Leonard Guthrie Jr. of Cape May, New Jersey Participates in Sacking the United States Capitol Because His Evangelical Faith is Aggrieved and Thus Persecuted?

The Washington Post is profiling some of the people who sacked the Capitol in a terrorist attack. The newspaper looked at Leonard Guthrie Jr, an evangelical from New Jersey. Leonard talked about how evangelicals have been silenced, aggrieved and implied persecuted. This blog is not going to shed a tear for this guy when the legal system goes after this blithering fool. Uf Leonard represents evangelicalism no wonder the movement is jacked up. 

“It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt.

Mark Twain 

When hard pressed, I cried to the Lord; he brought me into a spacious place.
6 The Lord is with me; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?

Psalm 118:5-6 NIV

I am working on a post about Eric Metaxas and the radicalization of American evangelicals. I am hoping to get it up later tonight or tomorrow by the latest. I’ve had to do quite a bit of research on the topic. Meanwhile I saw something in the Washington Post that gave me pause. The newspaper is starting to profile some of the people who sacked the Capitol. At this blog they will be considered terrorists. But you can read those profiles at, “The Capitol mob: A raging collection of grievances and disillusionment.” It appears that there were some evangelicals who engaged in the sacking of the Capitol because they believed they were being persecuted or aggrieved. The Washington Post told the story of Leonard Guthrie Jr of New Jersey. Below is what the Post reported and I will have some thoughts on what they said. 

Many attendees described a type of fervor they felt that drew them to the Capitol. For 48-year-old Leonard Guthrie Jr., it manifested in his faith in the Lord. The Cape May, N.J., resident hasn’t often been well enough to work since having two surgeries on his back. In the absence of employment, he has heavily leaned into his Christian beliefs and conservative political views.

When he heard about the “Stop the Steal” rally, Guthrie thought he could combine his two passions. If he and other Christians had been able to pray outside while senators voted inside, he feels certain it would have changed their votes. “I know it would have,” he said.

So despite the misfiring nerves in his back that made sitting in a car for hours a painful endeavor, he made the journey. And for him, it ended in the D.C. jail. He said he broke through a police barrier to reach the U.S. Capitol steps and readily admits his transgressions, bluntly saying: “I broke the law.”

Still, he feels aggrieved. “We’ve been silenced for so long,” he said. “For years, because I voted for Trump, I’m called a racist, a Nazi, a bigot and all that stuff, and it’s not right.”

An Evangelical Aggrieved in the United States?!?

My jaw dropped when I read that about Leonard Guthrie Jr. So he’s unable to work but he can rush barricades and storm the capitol?! Whiskey Tango Foxtrot!!  Remember what I said about personal responsibility, this is a good example. This blog has long thought that some evangelicals are delusional about prayer. So you think you can commit a crime so you can pray? This just flabbergasts me. And pay attention to what he tells the newspaper in the end. “We’ve been silenced for so long...” What type of delusional mind says that? Who has silenced Leonard? And told him that he can’t speak? Who has tried to silence him and other evangelicals? Evangelicals long deal with alterative facts and this is a guy who has bought into that belief system. But consider the following. “For years, because I voted for Trump, I’m called a racist, a Nazi, a bigot and all that stuff, and it’s not right.” So he wonders why people think evangelicals are bigots? He goes to a rally that has Neo-Nazis and right wing militias. The Proud Boys are in attendance, and keep in mind that there has been a long record of racist behavior going back to Charlottesville.  And Leonard is wondering why people are calling him a racist, and Nazi? How many of your friends go to events where Neo-Nazis are in attendance? This is kind of like a Nazi participating in Kristallnacht in 1938 Germany destroying property and rioting and then afterward saying, “But they’re calling us Nazis, and bigots!!” Maybe this is too harsh but is the light bulb on up stairs? 

The fact that he feels aggrieved reveals how many evangelicals are so privileged in the United States. Leonard wouldn’t know persecution if he saw it. The fact that he feels so aggrieved is warped. Evangelicals in the United States have it beyond good when one considers what Christians are enduring in other parts of the world.  But how pathetic is reading that in the Post? An evangelical in a first world nation feeling aggrieved. Oh you poor bastard. Now you are going to pay for your consequences. Hopefully his legal record will follow him and prevent employment. And then there is this blog post that will also follow him around. And for his engaging in domestic terrorism this blog is not going to shed a tear.  I have said all I want to say about Leonard Guthrie Jr. 

 

12 thoughts on “Leonard Guthrie Jr. of Cape May, New Jersey Participates in Sacking the United States Capitol Because His Evangelical Faith is Aggrieved and Thus Persecuted?

  1. It occurs that there may be many good people who TRUSTED the Fox News commentators, Rush Limbaugh, and the local preacher who supported trumpism and YES, they feel ‘aggrieved’ and ‘persecuted’;

    but I think for the wrong reasons.

    I say this because there is something very strange about ‘believing’ in Donald Trump’s Big Lies and still saying that they hold to the Beatitudes and the four Holy Gospels of Christ in sacred Scripture. . . . .something is ‘off’ there,
    and I have begun to wonder ‘WHY’ white evangelical Christian people have so easily fallen to Trump and into the web of ‘being persecuted’ as they have claimed.

    Eagle, what is the CONNECTION between the intensity of the hate-mongering of a group like the extremists cult Westboro Baptist Church and the present day intersection of white evangelicals with more and more intensely openly gay high-profile groups like Franklin Graham’s BGEA? This group went to work in Europe and met with resistance, this in the UK:

    “Evangelicals from across the UK also wrote an open letter saying: “At this time when the political polarisation in the UK is intense… we fear that [Franklin Graham’s] activities in the UK will widen divides in churches and communities.”

    After the venues cancelled the bookings, Franklin Graham said: “As Americans, we should be concerned about the rise of secularism and the suppression of religious freedom and freedom of speech in the UK… What happens there often makes its way to the United States.”

    Eagle, when ‘truth in love’ is used to cover over the REALITY of intense bigotry and intolerance, is that not a slide downward of our American white evangleiical faith communities towards a greater acceptance of the extremes they once rejected in the Westboro Baptist Church cult????

    Hence, now, having shifted the fundamentalist-evangelical goal-post closer to extremism, there is a rise in ‘complaints’ from these faith groups that they are being ‘persecuted’;
    when in fact there has been push-back from OTHER EVANGELICALS who recognize and are horrified by what is going on.

    That is my view: that all the Rush Limbaugh, Fox News commentators,, BGEA, Metaxas, etc. etc. has merged with trumpisms’ hate rallies in spirit and has produced a ‘new’ kind of white evangelical community which feels much put upon because they are being perceived in a light as having moved closer to the ‘extremes’ of the intensely hate-filled Westboro cultism.

    But how can they be brought back away from that edge? What can be done? Their ‘demand’ for ‘freedom’ to be extreme is not being accepted as anything more than they do not wish to curbed by opposition from other Christian people for having edged more towards intolerance towards ‘the others’; even to the point of seeing Trump as their savior who can grant them political power to act out their agendas against ‘the others’.

    What can be done to bring them back from the edge???? God have mercy.

    Like

    • “I have begun to wonder ‘WHY’ white evangelical Christian people have so easily fallen to Trump and into the web of ‘being persecuted’ as they have claimed.”

      This is a question that, as an evangelical disappointed in so many of my fellow evangelicals, I have been repeatedly asking as well. If we have the truth of the Bible, and the indwelling Holy Spirit to guide us into truth, as we claim, why do so many turn towards lies and follow those who would intentionally lead them astray for self-serving purposes?

      Here are some of the reasons I have come up with:

      -Fear of losing a long held place of dominance in American society. If we can’t be on top, and instead have to be one of many competing world views in our culture who have to argue the merits of our world view, then some see that as “persecution” when in fact it just means we’re not quite as privileged as we used to be or would like to be.

      -Closely related to the first point: Christian nationalism, which buys into the narrative that America was founded as an explicitly Christian country (by which people somehow seem to mean “modern-day evangelical” Christian country, despite the obvious historical problems with that understanding), and the resulting viewpoint that we have lost God’s blessing by falling from this (mostly imagined) original model and that only by “returning” to this model can the country be great and once again be blessed by God. Leaders and politicians who tap into this mindset, as Trump as so cynically done, receive tremendous support from those with this mindset.

      -The ground for believing these lies has been made fertile by years of too many evangelical leaders and pastors and influencers drilling into people that we are in a culture war, and seeking political power is the preferred way of transforming society, rather than our doing the difficult work of being “salt and light” to the world through our daily lives.

      -The growing tendency of so many evangelicals to depend just as much, and often more, on right-wing media to drive our world views than the teaching of the Bible. Evangelicals are just as vulnerable as anyone else to confirmation bias, to seeing out and listening to and believing those voices who are saying exactly what you want to hear. Self-serving politicians and media personalities have been spinning the tale to their audience that “we are the true victims, we are the true heroes, we are the true righteous and everyone else is evil, we are the heroes who will save America while everyone else wants to destroy it.”

      Those are a few of the main reasons I keep coming back to.

      As to “What can be done to bring them back from the edge????” I wish I knew. I think the church is in for a significant reckoning. So many fellow evangelicals have been saying since 2016 that God raised up Trump to achieve His purposes and to bring about judgment. I have frequently said, this might be true but it might not be true in the way you are thinking, it may be that the purpose is at least in part to reveal the political idolatry of the church and to bring judgment upon it.

      Liked by 1 person

      • the resulting viewpoint that we have lost God’s blessing by falling from this (mostly imagined) original model and that only by “returning” to this model can the country be great and once again be blessed by God.

        Make that “Return BY FORCE”… Isn’t that the same mythic history viewpoint as the Ayatollahs of Iran and the Wahabi of Saudi/Taliban/al-Qaeda/ISIS?

        evangelical leaders and pastors and influencers drilling into people that we are in a culture war, and seeking political power is the preferred way of transforming society

        Not just a Culture War, but a Culture War of COSMIC Significance against SATAN himself and all his minions. As any Witchfinder-General of the Burning Times could tell you, that justifies Any and All Means Necessary to Prevail. “GOD WILLS IT!”

        So many fellow evangelicals have been saying since 2016 that God raised up Trump to achieve His purposes and to bring about judgment.

        More like “In 2016 Evangelicals got themselves a new God. A God who WILL Win the Culture War and/or jump-start Armageddon. A God who (like the Dark Powers in ritual magick/sorcery) WILL do what they want and WILL Get Things Done.”

        “we are the true victims, we are the true heroes, we are the true righteous and everyone else is evil, we are the heroes who will save America while everyone else wants to destroy it.”

        THAT is the Narrative of a Grievance Culture — a culture whose only reason for existence is to extract bloody Revenge on their Enemies real or imagined.

        The three Axioms of a Grievance Culture Mythology:
        1) “Once WE were the Righteous, Lords of all Creation!”
        2) “But then THEY took that all away from us!”
        3) “IT’S PAYBACK TIME! BOOGALOO!”
        You find this mythological narrative thread behind the Ku Klux Klan, the NSDAP, Extreme Afrocentrists, and a lot of Extreme Islam. In fiction, this is the wish-fulfillment fanservice of Atlas Shrugged, Turner Diaries, and Left Behind.

        Liked by 1 person

      • If we have the truth of the Bible, and the indwelling Holy Spirit to guide us into truth, as we claim, why do so many turn towards lies and follow those who would intentionally lead them astray for self-serving purposes?

        1) Start with this (from Internet Monk, 2009):
        https://internetmonk.com/archive/the-limbaughization-of-evangelicals
        2) Let ferment for 10 to 40 years of Culture War Uber Alles.
        3) Introduce an Anointed Messiah/Savior figure to Win the War.

        Result: New Bible (Q Drops & Trump Tweets), New LORD and God (Trump).

        Like

    • is that not a slide downward of our American white evangleiical faith communities towards a greater acceptance of the extremes they once rejected in the Westboro Baptist Church cult????

      For the past few years, I have maintained that Fred Phelps’ REAL sin was being too blunt and direct instead of using The Proper Code Words.

      What can be done to bring them back from the edge????

      NOTHING.
      They have a new LORD and God who WILL give them what they want, and Smite and Punish ALL Their Enemies.
      And they have Taken His Mark with rejoicing.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. This is my brother and you have him totally wrong. If you knew his whole story, you would see how God has brought him out of the lowest of lows and changed his life in so many ways. We are all sinners, none perfect. God used imperfect people over and over in the Bible. I am praying for you and that you will use your blog to encourage your brothers and sisters in Christ and when you do see one of them going down the wrong path you go to them and confront them as the Bible tells us to and not make it a let the whole world see agenda.

    Like

    • Kristy, I want to thank you for your comment. In this situation are you free to tell your side of the story. However, here’s what we know. At least 5 people are dead and about 60 are injured with 12 in the hospital. I don’t look at that information kindly. The attack on the US capitol was the first time since the British in the War of 1812. This blog writes about evangelicalism and in this context the issues with Christian nationalism is a major one. Where is the concern for the dead and injured? Where is the responsibility for what a person contributed to? What happened at the capitol is akin to a terrorist attack. Your brother allegedly encouraged and played a role. I don’t care if he wanted to pray outside the Senate chambers the fact of the matter is that he was also trespassing. What about Romans 13 and following the law? Submitting to the governing authorities did Leonard Guthrie do that? Did he submit to the governing authorities. If he did would he be in the Washington, D.C. jail? I am sorry but I don’t have much sympathy especially with people being dead and injured. He will face the legal consequences of his behavior as much as anyone else should be as he committed a crime that day. And if your going to defend your brother as compared to holding him responsible that you are a contributing factor. You’re not setting him on the right track. Again thank you for your comment.

      Like

    • unfortunately, the ‘truth in love’ model used by fundamentalist-evangelicals comes off more like the Pharisee in the temple pointing to the humble sinner and saying ‘Thank God I’m not like that sinner’.

      And IF fundamentalist-evangelicals care to know what ‘the Bible says’ God’s response was, they might some day read it here:
      “13But the tax collector stood at a distance, unwilling even to lift up his eyes to heaven. Instead, he beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner!’
      14 I tell you, this man, rather than the Pharisee, went home justified. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”…
      (from the Holy Gospel of St. Luke, Chapter 18)

      But our modern day pharisees never read that part, no. Why is that?
      Even Christ the Lord tried to tell His followers to choose the path of humility before the Lord, but today’s fundamentalist-evangelicals are so smug and so holier-than-Thou;
      you would think they had never read the Holy Gospels in the sacred Scriptures at all.

      Like

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