Rewriting History

The Christian Right has long insisted that the Founding Fathers were all good Christians and that Constitution was written on Biblical principles. This would be laughable if it weren’t so dangerously incorrect. Washington, for example, though a vestryman in his Episcopal parish, apparently never received communion, at least according to reminiscences of Bishop White. His speeches frequently refer to Divine Omnipotence or Creator, but almost never to a personal God.

So when stuff like this comes up, it is nothing less than outrageous.

But it’s nice to see the critics at work, too. Here and here.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I don’t think patriotism is wrong, but I do think many Christians come very close to idolatry and there’s always the danger of assuming that if God is on our side, then we are fighting a holy war. I don’t think God takes sides in war, any more than God takes sides in football games–but that’s a subject for another post.

Theodora’s robe

In my sermon yesterday, I mentioned a mosaic in the church of San Vitale, Ravenna. The two mosaics to which I alluded show the Emperor Justinian and Empress Theodora bringing forward the elements for communion. Here is Theodora:

theodora1

Here is Justinian:

justinian1

Here’s an image from an early Christian (4th century?) sarcophagus (tomb), showing them wearing Phrygian caps

800px-early_christian_magi1