Before self-proclaimed members of the far-right group the Proud Boys marched toward the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, they stopped to kneel in the street and prayed in the name of Jesus.
The group, whose participants have espoused misogynistic and anti-immigrant views, prayed for God to bring âreformation and revival.â They gave thanks for âthe wonderful nation weâve all been blessed to be in.â They asked God for the restoration of their âvalue systems,â and for the âcourage and strength to both represent you and represent our culture well.â And they invoked the divine protection for what was to come.
Then they rose. Their leader declared into a bullhorn that the media must âget the hell out of my way.â And then they moved toward the Capitol.
The presence of Christian rituals, symbols and language was unmistakable on Wednesday in Washington. There was a mock campaign banner, âJesus 2020,â in blue and red; an âArmor of Godâ patch on a manâs fatigues; a white cross declaring âTrump wonâ in all capitals. All of this was interspersed with allusions to QAnon conspiracy theories, Confederate flags and anti-Semitic T-shirts.
The blend of cultural references, and the people who brought them, made clear a phenomenon that has been brewing for years now: that the most extreme corners of support for Mr. Trump have become inextricable from some parts of white evangelical power in America. Rather than completely separate strands of support, these groups have become increasingly blended together.
This potent mix of grievance and religious fervor has turbocharged the support among a wide swath of Trump loyalists, many of whom describe themselves as participants in a kind of holy war, according to interviews. And many, who are swimming in falsehoods about the presidential election and now the riot itself, said the aftermath of Wednesdayâs event has only fueled a deeper sense of victimhood and being misunderstood. (...)
When it comes to religious affiliation, the 117th U.S. Congress looks similar to the previous Congress but quite different from Americans overall.
While about a quarter (26%) of U.S. adults are religiously unaffiliated â describing themselves as atheist, agnostic or ânothing in particularâ â just one member of the new Congress (Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz.) identifies as religiously unaffiliated (0.2%).
Nearly nine-in-ten members of Congress identify as Christian (88%), compared with two-thirds of the general public (65%). Congress is both more heavily Protestant (55% vs. 43%) and more heavily Catholic (30% vs. 20%) than the U.S. adult population overall.
An attorney representing Nick Sandmann has demonstrated "erratic" behavior and has said he is being directed by "God Almighty," three former law partners allege in a lawsuit.
L. Lin Wood, who is based in Atlanta, is being sued in Georgia state court by the three attorneys who say they are his firm's former partners: Nicole Wade, Jonathan Grunberg and Taylor Wilson.
Among Wood's high-profile clients is Sandmann, the Northern Kentucky teen who has pursued lawsuits stemming from news coverage of him at a 2019 incident in Washington D.C. Wood also is representing Kyle Rittenhouse, the teen charged in the fatal shooting of two people last month during protests in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
Jackson, who was the Republican nominee for lieutenant governor in Virginiaâs 2013 race, reported that he is working to convince Black voters in the state to vote for Republican candidates Sens. David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler rather than their respective Democratic challengers, Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock, in an election that will determine which party controls the U.S Senate next term.
âThese two clowns running for U.S. Senate down there are both pro-abortion,â Jackson said of Warnock and Ossoff. âThese two clowns down there are both big LGBTQ advocates. The Bible makes clear, âThe fool has said in his heart there is no God,â and these two are both imbued with Marxist ideology. Of course, Iâm opposed to them. Of course, I donât want them to go to the U.S. Senate.â
âThey donât need to be there,â he continued. âSo you all pray for me that weâll be successful in alerting, awakening Black Christian voters in Georgia of just how evil the two candidates are that are running for the Democrat Party. And if you vote for them, you just might as well vote against God, because thatâs what it boils down to. If you vote for Warnock or Ossoff and you claim to be a Christian, you really just might as well spit in Jesusâ face, because they both have done that.