The day after the attempted coup here in Washington, D.C. many Christian nationalists condemned the violence. However there is a problem. The statements rejecting violence ring hollow because they did not take responsibility for encouraging Trump’s behavior from 2016 until yesterday. After all many evangelicals found ways to justify his behavior of bullying, violence or authoritarianism. And as this blog points out this was done while evangelicalism teaches often about personal responsibility. The next time you hear about personal responsibility you are to dismiss that claim.
“The price of greatness is responsibility.”
And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.
Ephesians 6:18 NIV
For those who live in the Washington, D.C. area it been a bewildering 24 hours. I live about 14 miles away from the U.S Capitol building. There has been a lot of shock here in the D.C. area. This evening I got a text from a friend of mine who once worked on Capitol Hill for years. Yesterday he told me that he wept, felt sick to his stomach and was in shock to see the scenes from where he worked. I myself have been stunned and am very familiar with the area of Capitol Hill. I’ve had dinner with friends at Taley Thai just a block away from the South Hill Metro Shop. I’ve had lunch around the corner at Tortilla Coast. I’ve driven up and down nearby Pennsylvania Avenue and I’ve met some of you nearby in the 8th and I Street Barracks. I’ve had friends that have lived a few blocks away from the Capitol. Part of the last 15 years has been invested in Washington, D.C. Since the violence there has been a curfew in D.C. and parts of the Northern Virginia area. There have been people who I’ve spoken to are depressed over what happened in Washington, D.C. For those who live here this hits home.
Let me say this. I love this area and proud to live here. I think highly of the D.C. area and resent the toxic description of “The Swamp.” In my lifetime I have not looked down on people in Kansas, Missouri or the Midwest. The same is true for the Philadelphia and New York City. I can be happy hanging out on a friend’s farm outside Salina, Kansas drinking coffee and watching the sun rise over the plains after helping to feed his cows. Or I could be happy in Times Square hearing car horns blast and seeing the large crowds as I get ready to see a Broadway show. So the last 24 hours have sickened me and are not to be glossed over. But there is one thing I want to address in this post that needs to be written. Its hung on my mind these last few hours.
Evangelical Christians and Personal Responsibility
When I was involved with evangelicalism there is one topic I heard about often. Its that of personal responsibility. At Men’s Conferences or events the topic of personal responsibility was hammered. When it came to being a man you practiced personal responsibility. This was another reason why you didn’t have sex or sleep around due to personal responsibility. Giving money to the church or ministry comes from personal responsibility. Avoiding alcohol is a form of personality responsibility some explained. It was a topic that I heard of frequently. American evangelicals love to raise this topic.
The evangelical support of Donald Trump has shown the hypocrisy of evangelical claims of personal responsibility. This is especially true after the insurrection that was attempted here in Washington, D.C on January 6, 2021. Let me explain why. Over the past four years many evangelicals have stood by and defended Donald Trump at every turn and twist. When the Access Hollywood tape came out where Trump talked about “how you can do anything, you can grab them by the pussy…” Evangelicals found ways to defend and explain that away. Some like James Dobson said that Trump is a “baby Christian.” Others said it was in the past, and still supported Trump. When Trump engaged in bullying and shaming people on Twitter many evangelicals supported Trump by remaining silent. They choose by free will not to condemn or speak out. They choose to enable and approve his bullying by remaining silent. When the Charlottesville riots happened Franklin Graham largely defended Trump by blaming the Charlottesville city council and local activists. He didn’t take action on Trumps’ words. When Trump said that there were fine people on both sides, Robert Jeffress said that Trump didn’t have to apologize. Trump frequently incited people to violence these past few years and pushed out disinformation. When there were the protests after George Floyd’s death in Lafayette Park and Trump had the protestors tear gassed and posed before St. John’s Episcopal and posed with a Bible. Church Robert Jeffress explained to the Atlantic that he was happy and and that Trumps behavior was completely appropriate.
What happened yesterday in Washington, D.C. at our nation’s capitol did not happen overnight. It took time, and disinformation to get people to that point. Trump has spent months pouring gasoline on a fire and turning people against American democracy. He was telling people that you can’t trust the system, or the election process. He was poisoning the well through Twitter and his speeches like any demagogue would do. He got many evangelicals to go along. The other day this blog wrote about Franklin Graham’s hypocrisy in the matter. All the misinformation, charisma, and had built up to January 6, 2021. And that was the day the boil burst. When people acted and were incited to try – for the first time in United States history mind you – to conduct an insurrection against American democracy.
Many Christian Nationalist Statements on Violence are Hollow
I am not going to report all that the Christian nationalists said since the insurrection happened yesterday. John Fea captured them here. What you need to know is that a number rejected the violence. But here is the problem…for many evangelicals their words ring hollow and carry no weight or respect. Did evangelicals take responsibility for encouraging disinformation by Trump for years? No. Have white evangelicals spoken up about bullying and against the intimidation that Trump does? No they stayed silent. Did they admit that they were wrong to stand by and defend Trump at every twist and turn? No that hasn’t happened either. So now we’ are supposed to accept and acknowledge their statement when a guy is on his way out. It doesn’t work like that at all. Those statements and the lack of personal responsibility for the last four years highlight the ethical decay and moral rot of American evangelicalism. Despite their teachings and claims of personal responsibility many American evangelicals don’t believe it. Therefore when you hear a sermon about personal responsibility or it comes up in a Bible study, this blog is calling on you to reject it. Create your personal responsibility but do it on your own terms and what is best. The personal responsibility evangelicals will spoon feed you is shoddy and has no substance. American evangelicals do not lead by example. Instead they have this do as I say, not as I do approach. And this blog is calling on you to reject it. This is one my mind and had to be communicated.
Quick Admin Note: Ed Chapman Your Behavior Has Led to a Permanent Ban on this Blog
Ed Chapman was a commenter on this blog. I had him on a four month suspension due to comments he made about my deceased parents that were disrespectful. Yesterday he tried to get several comments through where he lobbed half truths and personal and vicious attacks and tried to advertise his fake news sources. This blog has been very patient and I was originally planned to let him return in February. But after the deeply sinister and personal attacks he has crossed the line for the last tine. Ed Chapman is banned from commenting here again. I don’t ban people often this is the second one in the last 6 years.