I just read such a good article on how some Christians, especially Evangelicals, have been radicalized to support violence as a means to make the USA a Christian nation. This growing movement was evident in the assault on members of Congress gathered at the Capitol Building on January 6th to certify the election of Joe Biden as president. And then a riot erupted in which five people died, but it could have been much worse.
The Senate will begin the impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump next week. It will be centered on the question of whether or not Trump incited the crowd gathered to hear him speak near the Capitol, and whether or not he caused the crowd to storm the Capitol minutes later. If he did, that would be incitement to insurrection, which the impeachment claims. It’s hard to think of anything worse that a president of the USA could do if that is indeed what happened.
Some of the members of that riot at the Capitol claimed to be Christians. Some of the fringe groups that were represented in that assault espoused Christian beliefs. Many of those people believed in a religious nationalism in which it was their goal to restore the USA to its former status as a supposed Christian nation. A recent movement called QAnon is one of those fringe groups. It has had some influence in certain segments of American Christianity, such as evangelicalism.
Politico magazine’s editor Zack Stanton has written an article about it, just published seven hours ago, that is an interview he did with Elizabeth Neumann, who has a strong evangelical background. She was the senior advisor and Deputy Chief of Staff of the Homeland Security from 2017 to 2020. She then resigned last spring in protest to President Donald Trump’s policies.
Elizabeth Neumann grew up in Dallas, Texas, attended Trinity Christian Academy nearby, and earned her Bachelors degree in Government Studies at the University of Texas at Austin, which is where both of my daughters graduated. My family was evangelical in metro-Houston just like Ms. Neumann was in Dallas-Austin.
In this interview of Ms. Neumann, she demonstrates a profound understanding of conspiracy theory groups such as QAnon and their influence on evangelicalism. The article is entitled “It’s Time to Talk About Violent Christian Extremism,” and it can be accessed here.