When I watched live the insurrection at the Capitol in Washington D.C. on the afternoon of January 6, 2021 I was astonished. I witnessed rioting that I had contemplated, but actually never thought I would see. It was a shocking day.
One of the things that struck me that day was the proliferation of signs carried by rioters that made it clear that to many of them the insurrection was a religious act. They felt they were defending the faith. The insurrection was a religious event. I now realize that is exactly what they were doing. They were defending the faith of Trumpism. That was their religion. These people believed in Trump without reservation.
As New York Times opinion columnist Thomas B. Edsall said, “It’s impossible to understand the Jan. 6 assault on the Capitol without addressing the movement that has come to be known as Christian nationalism.”
Trump had said that during the first election campaign that he could shoot someone on 5th Avenue in broad daylight and he would not lose any supporters. Now I know that for once he was telling the truth. That was literally true. That is what it means to have religious devotion to a leader. Trump started a riot. & people died as a result. Yet Trumpers still support him. Trump was right. I think that is pretty clear by now. He summoned his followers to Washington on January 6, 2021 and thousands showed up. Then he filled them with rage and asked them to march to the Capitol. He even said he would walk with them. He exactly said that. It was a lie but there is nothing unusual about that. Then he filled them with hatred for his Vice-President who had been his faithful disciple for 4 years and they marched on the Pentagon shouting “Take the Capitol,” “Hang Mike Pence,” and other insurrectionary statements. His followers rampaged the Congress looking for politicians like Pelosi and Pence and looked like they wanted to kill them. They built a gallows with a noose hanging from it.
Many of them carried signs like “Jesus and Trump. 2020.” They actually prayed in the House Chambers that they were occupying.
This was a religious event. Is this not what religious devotion is all about?