WASHINGTON (RNS) — Requested by lawmakers earlier this yr to explain those that attacked the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021, District of Columbia police officer Daniel Hodges advised the Home choose committee tasked with investigating the rebel that “it was clear the terrorists perceived themselves to be Christians.”
Two members of that very same committee, Democrat Rep. Jamie Raskin of Maryland and Republican Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, additionally independently famous in conversations with the press the incidence of Christian nationalism.
“Had there not been a few of these errant prophecies, this concept that God has ordained it to be Trump, I’m unsure January 6 would have occurred prefer it did,” Kinzinger, an evangelical Christian, mentioned on a Christianity At present podcast episode in March.
Certainly, the affect of Christian nationalism among the many Jan. 6 rioters was clearly evident within the flags and banners they waved. Within the days earlier than the assault, “Jericho Marches,” based mostly on the Bible’s Guide of Joshua, circled Capitol Hill praying for the election outcomes to be overturned. When rioters stormed into the Senate chamber on Jan. 6, they huddled in prayer.
But the committee’s ultimate report, launched late on Thursday (Dec. 22), an 845-page doc, talked about Christian nationalism by identify precisely as soon as, and solely in passing.
Some distinguished Christian leaders have pressured the committee to look at Christian nationalism, sending a letter to the members earlier this yr urging lawmakers to analyze the ideology’s influence on Jan. 6.
On Friday, the Rev. Nathan Empsall, head of the group Trustworthy America and a signer of the letter, launched a statement in response to the report, saying, “The January 6 committee solely giving solely passing point out to the pivotal position of Christian nationalism in its ultimate report is a missed alternative to completely perceive what led to violence on the Capitol — and to stop future political violence.”
The report’s one overt reference to Christian nationalism got here when describing supporters of Nick Fuentes, a right-wing Catholic who was in Washington, D.C., the day of the rebel however has not been accused of getting into the constructing itself. The report notes that Fuentes’ followers, usually self-described as “Groypers,” have “repeatedly promoted white supremacist and Christian nationalist beliefs,” however didn’t elaborate intimately as to how.
Devotees of Fuentes’ group America First are identified for chanting “Christ is king,” as they did in Washington the morning of the rebel. Fuentes himself is one among a number of extremists who started brazenly associating themselves with Christian nationalism by identify after the rebel.
The report additionally makes a number of mentions of “Jericho March” occasions that led as much as the Capitol assault, although the committee didn’t delve deeply into the non secular tenor of these gatherings, regardless of hymn singing, banners with non secular slogans and even the blowing of shofars by these in attendance.
The report does repeatedly cite a Washington Submit oped by Peter Manseau, through which the historian and founding director of the Smithsonian Nationwide Museum of American Historical past’s Middle for the Understanding of Faith in American Historical past, catalogued how non secular beliefs influenced one rioter’s participation on Jan. 6.
Manseau responded to the report in a Twitter thread Friday, lamenting the “scant consideration” paid within the report back to “the non secular dimensions of the assault,” arguing the omission “could show a disservice to historical past.”
Manseau speculated the shortage of consideration paid to Christian nationalism could also be a “strategic” transfer, saying on Twitter that committee members possible didn’t need to “danger ‘J6 Committee Targets Christianity’ turning into a speaking level.”
Kinzinger has been an outspoken critic of Christian nationalism, tweeting his condemnation of the ideology on a number of events and rebuffing calls by Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene that the Republican Get together change into the “occasion of Christian nationalism.”
Raskin, for his half, advised Faith Information Service in Might 2021 he had taken a private curiosity within the “marriage between Donald Trump and fundamentalist Christianity.” He mentioned the tie was a supply of “bafflement” for him, however that he had begun studying books reminiscent of Kristin Kobes Du Mez’s “Jesus and John Wayne” — a e book cited by many students who examine Christian nationalism.
Simply final week, Raskin heard testimony on the topic on Capitol Hill from Amanda Tyler, government director of Baptist Joint Committee for Spiritual Liberty and founding father of Christians Towards Christian Nationalism.
“Christian nationalism helped gas the assault on the U.S. Capitol on January 6, uniting disparate actors and infusing their political trigger with non secular fervor,” Tyler advised the Home Oversight Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, which Raskin chairs.
Christians Towards Christian Nationalism co-produced a report on Christian nationalism’s position within the Jan. 6 riot however declined to touch upon the report’s launch on Friday.
The exact motive for Christian nationalism’s common absence from the report stays a thriller. A current Washington Submit investigation into the doc’s drafting quoted Jeremy Adler, a spokesperson for Rep. Liz Cheney, who sits on the committee, as saying the Wyoming lawmaker “received’t signal onto any ‘narrative’” relating to Jan. 6 that “suggests each American who believes God has blessed America is a white supremacist.”