It has been nearly a week since the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol Building, and Christian nationalists are continuing their offensive and desperate crusade to find someone other than President Donald Trump to blame for the appalling attack.
First, they tried to pin it on antifa, an all-purpose bogeyman for the far right. That failed after the FBI reported that it has uncovered no evidence that antifa activists were present during the assault. A recent Associated Press story also debunks the claim, as do the numerous arrests that have occurred since the failed coup: They’re all Trump supporters.
Perhaps sensing this lie has no legs, Religious Right groups are shifting gears and asserting that Trump never wanted to see violence like this, and the attack can actually be blamed on – wait for it – liberal Democrats.
“There have been so many Trump rallies over the last several years,” talk radio show host Janet Mefferd told the American Family Association (AFA). “I don’t think that he had any intention of turning that crowd into a bunch of rioters who would storm the Capitol. Why in the world would he want that to happen?”
Anyone who lives in the real world knows why: Trump had spent the prior two months telling his supporters that an election that he clearly lost had been stolen from him. When he addressed the crowd prior to their attack, he made it clear that he wanted the mob to overrun the Capitol in the belief that it would secure him four more years. Today’s Washington Post reports that Trump, while safely ensconced in the White House, enjoyed watching the throng rampaging through the Capitol on live television.
This behavior should not surprise anyone. Trump has a long history of inciting violence and egging on the behavior of extremists. Remember, this is the guy who couldn’t even find the words to condemn the neo-Nazis who marched in Charlottesville, Va.
In the same AFA story, another far-right Christian radio host, Alex McFarland, asserts that Democrats are to blame. You see, they made conservatives angry because “for years [liberals] have built their platform on class envy [and] power at any cost….”
Let’s unpack this remarkable statement: Some conservatives were upset over things Democrats said and did politically – and in McFarland’s mind, that apparently justified a violent assault on the Capitol during which the mob murdered one police officer, assaulted others, vandalized the seat of American democracy, stole property and, it increasingly appears, plotted to abduct members of Congress. (And don’t get me started on McFarland’s claim that it’s Democrats who want to hold on to power at any cost in light of the dozens of meritless post-election lawsuits filed by Trump and his allies challenging the results.)
Christian nationalists, who are normally so quick to judge others, would benefit from some soul-searching right now. But despite their claims to be the holders of a superior form of morality thanks to their fundamentalist beliefs, they are incapable of any serious form of reflection. Instead, they take their marching orders from the Gospel of Tucker Carlson and look for ways to exonerate Trump and shift the blame for his treasonous acts onto innocent parties.
It won’t work. Trump will either be forced from office or leave on Jan. 20. Either way, he’ll depart in disgrace. Sadly, it’s unlikely his deluded Religious Right lackeys will follow him out the door.