Surely a major news organization wouldn’t publish an article associating God with white nationalism on Easter. Surely not, right?

Well, one just did. The cover photo they used is from a KKK Rally held in 1963.

NBC published an op-ed by Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove, who describes himself as “an evangelical Christian who connects with the broad spiritual tradition and its monastic witnesses.” The title says it all: “On Easter Sunday, Christians must remember how easily and often our faith is used to defend white supremacy.”

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In the article, he suggests we should associate Easter Sunday, the celebration of Jesus Christ’s resurrection, with an Easter Sunday in 1873:

145 years ago, hundreds of white men in Colfax County, Louisiana, took up arms after Sunday morning worship services and marched to their county courthouse to reclaim control of the local government from representatives who had been democratically elected by black and white people voting together. Standing their ground in the hopes that federal reinforcements would arrive in time, every defender of democracy at the Colfax County courthouse was murdered.


That last line reads like a book report on the Communist Manifesto: “every defender of democracy at the Colfax County courthouse was murdered.”

The entire thing is a screed of self-flagellation. Wilson-Hartgrove writes, “As a white evangelical in this land, I can’t celebrate Easter in 2018 without working to reclaim the concept of redemption from the forces that attempt to use my faith and its founding stories to defend white supremacy.” He describes the redemption story as a “justification for terrorism.”

“The entire thing is a screed of self-flagellation.”

The story was published on Easter morning, and NBC News tweeted a link to it later in the day.

The bigger issue is that narratives like this have such a massive platform to begin with. NBC Think bills itself as “NBC News’ home for op-eds, in-depth analyses and essays about news and current events. Find opinions that will make you think differently and deeply about the world and our place in it.”

You can also turn to the website for such gems as a March 31 piece which describes the trial of the Pulse Nightclub’s shooter as “a traumatizing example of sexist Islamaphobia.”

Let’s see what they come up with to help us “think differently and deeply” when it comes time for Ramadan.

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