Gopnik reviews biblical scholar Pagels' new book, “Revelations: Visions, Prophecy, and Politics in the Book of Revelation,” which makes a strong case that the Book of Revelation was mostly political,
that Revelation is essentially an anti-Christian polemic. That is, it was written by an expatriate follower of Jesus who wanted the movement to remain within an entirely Jewish context, as opposed to the “Christianity” just then being invented by St. Paul, who welcomed uncircumcised and trayf-eating Gentiles into the sect. At a time when no one quite called himself “Christian,” in the modern sense, John is prophesying what would happen if people did. That’s the forward-looking worry in the book....
Newsome says that she refuses to give into the fear emanating from the Confederate flag, she also notes that she is not an outside agitator since her ancestors came in the United States through the slave markets of antebellum Charleston. It's an inspiring read.
By the morning of July 1, we should know whether President Barack Obama has achieved one of his presidency’s central foreign policy goals: an agreement to deal effectively with the Iranian nuclear program.
Now, pretend for a minute that you’re a 50-year old white man living somewhere in the Deep South. You cast your first vote for Ronald Reagan in 1984. As a kid, your favorite show was the Dukes of Hazzard, which featured a car called The General Lee. The backdrop to every party or prom you’ve ever attended was the music of Lynyrd Skynyrd (with lyrics like “In Birmingham they love the governor”).
Today, your way of life is under attack -and this (by far) transcends the Confederate flag. You’re experiencing what feels like a radical cultural revolution.
Where do we go from here? After the last ten days or so, it's hard to imagine.