metaphoric child growing into an


                      On the other hand the child could

                      declare its freedom and kill his

                      parents. That wouldn't mean the child

                      was any smarter or stronger than his

                      parents, and it certainly would not

                      leave him better off.

                      I'm still working on the first video

                      explaining a post-evangelical gospel

                      narrative. It might take me a couple

                      more weeks, so there might not be a

                      video next week. We'll see. But if

                      you're interested be sure to

                      subscribe. Cheers.
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