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 Not only has an initial claim by the Washington Times been retracted, a major problem with this theory is that Trump supporters who were leading the charge — they call themselves “patriots” — deny it.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.
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.
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.
"You're on the wrong side."
Protesters chanted at police as hundreds pushed against barricades outside the Capitol in Washington, D.C. pic.twitter.com/dWxv0duuDe
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.
I'm gonna guess we've never before had to call out the National Guard to quell a protest that was called for by the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES.
When you feed people’s “faith” & imaginations w/ stories of Jericho walls falling down, beliefs based upon righteous, holy war, & unending “worldview” tub-thumping scare tactics, you get this – mass hysteria, sedition, & terrorism.
On his Facebook page, author and Trump die hard Eric Metaxas is promoting Donald Trump’s last-ditch effort to get Republican legislators not to certify the election results in states where Joe Biden won.
OKAY, THIS SHOULD MAKE IT EASIER STILL! ALL EMAIL ADDRESSES AND A SAMPLE LETTER YOU CAN USE! PLEASE DO THIS AND PLEASE SHARE!
I just did an interview with Dick Morris which is posted here, but the MOST important part of it is so important that I will stop at nothing to get this message out. It’s all at the bottom and I’ve made it as easy as possible for you, with all the email addresses and a SAMPLE LETTER.
Dick has DAILY been on the phone with the president, and BOTH of them are convinced that if the votes are counted accurately the president won this election. This is not partisan politics, this is about preserving our form of government. If we cannot trust that our votes are being counted accurately, we have lost the republic!
So here is what Dick and President Trump are asking EVERYONE to do, and what I personally am asking you to do.
Every American must please write an email — or an actual letter if you like — to each Republican Legislative Leaders (their email info etc. is ALL listed below for you) in GA, PA, WI, MI, and AZ, asking them to INSIST — which is their Constitutional Duty as you will see below — that ALL signatures in their states are verified.
I am begging you, dear fellow Americans, to do this one thing for your republic, because our republic depends on it. People have often asked me what can I do to KEEP THE REPUBLIC. You can do this now. Will you?
Please please do this duty now and tell everyone you know to do it. It is not asking very much considering the stakes.
God bless you.
Republican observers have been involved all along. In Georgia, the Secretary of State is a Republican. According to the Department of Homeland Security, the 2020 election was the most secure in history. Metaxas has no proof of irregularities; he is a blind follower.
Metaxas wants his followers to send legislators in each of the battleground states the following email:
Here is the SAMPLE LETTER you might wish to use! You can cut and past it exactly as it is or you can personalize it with the name of the person to whom you are addressing it, etc.
Dear GOP State Legislative Leader:
Because the U.S. Constitution (Art II Sec 1) provides “that each state shall appoint, in such manner as the legislature thereof may direct, a number of electors, equal to the whole number of senators and representatives to which the state may be entitled in the congress” I am boldly asking you to do your solemn duty toward protecting integrity in this vitally important election by NOT certifying any electors UNTIL your state audits the election results with a full recount, with Republican observers no more than three feet away, and with full verification of signatures and the dates on which the ballots were received.
Our nation now critically depends on you doing your duty to insure that “we the people” are convinced everything has been done to the utmost level of integrity, lest the nation’s citizens lose trust in their most important institutions, and we lose the republic forever. You have a charge to keep and I ask you firmly and humbly please to do your duty in keeping it.
God bless you.
Your Name Here
OKAY? I hope that helps you get this done! Please do this today or tomorrow! And please tell EVERYONE you know to do the same. It is a small thing to ask when you realize what is at stake, and no matter how this election goes you will know you’ve done all you could. I just did it to every name on the list. Now it’s your turn!
God bless you.
The ongoing legal effort to find fraud has been unsuccessful. This strategy involves getting Republicans to find enough Democratic votes to disqualify to make Trump the winner.
A more ominous aspect of this strategy was sounded by Trump (and John MacArthur) lawyer Jenna Ellis:
🚨🚨BREAKING: This evening, the county board of canvassers in Wayne County, MI refused to certify the election results. If the state board follows suit, the Republican state legislator will select the electors. Huge win for @realDonaldTrump
Can you imagine the chaos which would result if the legislator appointed Trump electors after Biden won the state? What a brazen power grab Ellis anticipates here. Millions of Michigan voters would be disenfranchised if she gets her way.
The votes have been counted. A “huge win for Donald Trump” would be a huge loss for our Republic. I continue to believe these efforts will fail, but it is stunning to see them being conducted in broad daylight.
Last night Donald Trump said he believed the election was being stolen from him and today tweeted this:
Last night I was leading, often solidly, in many key States, in almost all instances Democrat run & controlled. Then, one by one, they started to magically disappear as surprise ballot dumps were counted. VERY STRANGE, and the “pollsters” got it completely & historically wrong!
As in every other election, mail in and absentee ballots are being counted today and will be added to the totals. There are more of them this year due to record numbers of ballots being cast in this manner. Ballots haven’t appeared in a “surprise ballot dump.” Either Trump is ignorant or deliberately attempting to destabilize the nation.
Will evangelicals who support Trump buy into this?
Charlie Kirk of Liberty University’s Falkirk Center does:
Does anyone else find it strange that it’s only Democrat strongholds like Philadelphia, Milwaukee, and Detroit that are having massive delays counting their votes?
Franklin Graham is lending credibility to this delusion:
I ask that you continue to pray for our nation and this election. Many fear that some are trying to steal the election, so join me in praying that the will of God would be done. Pray that the enemies of God would be quieted and that all their plans would be put to nothing.
And of course Etic “Punch and Run” Metaxas punches and runs:
Those who cheated will be hoist by their own petard, will like Haman be hanged on the very gallows they themselves erected. Ask God to give you eyes of faith, to see the invisible reality. When ALL see it, our faith will be unnecessary. Thank God NOW, before He parts the Red Sea.
FACT: If there had been no cheating the counting would not have suddenly stopped in key states when it looked like Trump was ahead. That was just the FIRST red flag. Rest assured we as a nation will get to the bottom of this. But if you need to know NOW: Trump will be #vindicated
There are so many witnesses to voter fraud it's now clear the Dems planned this. But who did that planning? When Trump is finally reelected– & he will be –he must see these traitors punished to the fullest extent of the law. Anything less is itself treasonous. God help America.
If Biden had won FAIRLY, I'd accept him as president. But what I know makes me strongly suspect he did NOT. So we must all wait & let the process play itself out until we ALL know who actually won. I'm willing to wait, but Biden's side seems unwilling. I wonder why. Watch & pray.
Evangelical leaders who have made their bed with Trump will not go quietly into the night. No matter what the damage is to the faith, they will continue to enable Trump’s delusions. It is shameful but predictable given where they have been for the last four years.
In my view, preachers don’t have any specific expertise to add to what is going on with election counting. It is taking place as it always has. What they should do is simply reinforce the beauty of our system that we count every vote. What they shouldn’t do is rebroadcast and reinforce baseless conspiracies about stolen elections.
If you see other evangelicals promoting this delusion, put a link in the comments.
Donald Trump couldn’t make his strategy any clearer: class warfare.
The “suburban housewife” will be voting for me. They want safety & are thrilled that I ended the long running program where low income housing would invade their neighborhood. Biden would reinstall it, in a bigger form, with Corey Booker in charge! @foxandfriends@MariaBartiromo
The rule Trump rescinded required proof of compliance with the Fair Housing Act. Trump has interpreted it as a wedge to keep poor people away from the middle class. Given the intent in 1968 to stop racial discrimination in housing and Trump’s actions blow a racial dogwhistle as well.
Obviously, Trump is only president of people who like him, and among those people, the middle class and the rich. Low income people (too bad poor MAGAs) are considered invaders who make suburban neighborhoods unsafe and bother the white housewives who inhabit them. It has long been clear that Trump has distain for low income people; this just makes it transparent.
I leave this with some Scripture from James 2 –
My brothers,[a] show no partiality as you hold the faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory. 2 For if a man wearing a gold ring and fine clothing comes into your assembly, and a poor man in shabby clothing also comes in, 3 and if you pay attention to the one who wears the fine clothing and say, “You sit here in a good place,” while you say to the poor man, “You stand over there,” or, “Sit down at my feet,” 4 have you not then made distinctions among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts? 5 Listen, my beloved brothers, has not God chosen those who are poor in the world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom, which he has promised to those who love him? 6 But you have dishonored the poor man. Are not the rich the ones who oppress you, and the ones who drag you into court? 7 Are they not the ones who blaspheme the honorable name by which you were called?
Here we are in the thick of the COVID-19 pandemic and Donald Trump is going to have another indoor rally, this time in a church. If you get sick, you can’t blame anybody but yourself. In fact, as with the rally in Tulsa, you have to sign a waiver to get in.
The rally is being held in The Dream Center (a mega church), and is put on by Turning Point USA’s Students for Trump. I wonder if parents have to sign for the minors who attend.
In any case, no one is responsible. Another way of saying it is that many people are irresponsible.
Dream City Church must not be too confident that their new ionization technology to kill all the COVID-19 in the place. Hat tip to the Friendly Atheist for this item. Although the church has since taken down the video, this Twitter user has it:
A megachurch is hosting Trump’s rally on Tuesday in Phoenix. These two con-men falsely claim they’ve installed a system which kills 99.9% of COVID-19.
Earlier today, I wrote the company, CleanAirEXP, and asked for the research backing. I haven’t heard anything yet. The company has tried the technology on a surrogate virus, not COVID-19. Other companies have studied this approach and some use it on airplanes. Limited work has been done on COVID-19 in small spaces. According to a presentation posted just today on YouTube, small spaces can be neutralized, but they did not say if a large church space has been tested with people singing and yelling. The salesman for the technology suggested sneezing or coughing next to a person would allow COVID-19 to spread to people in close proximity.
Whatever the capability in this church, none of the people hosting or running the event want to be responsible for any sickness and death that come from it. I hope it obvious that no one should attend this event, even if you support Trump.
This month marks 15 years of blogging and this is my 5,000th post. I always thought it might be fun and light but this one is not. It is a lament.
Yesterday evening in Washington, D.C., Donald Trump told a Rose Garden audience that he had deployed the National Guard to disperse crowds and stop violence. It wasn’t clear at that moment but his order was being carried out as he spoke. Not far away in Lafayette square near St. John’s Episcopal Church, peaceful protestors populated the area. Around 6:30pm, the Guard began actively pushing the assembly from the area with shields, tear gas, rubber bullets, and flash grenades. Once the area was cleared, Trump walked to the same area with an entorage of officials for a photo op holding a Bible in front of St. John’s church. In short, Donald Trump ordered force on peaceful protestors so he could get a picture using religious images.
This is a frightening new low. There wasn’t an effort to hide it. Ample eyewitness accounts and video exist. This was a power play. Apparently, Trump and his advisors believe his base — including white evangelicals — will fall in line.
Below, I have posted video and various accounts and reflections on the event.
The following is a portion of an eyewitness account of the event from Gina Gerbasi (click the link to read her entire post):
Around 6:15 or 6:30, the police started really pushing protestors off of H Street (the street between the church and Lafayette Park, and ultimately, the White House. They started using tear gas and folks were running at us for eyewashes or water or wet paper towels. At this point, Julia, one of our seminarians for next year (who is a trauma nurse) and I looked at each other in disbelief. I was coughing, her eyes were watering, and we were trying to help people as the police – in full riot gear – drove people toward us. Julia and her classmates left and I stayed with the BLM folks trying to help people. Suddenly, around 6:30, there was more tear gas, more concussion grenades, and I think I saw someone hit by a rubber bullet – he was grasping his stomach and there was a mark on his shirt. The police in their riot gear were literally walking onto the St. John’s, Lafayette Square patio with these metal shields, pushing people off the patio and driving them back. People were running at us as the police advanced toward us from the other side of the patio. We had to try to pick up what we could. The BLM medic folks were obviously well practiced. They picked up boxes and ran. I was so stunned I only got a few water bottles and my spray bottle of eyewash. We were literally DRIVEN OFF of the St. John’s, Lafayette Square patio with tear gas and concussion grenades and police in full riot gear. We were pushed back 20 feet, and then eventually – with SO MANY concussion grenades – back to K street. By the time I got back to my car, around 7, I was getting texts from people saying that Trump was outside of St. John’s, Lafayette Square. I literally COULD NOT believe it. WE WERE DRIVEN OFF OF THE PATIO AT ST. JOHN’S – a place of peace and respite and medical care throughout the day – SO THAT MAN COULD HAVE A PHOTO OPPORTUNITY IN FRONT OF THE CHURCH!!! PEOPLE WERE HURT SO THAT HE COULD POSE IN FRONT OF THE CHURCH WITH A BIBLE! HE WOULD HAVE HAD TO STEP OVER THE MEDICAL SUPPLIES WE LEFT BEHIND BECAUSE WE WERE BEING TEAR GASSED!!!!
“An ally of all peaceful protestors” said Donald Trump in his speech; an ally unless those protestors get in the way of his photo op.
The caption to the next video reads: “It began with Attorney General Bill Barr standing with his hands casually in his pockets, not wearing a tie, surveying the scene at Lafayette Park across from the White House, where several thousand protesters had gathered for more demonstrations after the police killing of George Floyd.”
Here is another eyewitness account which was posted as a comment on court evangelical Johnnie Moore’s fawning description of Trump.
I was there. Trump is a coward. This is what he did to clear the street. Sent a militarized police after peaceful Americans.
The bishop of the diocese of the St John Church, Miriam Budde, reacted with condemnation of Trump’s action.
Tonight President just used a Bible and a church of my diocese as a backdrop for a message antithetical to the teachings of Jesus and everything that our church stands for. To do so, he sanctioned the use of tear gas by police officers in riot gear to clear the church yard. 1/1
We are followers of Jesus. In no way do we support the President’s incendiary response to a wounded, grieving nation. We stand with those seeking justice for the death of George Floyd through the sacred act of peaceful protest.
To use the Bible in a photo op, after clearing peaceful protestors from Lafayette Park with, The Hill reported, “tear gas and smoke bombs hissing” so he could walk to a church, was simultaneously unhelpful to the current situation and at odds with the message of that Bible.
Former political editor at Christian Post, Napp Nazzworth took Johnnie Moore to task:
Johnnie, my goodness, how did you become so out of touch? Firing teargas into a crowd of peaceful protesters so you can use the Holy Word of God as a political prop is the act that hinders our national healing, not those trying to bring awareness of injustice.
So this is a lament. I recall similar worries, although in a much younger mind and body, in the 1960s. I had a youthful optimism then and while I am still hopeful that our institutions will hold, I am more realistic now. We must all rehearse our rights and remind each other about them. I hope Trump’s base will see through this and turn lament into change.
UPDATE: Trump’s court evangelicals are out in force to spin Trump’s photo op.
NEW: Johnnie Moore, Informal Evangelical Advisor to @realDonaldTrump Admin with blunt words for Episcopal & Catholic Archbishops: “…they were part of the problem today, not the solution.” Says they were, “spreading misinformation” like China & Iran. Read Full statement pic.twitter.com/eZKRbf5Dj6
Earlier today, Louisville Baptist pastor Joel Bowman posted this open Facebook letter to likely incoming Southern Baptist Convention president Al Mohler regarding his support for Donald Trump in 2020.
Open Letter to R. Albert Mohler, President, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
Dear Dr. Mohler,
I am writing to you in this medium, because the likelihood of you meeting with me face-to-face is quite low. Moreover, your public remarks require my public response.
Sir, you said during the 2016 election cycle, to support then candidate, Donald J. Trump, would cause evangelicals to lose moral credibility. You also said if you were to support him, you would owe President Bill Clinton an apology, given your judgement of his character. Now, you are endeavoring to be president of the SBC, and suddenly, you announced not only your support for Trump, in 2020, but that you would vote Republican for the foreseeable future. Given your position, as well as the position you endeavor to hold, you did not have to voice support for any candidate or party, in 2020. Further, I think it would have been wise for you not to do this.
1. You owe Clinton an apology. Not to give him one speaks of lack of integrity on your part.
2. Given your influence among Southern Baptists and white evangelicals, as a whole, you have inextricably tied the evangelical movement to the Republican Party, for better or for worse, and,
3. Your book, “Conviction to Lead” no longer has a place in my library. It wreaks of hypocrisy and ecclesiastical opportunism.
It grieves me to say you have, in my estimation, lost all moral credibility. You no longer have a prophetic voice. Now, you simply blend in with popular, politicized evangelical thought. Rather than being an apologist for the Gospel, you have become an apologist for political conservatism. Your assertion that a vote for Trump or a Republican candidate is THE expression of a Biblical world view is myopic and tribalistic.
You once had my high respect, though we disagreed on some secondary and tertiary issues. As a Louisville pastor for 21 years with affiliation within the Louisville Regional Baptist Association, Kentucky Baptist Convention, and some involvement in the SBC, I am deeply disappointed. I feel like ripping your chapter out of the book, “Removing the Stain of Racism from the Southern Baptist Convention”. It is all meaningless chatter, empty rhetoric to me, now.
There was a time I was working toward stronger involvement within the SBC, through the Cooperative Program. Due, in part, to your recent remarks, I am placing this on hold. As an African-American of evangelical theology, I lack confidence in your leadership in the area of Biblical justice.
I pray the Holy Spirit convict you in this area. I say all of this with every ounce of love and respect I can muster, as your brother in Christ.
Rev. Joel A. Bowman, Sr.
Founder & Senior Pastor
Temple of Faith Baptist Church
I feel pretty sure that white evangelicals on average do not comprehend how differently their black brothers and sisters on average see the endorsement of Donald Trump. This is a key sentence:
I feel like ripping your chapter out of the book, “Removing the Stain of Racism from the Southern Baptist Convention”. It is all meaningless chatter, empty rhetoric to me, now.
Here is the most recent illustration of the vast gulf between Donald Trump, his supporters and the minority perspective. Donald Trump tweeted this about the angry, armed, white men who stormed the Michigan Capitol Building in a re-open Michigan protest.
The Governor of Michigan should give a little, and put out the fire. These are very good people, but they are angry. They want their lives back again, safely! See them, talk to them, make a deal.
I cannot believe the results and reaction would have been the same if those protesters would have been angry black men carrying weapons into the Capitol. What a perfect example of white privilege that they were not arrested and got a commendation from the president.
Some of the rallies feature Confederate flags and Nazi slogans and Trump does and says nothing to discourage it. The protesters like him and that’s what matters. You simply have no credibility with most African-Americans if you tolerate white supremacy. There is nothing pro-life about that.
Today in nearby Mercer PA, a small protest against PA’s stay at home restrictions was held and a friend took this photo:
Starting Sunday night, Governor Tom Wolf requested “as many people as possible wear a nonmedical or homemade mask when leaving their homes.” Apparently, this woman has no idea what slavery is or was because there is nothing equivalent about slavery and a requirement to wear a mask to prevent the spread of disease. It is impossible to take protests like this seriously when this kind of absurd and racially insensitive rhetoric is featured.
This same woman is not permitted to walk down the middle of the street or drive on the wrong side of the road. These rules are for her good and the safety of others. Today I wore my mask when I went out and I plan to protect myself and others for the duration.
It is beyond belief that Donald Trump has done nothing to discourage these protests. He has actually promoted them with his tweets to “liberate” three states with Democratic governors. I can’t think of a comparable situation in my lifetime where an American president says one thing to the public but provokes his followers to ignore what he says. He could put a stop to this by calling out the protesters. They are carrying Trump signs and flags. Some are carrying Confederate flags. He has every reason to discourage the protests for public health reasons but he winks and nods and they continue.
In Harrisburg, PA today, an antivax message was prominent as a part of the protest.