Who is to blame for angering the Bogeyman?

Saturday, August 20th, 2016

When the Vikings sacked the monastery at Lindisfarne, the Anglo-Saxons came to the logical conclusion that God was angry with them:

What followed in Britain as well as the rest of Christendom was more than just a military response to the Vikings. There was a spiritual revival. The secular authorities contributed to the Church and invited the bishops and priests into the granular management of society. The Church reformed religious orders and cleaned up the monasteries and nunneries. The role of women in religious orders was also diminished at this time. In other words, Europeans responded to a pagan assault by getting right with the Almighty.

Oliver Cromwell was pretty sure he was in God’s good graces. After all, he went from minor political figure to the head of the parliamentary army to the Lord Protector of God’s people, the English. After the disastrous military expedition into the Caribbean and a Royalist revolt, Cromwell came to the obvious conclusion. God was not happy with him and the English people. He set off on a campaign to restore liberty of conscience and promote both outward and inward godliness throughout England.

In the early 19th century, Abolitionists were sure that slavery was an offense to God and its presence in the new world would bring an end to the America Experiment. The people of Yankee New England were convinced that America was the city on the hill, the savior of mankind. They still believe this. The lyrics to the Battle Hymn of the Republic make this quite clear.

We may live in a post-Christian era, but that does not mean this kind of thinking has gone away.


  1. Bill says:

    Don’t forget that the authoress of the Battle Hymn of the Republic was a female suffragette and that the Abolitionist and Women’s Rights causes have always been linked. People who don’t have to go fight are often much more enthusiastic and idealistic about it than those who must fight in the mud and die.

  2. Cassander says:

    The battle hymn gained popularity as a marching song sung by troops during the civil war. People who go and fight are often very enthusiastic about it.

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