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What if that is who we are?

TWO YEARS AGO TODAY, as I watched the chaos unfold at the US Capitol, a strange thought crossed my mind: "That looks very American," I thought to myself.

What I saw unfolding in Washington that day reminded me of scenes I'd seen portraying the chaos and turmoil of the American Revolution, including this image below, what one engraver in 1883 imagined things must have looked like and felt like on the day the Declaration of Independence was signed. My publisher had already chosen this image for the cover of my second book, ONE LIFE TO GIVE, which was already set to go to press. In it I unpack the deep history of Martyrdom & the Making of the American Revolution.

In the aftermath of that horrible day two years ago, I heard a lot of public figures exclaim, "that's not who we are!" But what if what we witnessed on January 6, 2021, is an ESSENTIAL PART of who we are as Americans? Our nation was born from a movement of radical political extremism, and this movement included streams that tapped powerful religious and ethnonationalist sentiment. What does this mean for the rest of us, who find so abhorrent the kind of extremism we saw played out that day?

These are the kinds of questions I'll be answering in my new book, AMERICAN HERESY: The Roots and Reach of White Christian Nationalism. It will be released in September 2023 from Fortress Press, and it should be available for pre-order sometime next month.

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I'm looking forward to reading it, and getting some answers, because I had the same unsettling thought, that this looked like something that was good long ago, and horrendous now.

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