September 2021 Church & State Magazine - September 2021

D.C. Police Officer Lashes Out At ‘Perceived’ Christians Behind Jan. 6 Insurrection

  D.C. Police Officer Lashes Out At ‘Perceived’ Christians Behind Jan. 6 Insurrection

During testimony before Con­gress July 27, an officer with the Washington, D.C., Metropolitan Police Department described the insurrectionists who attacked the U.S. Capitol Jan. 6 as terrorists waving Christian iconography.

“It was clear the terrorists perceived themselves to be Christians,” Daniel Hodges told a congressional committee that is investigating the attack. “I saw the Christian flag directly to my front. Another read, ‘Jesus is my savior, Trump is my president.’ Another: ‘Jesus is king.’” He also described seeing a man wearing a T-shirt reading, “God, Guns and Trump.”

Hodges, who was assaulted by the mob during the insurrection and painfully pinned against a door in a manner that threatened his life, offered emotional testimony that underscored the heavy presence of Christian nationalists during the assault. He is one of dozens of police officers who were assaulted that day.

Religion News Service (RNS) reported, “Images from Jan. 6 back up Hodges’ recollection, showing pervasive examples of Christian nationalist sentiment. A flag that waved above the first crowd to attack and overrun police officers was adorned with a fish painted in the colors of the American flag, positioned beneath the words ‘Proud American Christian.’”

During the attack on the Capitol, a man named Jacob Chansley, who is known as the “QAnon shaman,” joined a mob invading the Senate chamber; once inside, Chansley shouted a prayer from the balcony expressing thanks to God for “allowing us to get rid of the communists, the globalists and the traitors within our government.” 

A congressional committee is holding hearings on the insurrection. It was formed despite dogged opposition from Republicans, who insisted that no investigation was necessary despite the unprecedented nature of the attack. (It was the first time the Capitol had been assaulted since the War of 1812, when British soldiers razed it in 1814.)

Christian nationalist organizations also opposed the investigation. These groups have been hard at work trying to rewrite the history of Jan. 6. They first tried to blame the attack on antifa and Black Lives Matter. That failed when it became clear that the mob was composed of supporters of President Donald Trump. They have since moved on to attempting to portray the insurrectionists as patriots and even heroes. (See “Sympathy For The Devils,” July-August Church & State.)

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