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Word&Way News: July 22
Here’s the weekly roundup from Word&Way. This week at A Public Witness, we published a report on Maryland’s gubernatorial election, a short essay on misleading headlines about an armed “good Samaritan,” and a piece only for paid subscribers that analyzes a new trend of people embracing the term “Christian Nationalist” to describe themselves.
Top 5 at wordandway.org
When Our National Liturgy Is Greed. Rodney Kennedy argued that U.S. churches have failed to properly denounce greed.
Review: Rethinking the Dates of the New Testament. Robert D. Cornwall reviewed Rethinking the Dates of the New Testament: The Evidence for Early Composition by Jonathan Bernier.
Excavation of Graves Begins at Site of Colonial Black Church. Ben Finley reported on the latest from the excavation at the former site of a Black Baptist church in Williamsburg, Virginia.
Religious Liberty has a Long and Messy History — And there is a Reason Americans Feel Strongly About It. James Hudnut-Beumler and James P. Byrd wrote about the American tradition of religious liberty in light of recent U.S. Supreme Court rulings.
As Monkeypox Spreads, Global Organizations Mobilize Faith Networks To Fight Stigma. Adelle M. Banks reported on faith leaders working with health organizations to slow the outbreak of monkeypox.
Another good podcast this week:
Rob Schenck was the guest on State of Belief to talk about Christian Nationalism and the U.S. Supreme Court.
Other News of Note
In light of recent Supreme Court rulings, Michelle Boorstein of the Washington Post wrote about “the incredible shrinking wall between church and state.” Similarly, Adam Laats of The Atlantic wrote about how “the Supreme Court has ushered in a new era of religion at school.”
At the close of the Baptist World Alliance’s annual gathering last week, the group passed resolutions on the war in Ukraine, Myanmar’s coup, racial justice, and slavery reparations. Since Brian Kaylor is chair of the BWA’s Resolutions Committee, some articles about the latter quoted him, including from the BWA and the Baptist Standard.
Jemar Tisby wrote about the importance of historical truth-telling at his Substack newsletter Footnotes:
by Brian Kaylor, Word&Way Editor-in-Chief
“This is all heresy.”
That’s a tweet the official Twitter account of Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives sent out during the primetime hearing of the Jan. 6 Select Committee last night (July 21). The tweet didn’t last long. The @HouseGOP account deleted it several minutes later and tried again: “All hearsay.”
A simple typo. But perhaps also a revealing Freudian slip.
The House GOP’s faith in the gospel of the big lie about the 2020 election was being challenged. Their fidelity to a ruler who demanded they pledge full allegiance was being critiqued. For adherents of a lie, truth is a heresy. For followers of a cult, orthodoxy is a heresy.
The Jan. 6 hearings have been compelling. They’ve laid out clearly Trump’s culpability in encouraging the insurrection and trying to overturn a legitimate election. This truth-telling unsettles those who still refuse to accept reality about what happened on Jan. 6, 2021, and on Nov. 3, 2020.
If the House Republicans want to really confront the heresy about Jan. 6, they should look closer at the imagery from that violent day. The congressional committee hasn’t focused yet on the role that Christian Nationalism played in fueling the deadly attack. But the evidence is clear in the videos they’ve played as people stormed the Capitol while carrying Christian symbols.
Jesus signs. Bibles. Christian flags. While attacking the Capitol. Heresy indeed!
Photo of the Week
Thanks for reading!