Last week when we marked the one year anniversary of the January 6 insurrection, not many people were willing to talk about this:
Difficult words to hear but we must pay attention. pic.twitter.com/iMl9HkmpDZ— SL (@Shar19L) January 6, 2022
In case you think she's exaggerating, a pastor by the name of Duke Kwon provided the evidence in response to someone on Twitter who said that the riot had nothing to do with Christianity.
"Nothing." 🤷🏻♂️ https://t.co/rqfqHNtx7a— Duke Kwon (@dukekwondc) January 7, 2022
"Nothing." 🤷🏻♂️ (📷: John Minchillo/AP) pic.twitter.com/AUuM4xauUa— Duke Kwon (@dukekwondc) January 7, 2022
"Nothing." 🤷🏻♂️ (📷: Madison Muller/Sojourners) pic.twitter.com/lAsiGJJXQX— Duke Kwon (@dukekwondc) January 7, 2022
"Nothing." 🤷🏻♂️ (📷: Lloyd Wolf) pic.twitter.com/74Jt1kE1P4— Duke Kwon (@dukekwondc) January 7, 2022
"Nothing." 🤷🏻♂️ (Source: Relevant) pic.twitter.com/YzVy9YxN14— Duke Kwon (@dukekwondc) January 7, 2022
"Nothing." 🤷🏻♂️ (📷: Lloyd Wolf) pic.twitter.com/xncgeWrjhA— Duke Kwon (@dukekwondc) January 7, 2022
"Nothing." 🤷🏻♂️ (Source: ProPublica) pic.twitter.com/nXJgjvgLkW— Duke Kwon (@dukekwondc) January 7, 2022
As the young woman in the video above said, "You cannot combat far right extremism without understanding that it is inextricably linked to white evangelicalism in the United States."
Katherine Stewart, author of the book "The Power Worshipers," has been trying to warn us about the danger posed by Christian nationalism for a long time. Here's what she wrote back in 2018:
The great thing about kings like Cyrus, as far as today’s Christian nationalists are concerned, is that they don’t have to follow rules. They are the law. This makes them ideal leaders in paranoid times…
I have attended dozens of Christian nationalist conferences and events over the past two years. And while I have heard plenty of comments casting doubt on the more questionable aspects of Mr. Trump’s character, the gist of the proceedings almost always comes down to the belief that he is a miracle sent straight from heaven to bring the nation back to the Lord. I have also learned that resistance to Mr. Trump is tantamount to resistance to God.
This isn’t the religious right we thought we knew. The Christian nationalist movement today is authoritarian, paranoid and patriarchal at its core. They aren’t fighting a culture war. They’re making a direct attack on democracy itself.
Of course, not all white evangelicals are Christian nationalists. For those who find the ties between Christianity and violent extremism to be reprehensible, this is not a time to get defensive, but to call it out. As an example, David French is doing yeoman's work on that front. His latest piece is titled, "A Nation of Christians Is Not Necessarily a Christian Nation." For the nationalists who are willing to destroy democracy in the name of returning to some mythical day in the past when this was a Christian nation, he says:
The Christianity of the United States of America, both as a matter of individual expression and institutional justice, is an enormously complex topic, but one thing I can say with confidence—there was no golden age of American Christianity. And we cannot look back at any moment and say, this is when America was a Christian nation.
What conservative Evangelicals are “losing” today isn’t so much liberty as power.
The fact that so many are unwilling to name the religious roots of the January 6 insurrection is an example of the power conservative evangelicals still wield in this country. But as the young woman says in the video above, "we can't push back against something we're not willing to talk about."