Guess Who Else Was There On January 6th?

Bill Press is one of my favourite author/commentator/journalists around today, and his most recent column is about one group of people who willfully attempted to overthrow our government just over a year ago.  Please note that Press is not talking about the majority of Christians in this nation who are decent people and use their religion for good, rather than evil, but rather about the minority who are using the term “Christianity” to justify their bigotry, their hatred of ‘other’, and their intention of turning this nation into something it was never meant to be.

January 6: Blame the Christians! 

It’s understandable, but regrettable: the media was so busy reporting on the possible invasion of Ukraine, it buried an astounding bit of news about the actual invasion of the U.S. Capitol on January 6.  

Watching the violence at the Capitol that day, you were probably as puzzled as I was to see members of the mob carrying signs that said: “Jesus Saves.” Well, now we know why. A 60-page report, just released by the Freedom from Religion Foundation and the Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty, reveals the prominent role played leading up to and on January 6 by conservative Christians.  

It’s not just the Proud Boys, Three-Percenters, Oath Keepers, and Q-Anon responsible for planning and carrying out the insurrection, it’s also evangelicals marching under the banner of “Christian nationalism.” According to the report, belief in Christian nationalism was used to “bolster, justify, and intensify” the January 6 attack on the Capitol – and is still being used today to downplay what happened on January 6. 

Yes, you heard that right. A certain brand of “Christians” came to Washington, openly and proudly, to overthrow the government – all in the name of Jesus. Or at least in the name of the demented, upside-down brand of Jesus they’ve invented to justify their extreme right-wing politics.  

If you’re not familiar with “Christian nationalism,” you should be. I believe it’s one of the most serious threats to our democracy today. It’s especially serious because it cloaks itself in the guise of religion when, in fact, it’s nothing but an extreme-right political movement whose leaders, like evangelist Franklin Graham, pretend to worship Jesus while actually worshipping Donald Trump.  

Christian nationalism can be summed up in four major beliefs. One, America was founded as a Christian nation. Two, Christianity, therefore, is our official state religion and deserves special protection. Three, our founding documents were divinely inspired. Four, the only true Americans are Christian, culturally conservative, natural-born – and white. Christian nationalism is nothing but white nationalism with a smiley face. There’s no room in their narrow world (or small minds) for Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, or people of color.  

Christian nationalists used to operate below the radar, but they sure didn’t on January 6. It’s like they wanted the whole world to know they were there, even if they were operating in the most un-Christ-like fashion. People carried crosses and other Christian symbols. Outside and inside the building, T-shirts and caps proclaimed: “God, Guns, Trump.” One of the men who erected the gallows on the Capitol lawn wore a sweatshirt reading: “Faith, Family, Freedom.” Washington police officer Daniel Hodges told Congress how shocked he was, while being assaulted by the mob, to see one of his attackers holding a flag with the slogan: “Jesus is my Savior. Trump is my President.”  

On one level, it was like a religious revival. On another level, it was what it was: a lawless, seditious, blood-thirsty, armed mob, which did $30 million in damage to the Capitol, mauled approximately 1,000 police officers, threatened to murder the speaker of the House, the majority leader of the Senate, and the vice president of the United States, left four people in the crowd dead, and five police officers who died in the days and weeks following. And all this in the name of Jesus? God forbid!  

At the risk of stating the obvious: There is no action more un-Christ-like than the violent attack on police officers and members of Congress we experienced on January 6. And there is no one person on the planet more un-Christ-like than Donald J. Trump. In every way, as anybody who has read the Gospels knows, he’s the very antithesis of Jesus Christ. Donald Trump is the anti-Christ.  

Writing in Christianity Today the next morning, January 7, Anglican priest Tish Harrison Warren lamented: “The responsibility of yesterday’s violence must be in part laid at the feet of those evangelical leaders who ushered in and applauded Trump’s presidency.” Fortunately, there are other Christian leaders today who renounce Christian nationalism. In addition to Warren, they include Rev. William Barber, co-chair of the Poor People’s Campaign; Jim Wallis, president of Sojourners; and Rachel Laser, CEO of Americans United. Their message is simple: God is love. True Christians do not assault police officers, attempt to murder political leaders, or worship a congenital liar and serial adulterer.  

Meanwhile, I’m not sure what Jesus was doing on January 6, but I know one thing for sure: He wasn’t in front of the Capitol chanting “Hang Mike Pence!”  

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29 thoughts on “Guess Who Else Was There On January 6th?

  1. “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you”
    No, I didn’t say it.
    That was recorded in Matthew 5:38-39, 43-44. as taught by Jesus Christ…argue your way out of that one guys

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Reblogged this on Scottie's Playtime and commented:
    Hello Jill. Thank you for sharing this. Recently I have been very worried about the depth of religious doctrine being pushed into the secular government. It seems that I was caught napping by the long game these people played. They are on a mission from their god so they will not compromise, they will give all it takes to accomplish the goal because it is for their god, they will disregard anything that doesn’t agree with them because it is against their god. The very concept of democracy is against the concept of God. Religion is top down government. In religion God is the top being, the king, the ruler. He makes the rules, and everyone must follow them with no complaint. He passes those rules / his wishes down to his chosen leaders over the people. They speak for the god, no one can argue with them or change what the leaders say because it is the will of God, which speaks only to them. So it is a dictatorship with henchmen over the masses. Quite different from democracy, which is from the bottom up, for the people by the people.
    For anyone who has not been to Jills blog, I strongly recommend checking out her content. It is a diverse blog full of information and fun, and I enjoy the comments as well.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you so very much for the re-blog, Scottie! I appreciate it!

      Y’know … I halfway think that these radical evangelicals don’t truly even believe that their ‘god’ is speaking to them, telling them to hate women, to hate Black people, to hate LGBTQ people … I think they have that hate in their own hearts and must find some way to justify it, so they say their ‘god’ has told them. Personally, and you already know I am a non-believer, I think the entire world would be better off without religion. More wars have been fought over religion than any other cause, I do believe. Religion is, as Karl Marx said long ago, the “opiate of the masses”, the means for controlling large numbers of people, of bending them to the will of a few.

      And thank you, dear friend, for the wonderful recommendation for my blog! You’re a very special friend.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Hello Jill. I was just replying to Ali on the subject. Some people work harder to discriminate than they would if they just served everyone. How does it make one a better person to deny others? How is it more godly, more enlightened, to deny others. I remember being told that Jesus the most powerful and holy made himself a servant to those who were beneath his station and who were not following the religion of the day. He did not discriminate against the prostitutes and the beggars. He preached to lift up the lowest of the low.
        So how current day followers of that Jesus can claim a right he refused is something I do not understand.

        Liked by 2 people

        • I don’t understand it, either. I can only say that they seem to have created ‘god’ or ‘Jesus’ in their imaginations to fulfill their own ideas of how they want the world to be, not how it actually is. I wash my hands of the whole lot of them … they just better not try to shove their religion down my throat, else I will go into full fight mode!

          Liked by 2 people

  3. Just about all the few Christians I know of, are trump supporters, anti women’s rights, anti gay marriage, anti immigration unless it’s from white countries. There are a few of course, that I am also aware of…really nice kind people, but they are the minority today. The only two that come to my mind that are not loony tunes with politics, are Episcopalians and some Catholics who sincerely care about the poor. Even if it’s not politics, many still are preaching that the rest of us are going to hell, the earth is only 6000 years old, the evolution is fake and other BS. Now I am also in the South and that’s a whole other ballgame in itself.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I guess I’m lucky in that respect, for I know of many Christians who do not support Trump, who say his behaviour is un-Christian-like, and who have genuine values that I support, such as equality for all, including women’s rights, LGBTQ rights, Black rights, etc. Although I don’t share their religious beliefs, I respect their right to worship as they please, so long as they don’t deny others of the same right. Perhaps you’re right, that part of the difference is that you are in the South and I am north of the Mason-Dixon line. Of late, I think I could never go to the southern states, not even for a visit!

      Liked by 2 people

  4. As a member of the Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty–which Mr. Press cited at the beginning of his column–I can tell you that the organization has come under heavy fire from white evangelical leaders for daring to speak the truth. And as a former insider in the conservative, white evangelical world, I can also tell you that the scourge of Christian Nationalism is at least as bad as Press portrayed it in his column.
    Having spent six years working in the public policy division of the Christian Nationalist Focus on the Family, I saw the rabid beliefs of these folks. I was–to a lesser degree–one of them. Playing fast and loose with the truth was our modus operandi as we wrote reports, articles, opinion columns, and press releases. The end–a “Christian” nation–justified the means. We were disseminators of Christian Nationalist propaganda as well as consumers of it.
    Among our chief sources for this drivel were the perverse prevarications from David Barton’s Wall Builders. His Christian Nationalist books and videos have infected tens of thousands of white evangelical churches and parachurch organizations across the nation. I would rate Barton as one of the most dangerous men in America.
    I have repented of my former involvement in the Christian Nationalist movement, and I now strive to make the nation aware of its dangers. That’s why I wrote my book “End this Wicked Marriage: Why Evangelical Christianity Needs to Divorce Itself from the Republican Party.”
    Sadly, however, when I try to reason with my family members and friends–most of whom are not actively involved in Christian Nationalism, but who side with it–their response is one of the following: 1. Denial: Christian Nationalists are good folks who only want the best for America. 2. Anger: How dare you accuse good Christians of doing bad things? 3. Change the subject: I will not talk to you about these matters.
    Christian Nationalism/Trumpism is, as I’ve said repeatedly, is America’s largest and most dangerous cult.

    Liked by 4 people

    • It is ironic, and a bit frightening, to think that the evangelicals or Christian Nationalists, are fighting to take away the very thing this nation was founded on: freedom of (and from) religion. It is, indeed, a dangerous cult and one I will fight against as long as there is still oxygen somewhere in my lungs. I’m so glad, though, that you saw the truth, saw the wrongs they were doing, and got out. I hope many others will do the same in time … we cannot allow our nation to become one of white, male, Christians with the rest of us enslaved in one form or another. Thanks for your input, Jerry!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. An excellent column that should not be missed! The late Umberto Eco ( 1932 – 2016) was an Italian philosopher, novelist, cultural critic, as well as a political/social commentator. In his novel, “The Prague Cemetery”, (first published in Italian in 2010 and the English translation in 2011) there was only one fictional character. A sentence in that book reads : “People are never so completely and enthusiastically evil as when they act from religious conviction.” We find that has proven to be fact, not fiction! WHAK!! Thank-you!

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Why am I not surprised to be reading this?

    Ordinarily, people that won’t be “around” much longer would say something like … “I’m glad i won’t be around much longer to see this country go down the tubes.” Then someone would counter … but what about your children and your children’s children? Well, in my case, all but one are Republicans and church-goers. What more is there to say?

    Liked by 3 people

    • Not much, my friend. I do still hope we can make this world a better place for someone’s children and grandchildren, for those young people who may well grow up to discover a cure for cancer or a way to rid the world of nuclear weapons, but more and more I fear that is not the likely outcome.

      Liked by 3 people

  7. Pingback: GUESS WHO ELSE WAS THERE ON JANUARY 6th. | | Ramblings of an Occupy Liberal

  8. He may not have been chanting, “Hang Mike Pence!” But neither was he inside kicking out the moneylenders, or the raging mob, or even the greedy-gut politicians who care only about themselves, and not one wit about the rest of us. Silence is as bad a sin as wrong action, if you ask me. And Jesus has been silent as least 2000 years, and his Father for 5000 years. They are the worst offenders of all. If they actually exist, they have a lot to be held to account for!

    Liked by 4 people

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