Christianity played a major role in inspiring its followers to storm the Capital building and attempt to overthrow the 2020 presidential election. Were Jesus buried, he’d be spinning in his grave.
Exemplary sources like the following say as much, but offering a detailed backdrop of Christianity’s role is rather feckless at this point. Many readers here on Patheos are Christians or know Christians. We have all been hearing the apocalyptic tone that’s been building in Christendom for the past four years. So, connecting the dots between Christianity … conservatism … the Republican Party … Trumpism … extremism … QAnon … and the insurrection is undeniable.
Nevertheless, these articles are worth the read:
A Christian Insurrection: Many of those who mobbed the Capitol on Wednesday claimed to be enacting God’s will.
How the Christian Right Helped Foment Insurrection: Christian-right activists inside and outside of government promoted the election fraud lie and claimed God told them to “let the church roar”
The Capitol Riot Revealed the Darkest Nightmares of White Evangelical America: How 150 years of apocalyptic agitation culminated in an insurrection
Christians would be quick to point out that Jesus was not buried. He is alive and well, seated at the right hand of God, directing his church leaders on earth to carry out his plans.
Which begs the question: Why is Jesus using the Proud Boys, the Three Percenters, the Oath Keepers, and other Christian nationalists to spread his message of compassion and forgiveness?
“Before self-proclaimed members of the far-right group the Proud Boys marched toward the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, they stopped to kneel in the street and prayed in the name of Jesus. … They asked God for the restoration of their “value systems,” and for the “courage and strength to both represent you and represent our culture well.” And they invoked the divine protection for what was to come. Then they rose. Their leader declared into a bullhorn that the media must “get the hell out of my way.” And then they moved toward the Capitol.” From the article: How White Evangelical Christians Fused With Trump Extremism
You know Christianity has completely lost control of its mission when violent hate groups have become the voice of the Christian movement in America for the foreseeable future.
Or when atheists such as I have to remind the church for what it formally symbolized: It is not the role of Christianity to establish a nation or a theocracy on earth. In the broadest terms, the role of Christianity is to be the hallmark of compassion, to provide relief for human suffering (not inflict it), and to be the stalwart of virtuous and moral behavior.
To be fair, many Christians and evangelicals have condemned the violence at the Capitol as this Huffpost article points out.
I’ve not read a sterner example of condemnation than this insightful admission by Rev. Rob Schenck posted February 3 on the Religious News Service website:
“During my now regrettable 30 years as an activist on the religious right, I aided and abetted the poisoning of evangelical culture by engaging in alarmist rhetoric from the pulpit. … More than 50,000 financial contributors rewarded me for doing all that. … I’m afraid many of my old colleagues haven’t done the same. Too many fellow preachers, jacked up on their cultural spite, aren’t producing the peacemakers Jesus blessed in his Sermon on the Mount. Instead, they’ve spawned a new breed of sanctimonious warriors. Until the insurrection, I saw these new soldiers of the cross as paper tigers, quick to comment on Facebook but otherwise carping cowards in the digital shadows. After Jan. 6, I now see them mobilized for literal urban warfare.”
I’m certain many Christians are horrified about what transpired on January 6. They are fuming with righteous indignation over the manner in which their beloved church has been overrun by extremists and insurrectionists. I personally know many Christians who are neither extreme or intent on overthrowing the government. Which is why I recommend this easy solution for freeing oneself of the tarnish of being associated with being a modern-day Christian: Leave the church.
Many former Christians have already left the church – and for good reason. If the church is no longer a force for good in the world, and it is your intent to do good in this life, then leave the organization. Go and apply your skills and talents in other areas of life where you can be effective.