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License Plates And The Lost Cause: Concluding Thoughts

We’ll get back to the American Revolution in a few days, but before we head in that direction I’d like to share some concluding thoughts about the Texas license plate case recently argued before the Supreme Court. In a previous post I suggested that, whatever the constitutional merits of their case, the history promulgated by the Sons of Confederate Veterans is simply awful. The SVC’s position is that the C ...

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License Plates And The Lost Cause

As many of you will be aware, last week the United States Supreme Court heard arguments in a case pitting the state of Texas against the southern “heritage” organization Sons of Confederate Veterans. The case centers on the state’s extensive vanity plate program and whether its Board of Motor Vehicles has the right to reject messages on those plates that it deems offensive. The issue arose in 2011 when the ...

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Slavery And Freedom: Teaching the American Revolution, Pt. 5

No context, no meaning. Know context, know meaning. In my last post, I explained that if we want to understand the causes and meaning of the Revolution to American colonists, we need to place the events that get into the textbooks—the Boston Massacre, the Tea Party, the shots fired on Lexington Green—into the larger fabric of their lives. This will necessarily involve figuring out what was going on in their ...

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Should Christians Be Patriotic Part 2: True Freedom

If patriotism means the freedom to pursue my own self interest at the expense of a common enemy, then Christians should not be patriotic. For Christians, true freedom is the freedom to love - especially to love our enemies. Paul explained that this freedom was achieved paradoxically through becoming enslaved to one another through the nonviolent and self-giving love of Christ. ...

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Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter – A True Story for the 4th of July

Most 4th of July celebrations in America include two things: fireworks and hot dogs. Classic, right? This year I’d encourage you to add one activity to your weekend: a one hour history lesson from Dr. Tracy McKenzie of Wheaton College, Wheaton, IL. Why? Because hovering in the background this weekend like the scent of smoldering briquettes is a simple yet compelling view of America. You know what I mean – t ...

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The Spiritual Warfare of Lent: Jesus, Satan, and Rick Santorum

This is a spiritual war. - Rick Santorum It’s Lent. For Christians, Lent is a time for spiritual warfare. Yup. I’m in a war. How do you wage spiritual warfare? Christians have two models for spiritual warfare: Jesus and Satan. Presidential candidate Rick Santorum warned us about one of those models in 2008 at a speech he made at Ave Maria University. The speech resurfaced this week on the Internet. Here are ...

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When Fear Takes Hold: What we can learn from the Southern defense of slavery

Why did Southern states secede from the union? Between Lincoln’s election on Nov. 6, 1860 and his inauguration on March 4, 1861 seven states seceded, giving support to the theory that the South objected strongly to Lincoln and his Republican party. But in the 150 years since the war, the debate about the cause has hardly been settled. Added to Lincoln’s election, prime contenders are tariffs, states’ rights ...

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On Racial Newt-rality

We live much of our lives in fear.  We fear being exposed as frauds.  We project to the world an image of ourselves that’s not entirely true in an attempt to gain the approval of others.  We conceal the bad, dirty, and ugly parts of ourselves and project other parts of ourselves that we think people will perceive as good, clean, and beautiful. But there is another aspect of this self-deceptive pattern that ...

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Rats and All – A Sermon on Graffiti Artist Banksy, Masters, Slaves, and Talents

Rats and All[1] A Sermon Delivered on November 13, 2011 At the First Congragional Church of Wilmette, UCC By Daniel and Adam Based on the Work of Banksy and Matthew 25:14-30 Adam – I’d like to start with a brief story.  There was once a Jewish man named Paul.  He was one of the first followers of Jesus.  One day Paul went to a place the Romans called Mars Hill.  Mars Hill was dedicated to the Roman god of w ...

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