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.
NATHANIEL 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 family. 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 flag. 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 adult. 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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