Call & Character, season 2 | episode 1, January 14, 2021

On January 6, white nationalists stormed the US Capitol—many of them carrying banners with phrases like “Jesus Saves” and “Make America Godly Again.” Various symbols and icons could be seen in the swarming crowds, including a ten-foot crucifix that rioters placed in the middle of a prayer circle and a large gallows and noose, that evoked (intentionally or not) the horrendous history of racial lynchings during the Jim Crow era.  The images that started to appear were jarring and revolting, but also reminders that the legacy of ethnic supremacy and nationalism has been part of the American story from its inception. The cross and the lynching tree, the hymns and racist chants, the religious piety and the white nationalism–this is America. It takes an especially adept historian, cultural critic, and public scholar to extract the historical, moral, and theological lessons from these dark, complicated images.  The day before the storming of the Capitol, Zondervan Books released a new volume from our guest, historian Jemar Tisby, How To Fight Racism: Courageous Christianity and the Journey Toward Racial Justice. This new work is a constructive follow up to his first book, The Color of Compromise, a historical analysis of the American church’s complicity in racial injustice.