occupation of america

Under the cut you will find #168 plain rp icons of Angel Haze, as requested by @bagofgroceries. I screencapped all of these pictures myself, as well as cropping/resizing and editting them, but the videos that I took them from do not belong to me. They are all 100x100 px. If you use them a like or reblog would be appreciated.

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Under the cut you will find #108 rp icons of Jade Willoughby in style A04 as requested by Anonymous. None of these pictures belong to me but I did crop/resize/edit them which took quite a bit of time. If you use them a like or reblog would be appreciated.

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Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment.
— 

Romans‬ ‭13‬:‭1-2‬ ESV

Though I’ve often heard this verse (and the verses following) used to bluntly clobber people with the idea that loyalty to country is somehow spiritual, the context in which it was written actually illuminates applications far more complex and challenging.

The early church was no friend of Rome. That colonizing, occupying power killed nearly all of the first followers of Jesus, after putting Jesus himself to death by crucifixion, a death reserved for insurrectionists against the empire. Many of the first disciples were also crucified, which is enough evidence to argue strongly that the early Christians were at least viewed as some kind of threat to Rome, even if they were all as falsely accused as was Jesus. Even Paul, to whom this letter is attributed, spent significant years of his ministry as a prisoner of Rome.

The early Christian communities were set apart from their neighbours. This was especially true of the Greek converts. Some history suggests that native religions of the colonies occupied by Romans were given some freedoms to practice, but no such freedoms would be offered the Greek settlers in these regions, and certainly not in the larger Roman world as Christianity spread, largely because of Paul’s efforts. These early Christians paid no homage to the local gods, which would have been considered highly offensive at least, and treasonous at worst. They did not join local worker’s guilds because of the idolatry and perversion, and therefore were very limited in their ability to work. The difficulties created by both of these realities led to a dispersion of many converted Christians, as they lost their community of friends, homes, and livelihoods. For some, their little Christian communities of generous love and justice were necessary for their survival. And all of this was in the midst of massive political turmoil, and rapidly growing practical dissent by many of the native peoples in the Roman colonies, including the Jewish nation, still the roots and headquarters of the Christian community.

Romans is written to these converted Greek Christians, many of whom must have been experiencing radical worldview changes as they not only converted to a new religion, but for the first time experienced the oppression of their own nation against themselves, people of privilege now living in practical solidarity with Christians of the many nations their beloved empire had been exploiting for years. Some of these communities probably felt highly charged ideologically, even radically. They were still telling stories of Messiah, who had preached of a new Kingdom. It would have been very easy for them to dream of a revolution to come.

In that context, and with the last verses of Romans 12 about love of enemy and prayer for persecutors still fresh in our minds, Paul’s words in Romans 13 interpreted as a Christian call to patriotism is plainly absurd. These verses quell a tide pushing hard in the direction of practical uprising. Paul is reminding the early Christians that, no, our lives of discipleship are not to be manifest as efforts to overthrow the violent oppressor. Churches are not rebel cells. Do not violently resist (the word “resist” in this chapter is specifically violent). Pay taxes. Respect and honour everyone, *even those in authority over us*. If we truly believe that we are serving a sovereign God, and that all of our salvation has been a free gift, then we need not dig our heels in and refuse when one of these Roman soldiers demands that we carry their baggage for a mile (as they were legally allowed to do). We are enabled by Christ to go beyond resistance to the jujitsu of love, that would gladly and graciously serve even our oppressor, not as slaves to them, but as people set free by Jesus to do so by choice. And then we prove our freedom with the second mile walked, during which we now have forty minutes to tell the good news of why we would ever do such a thing to this astonished, violent man, and perhaps in our *nonviolent* resistance, we may even gain a brother.

The promise in Romans 13 that we need not fear authority if we are living righteously is not a promise that the governing authorities will never act unjustly toward us when we are innocent, nor a suggestion that oppressed persons who fear the authorities are implicated by their fear. Plenty of early Christians were killed by these same authorities, though innocent. Our lack of fear is the same as Jesus’ peace when on trial before Pilate. When Pilate marvelled at Jesus’ unwillingness to defend himself, he reminded Jesus what he could do to him. Jesus replied that Pilate could do nothing to him unless he was given the authority from above. We do not live fearless of the authority because of their righteousness under God. We live without fear of the governing authority when living righteously because we know that before God we are equals, and will be judged without partiality by the same judge and with the same standard. With eyes on eternity, we can do rightly, boldly, justly, even in resistance to authority, all while still loving them, honouring the image of God in which they were created, and praying that they too would be saved from the horror that is the life of men of violence and hate.

yall want to involve America into what’s happening in Haiti right now? did you all learn absolutely NOTHING from the American occupation that basically ruined our economy. the economy we are just now getting back may i remind you. do you know what’s been found in Haiti recently??? oil, gold. our tourism is beggining to make a twist for the better. do NOT sign that petition, especially since we will get a new president soon. we need America as far away from our country as possible. America is not here to help us, it will never be here to help us.