Has the Capitol attack opened eyes to theocratic extremism?
Is America finally waking up to the threat Christian Nationalism poses? FFRF, which has been educating about the dangers of theocratic extremism for decades, is hopeful the attack on the Capitol has opened the nation’s eyes.
“Photos, videos and reportage illuminate the links between this attack and Christian Nationalism,” says FFRF Co-President Annie Laurie Gaylor. “Bibles, shirts, flags, placards, patches, crucifixes, crosses and prayers were omnipresent during the attack.”
The New Yorker published striking video (bit.ly/2MAX3YG) of insurrectionists praying to Jesus on the floor of the Senate. (It comes at about the 8-minute mark of the video.) Luke Mogelson, a veteran war correspondent and a contributing writer at The New Yorker who has been reporting on the violent edges of the Trump movement and was at the Capitol, captured the moment.
Jacob Chansely, aka “Jacob Angel” and “QShaman,” who — bare-chested, face-painted, adorned in furs and a horned Viking hat — figures prominently in footage from the Capitol insurrection, led the Christian prayer. Following the prayer, he scratched out and left a threatening note on Vice President Mike Pence’s desk. Chansely removed his horned hat and started to pray as the
demonstrators in the chambers threw up their arms in supplication.
Chansely was indicted on Jan. 11 for his role in the putsch. A photo of Chansely shaking hands with Rudy Giuliani in November has since surfaced. (Giuliani, Trump’s attorney, called for “trial by combat” at the Save America rally preceding the raid on the Capitol.)
Peter Manseau, the curator of American Religious History at the National Museum of American History for the Smithsonian, has crowdsourced a project on social media with scholars, religion journalists, activists, writers and others, including FFRF Director of Strategic Response Andrew Seidel. They have been cataloging the connections with the hashtag #CapitolSiegeReligion.
Christian Nationalism is not going away even though its champion is no longer president. FFRF will continue to work to expose the insidious, anti-democratic nature of Christian Nationalism and its role in the attempted overthrow of our government.