Mystery Pastor at the Capitol Riot is David Barton Student

Yesterday, David Bonner at his Wondering Eagle blog wondered about the identity of this pastor who showed up in video culled from Parler by ProPublica.

Twitter came through again and identified the pastor as Tyler Ethridge:

Ordinarily, I wouldn’t post about this but I was interested in this detail: Ethridge is a big fan of David Barton and graduated from Charis Bible College’s Practical Government School which is a project of Barton and Andrew Wommack.

In this video, Ethridge explain his view that it is quite possible that Trump could get a second term after mass arrests on Inauguration Day. If that doesn’t happen, the U.S. will surely become completely communist under Biden.

When I started writing about David Barton and Christian nationalism in 2011, I really didn’t think I would be reading and writing about the bitter fruit a decade later. I thought that the demise Barton’s The Jefferson Lies in 2012 would do damage to the entire Christian nationalist movement. It did for awhile, but the movement morphed and thrived. Barton has not had the public prominence he once had, but he is still behind the scenes animating Christian soldiers marching as to war.

I wonder which class at Charis covered insurrection.

 

 

American Thinker Retracts False Claims About Voter Fraud and Dominion Voting Systems

The far right website American Thinker just published this statement about Dominion Voting Systems. The site had published articles accusing Dominion of throwing votes from Trump to Biden.

American Thinker and contributors Andrea Widburg, R.D. Wedge, Brian Tomlinson, and Peggy Ryan have published pieces on www.AmericanThinker.com that falsely accuse US Dominion Inc., Dominion Voting Systems, Inc., and Dominion Voting Systems Corporation (collectively “Dominion”) of conspiring to steal the November 2020 election from Donald Trump. These pieces rely on discredited sources who have peddled debunked theories about Dominion’s supposed ties to Venezuela, fraud on Dominion’s machines that resulted in massive vote switching or weighted votes, and other claims falsely stating that there is credible evidence that Dominion acted fraudulently.

These statements are completely false and have no basis in fact. Industry experts and public officials alike have confirmed that Dominion conducted itself appropriately and that there is simply no evidence to support these claims.

It was wrong for us to publish these false statements. We apologize to Dominion for all of the harm this caused them and their employees. We also apologize to our readers for abandoning 9 journalistic principles and misrepresenting Dominion’s track record and its limited role in tabulating votes for the November 2020 election. We regret this grave error.

This is an important statement. Of course, they were threatened with a defamation suit, but the owners of the site recognized that they couldn’t prove their claims.

There will be more of these as right wing sources realize they are going to have to prove their reckless and false claims or back off. They can’t do it, so they are going to have to tell the truth to people. Much damage has already been done but I hope some people will listen and realize these claims were lies from the start.

Dominion has filed suit against several other news outlets and persons, including Eric Metaxas.

Former PA State Rep and Christian Nationalist Rick Saccone Stormed the Capitol During Jan 6 Invasion

Rick Saccone is a former state representative and adjunct professor at St. Vincent College in PA. He once ran and lost an election against a current member of the House of Representatives from PA, Conor Lamb. He also once sought the GOP nomination to run for Senate in PA and had Christian nationalist icon David Barton’s endorsement. More recently, Saccone showed up on January 6th as a part of the crowd that stormed the Capitol. In fact, he filmed himself describing it.

He then issued a statment minimizing his earlier words. In this KDKA report, part of that statement is provided.

I don’t buy his explanation since he said they were going to run the evil people and “Rinos” out of their offices. Shortly after this video was posted on Facebook, he resigned his adjunct position at St. Vincent and took the video off of Facebook.

I am posting this because I want to draw a line between Saccone’s Christian nationalist beliefs and his appearance in a mob willing to “storm the Capitol.” I realize this is one person and not all persons who hold Christian nationalist beliefs are willing to go as far as Saccone. However, Saccone is a case of an individual who articulates a pious Christianity on one hand but on the other justifies aggressive action when he perceives that his ideology isn’t dominant.

Here is a Saccone on Christian television, Cornerstone TV:

Saccone’s evidence that the Lord is working in America is Trump’s leadership and a good economy. He says as long as “the Lord is leading us,” America will be fine.

But what happens when Trump (or the current messianic political figure) isn’t in power?

Apparently, for at least some Christian nationalists, it is time to take to the streets and storm the Capitol. If your Christianity doesn’t include nationalism, you simply accept whatever happens in each election and continue to pursue the Kingdom of God. However, if your Christianity requires America to be run by Christian rule, then when your preferred candidate loses, your faith is threatened. These are incompatible visions of what our mission here is about. One leads to peace and preoccupation with redemption and service to all. The other leads to political preoccupation, division, discord and sometimes violence. I have a pretty clear idea about which one I think is right.

Trump Supporters Reject Antifa Theory and Take Credit for Capitol Invasion

Some Trump supporters are floating the theory that antifa sympathizers infiltrated their ranks and are responsible for the invasion of the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday. Not only has an initial claim by the Washington Times been retracted, a major problem with this theory is that Trump supporters who were leading the charge — they call themselves “patriots” — deny it. They take credit for the action and threaten that there will be more such actions in the future.

Below are clips of Trump supporters debunking the narrative that antifa did the dirty work on Wednesday. I have also provided a link to a full video of the insurrection as filmed by one of the instigators.

DeAnna Lorraine and her colleague Brandon say in clear language that their Trump supporting group and thousands of their closest friends perpetrated the breach of the Capitol. “Antifa was nowhere to be found…” said Brandon.

The full video of DeAnna Lorraine is here at this tweet and I link to the full 88 minute video (to get a sense of what happened, I recommend watching all of it) here.

These Trump supporters appear to be planning more action like this. A complete review of just these two sources includes threats of additional aggression.

Today, Trump is out with a tweet undoing much of what he said yesterday about a peaceful transition of power.

Trump’s “patriots” who broke into the Capitol Wednesday will certainly take no criticism or disapproval from this.

In any case, the narrative of antifa (see other evidence here) being involved or responsible cannot stand up to scrutiny.

Trump Jericho Marchers Part of Capitol Assault

Lots of finger pointing at antifa today by Christians who say Trump supporters didn’t storm the Capitol yesterday during the count of Electoral votes in Washington, DC.  Instead, they say antifa infiltrators did it.

First, no specific people have been offered as examples. One would think all of those Trump supporters would know a stranger in their midst. Second, Trump supporters all over the place are taking credit for the mayhem (see here, here, and here).

The third point in response is the subject of this post. Jericho Marchers, mostly Christian Trump supporters who believe the election was stolen posted video of themselves occupying the outside of the Capitol and are bragging about it. Look:

The marchers are on the Capitol steps and the bleachers set up for the Biden/Harris inauguration ceremony. According to news reports yesterday, these spaces were off limits to the public.  The whole area was barricaded but the marchers broke through.  Here they are singing the National Anthem after illegally breaking through the barricade and occupying the Capitol steps and plaza.

I watched this yesterday as it happened and I couldn’t believe the marchers just walked through the barricades. The marchers ignored instructions and warnings from Capitol Police and occupied the area.

Another way of looking at the people outside of the Capitol is that they provide cover for the mob inside the Capitol to loot and terrorize. They were not supposed to be there and it took a significant law enforcement build up to clear them from the area.

I will end this brief post with a Trump supporter asking “what did you think was going to happen?” Pardon the language but I think he asks Donald Trump an important question. Trump invited his most sincere followers to Washington to do something about the election. What did Trump think was going to happen? You can’t put the toothpaste back in the tube, Donald.

Trumpist Protesters Assault the Capitol: Sane Responses

I have never been so glad to be Never Trump as today.

Trump protesters stormed the Capitol today disrupting the Electoral College count. I am writing this as the protest is going on so it is unclear how many injuries there will be. The protesters actually invaded the House chamber with no intervention from the National Guard. Apparently, our legislative branch is vulnerable to a mob.

In my opinion, Donald Trump incited the riot with his rhetoric leading up to the protest and by his speech this morning. His tweets of we won’t stand for the election to be stolen and similar themes have incited his followers to believe his lies and debunked theories. Now, his followers have crossed a bright red line and engaged in violent action.

Trump supporters who have gone along with the conspiracy theories about voter fraud and voting machine switching tactics need to own their rhetoric. Below, I have copied some reaction from those who say what I am thinking.

Merry Christmas – 2020

This is a tradition on the blog:

Recorder artist Victoria Rigel played two recorders at once in this 2008 performance of O Come, O Come Emmanuel. I accompanied her on the guitar. She adds the second recorder at the beginning of the second verse.

Another tradition is to feature music by Audible Waters. I usually do it on Christmas Eve but I was unusually busy this year.

Several years ago, they put together a collection of Christmas carols which I enjoy. Here is one: Angels We Have Heard on High.

Thanks for reading through the year and however you celebrate I wish you all a wonderful Christmas and holiday season.

Eric Metaxas Named in Defamation Suit by Dominion Voting Systems Employee

Update (12/23) – Eric Metaxas just tweeted this YouTube video doubling down on his allegation about vote alteration against Eric Coomer. I wonder who is giving Metaxas advice.

……………………………..

Yesterday, it was made public that Eric Coomer, a staffer at Dominion Voting Systems, has filed a defamation suit against the Trump campaign, Gateway Pundit, Newsmax, and One America News Network. Of interest to regular readers here is that Bonhoeffer author and Trump court evangelical Eric Metaxas was also named in the suit.

Twitter user jpweigand posted this link to the suit:

Metaxas’ loose allegations and fight to the death mentality may require him to pay some green to Dr. Coomer. Coomer has received death threats and is in hiding right now. We shall see how confident all of these yahoos are in their accusations about Dominion Voting Systems. If they have proof of algorithms switching votes and fraud, then I say to them: defend yourself in court. They don’t and they won’t is my prediction.

Specifically, Metaxas is included in the suit because he interviewed uncritically Joe Oltmann, the man who said Coomer promised Antifa Trump would lose the election: (The Eric Metaxas Radio Show, Joe Oltmann Discusses How A Security Genius at Dominion Voting Promised Antifa Members a Trump Loss, YOUTUBE (Nov. 24, 2020). According to Coomer, Metaxas did not contact Coomer nor attempt to corroborate any of the information.

It will be interesting to see if Metaxas backpedals on these claims. He has some prior experience on that.

Update: As noted in the update at the beginning of the post, Metaxas has doubled down on his allegation that Eric Coomer altered votes. He posted this video to Twitter as if to say Coomer admitted something.

The problem for Metaxas is that Coomer doesn’t explain anything about changing anybody’s vote. This isn’t going to be any kind of defense for Metaxas. And when Coomer shows the court what kind of rabble Metaxas is rousing (see below for a tiny sampling), it shouldn’t take much to establish that Metaxas has hurt Coomer’s reputation.

Eric Metaxas Predicts Bumpy Ride to Second Trump Inauguration; Bonhoeffer Partners with My Pillow

Even after the Electoral College voted to elect Joe Biden as the next president, former Christian intellectual Eric Metaxas insists Trump will have a second term.

The new strategy is for the House and Senate to overturn the vote of the people.

A few Trumpublican Congressmen and Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) plan to contest the Electoral College vote. Surely, this won’t go anywhere because both the House and Senate would have to vote to negate the vote. This will not happen.

It is worth noting that one of Metaxas’ new favored resources is the Epoch Times, a newspaper tied to the religious group Falun Gong. On the upside, the Falun Gong opposes the Chinese Communist regime; on the downside, the Epoch Times has embraced QAnon and other conspiracy theories, including the voter fraud claims. Instead of questioning the sources, Metaxas appears to seek sources which feed him what he wants to hear.

It is hard to see where Metaxas goes after this is over. Here is a clue:

If you click the link in the tweet, you go to an ad for a My Pillow “Anniversary Addition” of his Bonhoeffer book.

Bonhoeffer selling pillows; pillows selling Bonhoeffer. Doesn’t seem fair that Bonhoeffer doesn’t even get a My Pillow with him as he is turning over in his grave.

Another COVID-19 Outbreak at John MacArthur’s Grace Community Church – UPDATED

UPDATE: LA County Department of Health informed me this afternoon (12/21) that “No additional outbreaks have been reported by Grace Community Church to Public Health since” the earlier employee related outbreak in October.

………………..

Twitter user and Medium writer Modern Day Zorro posted a piece on Medium with news of another Grace Community Church COVID outbreak (there was one back in October). MDZ is close to GCC and has never been wrong with news on the church. (My question mark in the title is admittedly self-protective, and because I have not been able to get confirmation from Grace’s PR firm. – See the update below) Given the lack of mitigation measures and the ignorance about COVID which have been apparent at Grace, I don’t doubt the report. However, if corrections or modifications are needed, I will make them.

According to the Medium report, multiple Grace members and staff may be infected:

  1. Don’t take the vaccine as it’s just a money ploy.
  2. Grace is welcoming 400 new members.
  3. The giving is the best it’s ever been.
  4. There are no long-term side effects to COVID.
  • Yes <hits mic and blows into it> 7 people, elders and staff, have COVID symptoms and have subsequently tested positive as a direct result of going to a Staff Christmas party.

    While I await confirmation of specific numbers, I can note that one pastor at Grace, Will Varner, has tested positive for COVID and announced this publicly. He also said a musician affiliated with GCC’s Sojourners ministry tested positive.

Let’s not forget that MacArthur’s attorney Jenna Ellis tested positive for COVID-19.

As someone who has had COVID, I certainly wish the best for these folks. I post this because I sincerely doubt that certain church leaders at GCC will provide the congregation with appropriate information. At least, it hasn’t happened so far.

UPDATE: Julie Roys has an article out on Sunday with reporting that people at Grace are being discouraged from telling anyone about their COVID diagnosis.  She also has much more documentation of GCC members and staff who have COVID. It seems pretty clear that MacArthur’s rosy picture of a church meeting indoors without caution and without cases of COVID is false.

During church on Sunday morning, MacArthur did not comment on the cases identified by the sources noted above and by Julie Roys.

Another update from Modern Day Zorro:

MacArthur said everybody has a bug.