Evangelical Leaders Condemn ‘Radicalized Christian Nationalism’

https://www.npr.org/2021/02/24/970685909/evangelical-leaders-condemn-radicalized-christian-nationalism

A coalition of evangelical Christian leaders is condemning the role of “radicalized Christian nationalism” in feeding the political extremism that led to the violent insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 by supporters of former President Donald Trump.

In an open letter, more than 100 pastors, ministry and seminary leaders, and other prominent evangelicals express concern about the growing “radicalization” they’re seeing, particularly among white evangelicals.

The letter notes that some members of the mob that stormed the Capitol carried Christian symbols and signs that read, “Jesus Saves,” and that one of the rioters stood on the Senate rostrum and led a Christian prayer. The letter calls on other Christian leaders to take a public stand against racism, Christian nationalism, conspiracy theories and political extremism.

The letter reads, in part:

“We recognize that evangelicalism, and white evangelicalism in particular, has been susceptible to the heresy of Christian nationalism because of a long history of faith leaders accommodating white supremacy. We choose to speak out now because we do not want to be quiet accomplices in this on-going sin.”

“Baptizing” extremism with religion

“I am not trying to assign to people something that they didn’t want assigned to them — that they were moving and marching in Christ’s name,” organizer Doug Pagitt said during a recent Zoom call with other signers of the letter. Pagitt, who leads the progressive evangelical group Vote Common Good, highlighted the prayer shouted from the Senate rostrum, which was conducted in a style typical of many charismatic and evangelical churches.

“People from our very communities called people to this action in the days before, unleashed them into the Capitol, and then chose to baptize that action in the name of Christ,” Pagitt said. “And this is our time where we need to stand up.”

White evangelical Christians made up a critical part of Trump’s base, and a majority supported him in both 2016 and 2020. A recent survey by the American Enterprise Institute found that 3 in 5 white evangelicals believe — falsely — that President Biden was not legitimately elected.

Prominent white evangelical leaders have been among Trump’s most vocal supporters. Several, including Ralph Reed of the Faith & Freedom Coalition and Dallas-based pastor Robert Jeffress, have condemned the insurrection but remained steadfast in their support for Trump.

Signers of the open letter calling out Christian nationalism include Jerushah Duford, a granddaughter of the evangelical preacher, the late Rev. Billy Graham. In an interview with NPR, Duford said she was “heartbroken” by the events of Jan. 6, a feeling she said she experienced throughout the Trump years as she watched many white evangelical leaders align themselves with him.

“It felt like this was a symptom of what has been happening for a long time,” she said.

“White evangelical brothers and sisters, where are you?”

During last week’s Zoom call, Mae Elise Cannon, of the ecumenical group Churches for Middle East Peace, called out unnamed evangelical leaders who she said have declined to sign, citing concerns including how it would go over with their churches or religious organizations.

“White evangelical brothers and sisters, where are you?” Cannon said. “There’s a few of us on this call today, but let me tell you how many people said ‘no.’ “

Another signer, Kevin Riggs, pastors a small church near Nashville affiliated with the Free Will Baptist denomination, which he describes as “to the right of everybody.” Riggs said in an interview with NPR that he may receive pushback from other pastors for signing the statement, but he expects his congregation, which devotes much of its time to working with people facing homelessness, incarceration and addiction, to support him.

“I wanted to sign this statement just to say that Christian nationalism is not only wrong, but it’s heretical,” Riggs told other leaders on the Zoom call, adding that evangelical leaders must take responsibility for “rooting out this evil in our churches.”

Capitol Security Officers Take Wrecking Ball to False Claims at Senate Hearing: This Was a Planned, Coordinated Attack

The Senate Hearing about the Capitol attacks on Jan. 6 opened with some revealing commentary by four current and former security officials involved on that day.

After opening statements, Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) asked some simple yes or no questions designed to removed some opacity over what happened on that historic day and what really was going on during the deadly attacks led by Trump supporters.

“Based on what we know now, including the recent department of justice indictments, do you agree that there is now clear evidence that supports the conclusion that the January 6th insurrection was planned and it was a coordinated attack on the U.S. Capitol?” Senator Klobuchar asked. All four officials agreed.

“Would you agree that this attack involved white supremacists and extremist groups?” she followed, to which everyone also agreed.  “Would you agree that this was a highly dangerous situation which was horrific, but could have actually been worse without the courage of the officers that you commanded?” Klobuchar asked, to which everyone also agreed.

The former U.S. Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund, who resigned after the attack, then answered the next questions and revealed that he was not made aware of an FBI intelligence report about the attacks that had been filed the day before, and explained that the Capitol Police does not have it’s own intelligence operation and is solely reliant on that which is shared with him by 18 federal intel agencies.

On Monday evening, Fox News host Tucker Carlson scoffed at the idea that white supremacist groups took part in the attack, which the Capitol security officials testified was actually the case.

 

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Sen. Ron Johnson Claims “Fake Trump Protesters” Were Behind Riot, Blames Police For Inciting Rioters

Schlapp Pushes Election Lies In Train Wreck Interview

The Huffington Post reports:

Chris Cuomo invited Matt Schlapp, the chair of the American Conservative Union, onto his CNN show Monday to explain why ex-President Donald Trump has been invited to address the organization’s Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) this week. But the interview soon went off-the-rails as Cuomo was forced to debunk Schlapp’s repeated lies about “widespread voter fraud,” part of the falsehood pushed by Trump himself about the 2020 election being stolen from him.

What is Jesusland? Gab CEO Andrew Torba posts hypothetical US map, Internet says ‘even Jesus won’t be welcome’

https://meaww.com/what-is-jesusland-gab-ceo-andrew-torba-viral-map-america-divided-internet-reactions


                            What is Jesusland? Gab CEO Andrew Torba posts hypothetical US map, Internet says 'even Jesus won't be welcome'

After Gab CEO Andrew Torba posted his ideal view of the nation with the map of Jesusland, he created a wave on social media. In no time, Jesusland went trending as social media users supported, mocked, laughed and even confusedly asked “what is Jesusland?”. 

The map of Jesusland divides the United States and Canada into ‘The United States of Canada’ and ‘Jesusland’ implying a political divide between the northern and southern regions of North America. Twitter user PatriotTakes took to the social networking site to share the image posted by Torba. 

“In case you were wondering what Gab CEO Andrew Torba wants, take a look. He posted this 3 hours ago,” the tweet read alongside the map of Jesusland highlighting the red and blue political divide of the nation.

But before we get to how the Internet feels about this, we must answer confused users. “ayo whats “Jesusland” is this some Disney land sort of thing?? /j,” one user asked while another wondered: “jesusland sounds like a really cool new amusement park, do they have any rmcs?”

What is Jesusland?

Unlike the first impressions of the name, Jesusland is nowhere close to an amusement park. In fact, if you see the breakdown of the division of the states, it is easily quite a scary proposition. “Jesusland sounds like an awful amusement park,” one user tweeted. 

Shortly after the 2004 US presidential election, after George W Bush‘s victory, the Jesusland map was created as an internet meme in order to satirize the red/blue states scheme by dividing the United States and Canada into “The United States of Canada” and “Jesusland”. According to Freakonomics, it portrays the John Kerry-voting states joining Canada rather than suffering another four years of George W Bush. 

 

 

The map implies the existence of a fundamental political divide between contiguous northern and southern regions of North America. The popular Internet meme, which resurfaces every few years, is in the form of a map of the US and Canada and depicts a new hypothetical national border between the two countries.

The “blue states” from the 2004 election — New England, the Mid-Atlantic states, the Pacific coast and the Great Lakes states of Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin — have been merged with Canada to form a single contiguous nation of more than 170 million inhabitants.

 

 

This land is labeled the “United States of Canada”. The remaining “red states” are labeled as “Jesusland”. The Freakonomics blog stated that the map reflected the “despair, division and bitterness” of the election campaign and results. The internet today is having a field day with the meme. “Botox AND Jesusland. What a time to be alive,” a user tweeted. 

 

 

And it continued. “You will refer it it as just ‘Canada’ You’ll switch to the metric system The government will be a parliament based Every new province will be issued a hockey team.” Another wrote: “Jesus would be lynched by ‘Christians’ if he showed up in #Jesusland.” 

“I feel like most of the inhabitants of “Jesusland” are gonna be awfully disappointed to find out what Jesus really looked like, according to recent AI compositing…” a user posted. “I’ll gladly live in the US of C to avoid Jesusland. Mostly because, I suspect, even Jesus wouldn’t be welcome in Jesusland,” another added.

But the meme also made many angry. “I can’t tell you how much stupid shit like this pisses me off. There are millions of Black, brown and Indigenous people living in ‘Jesusland’ who bust their asses to make some of these places better but instead of addressing barriers they just want to write us off,” one tweeted.