Originally appearing in an email from January 9, 2021
They invaded the Capitol saying “Jesus is my savior. Trump is my president”.
On Wednesday, the world watched as armed Christian Nationalists — incited by radical evangelical politicians like Senators Josh Hawley and Ted Cruz, and by President Donald Trump himself—stormed Capitol Hill to stop Congress from formally certifying the Electoral College vote. Armed not just with guns but with Christian flags, shofars, and signs bearing explicit religious references as well.
It should be stated without a doubt, the insurrection that took place this week in Washington, D.C, is inexplicably linked to the anti-democratic Christian Nationalism movement in this country.
For decades, we at the Secular Coalition for America, along with others in our movement, have been sounding the alarm on religious extremism. While religiousness was conflated with patriotism and our lawmakers granted religious organizations more privileges and exemptions from laws, nontheists knew that these were not some innocuous acts; they were threats to the American value of secular democracy.
A secular democracy ensures that our leaders cannot use their religious beliefs to supersede the will of the people, even if they do not like what the people have decided. “God’s will” or a passage from a religious text is no legitimate excuse to overturn a free and fair election result. Unfortunately, due to the continuous assault on the Wall of Separation between church and state, this sentiment has only grown in recent years, and was on full display this week.
The entirety of the Trump Administration has been a manifestation of our movement’s worst fears regarding the union between state and religion. From the religiously exclusionary “Muslim Ban” enacted during his first days in office, to this failed insurrection that left at least two dead and many wounded. Thankfully, Trump will soon be gone from the presidency but the Christian Nationalist movement which has enabled his anti-democratic behavior, remains.
We must work together, people of all political parties, to rebuild the Wall of Separation and strengthen our secular democracy. Standing as “One Nation, Indivisible” with no need for “God”. This will not be easy, but we have a plan that works with the incoming Biden Administration as well as the newly sworn-in 117th Congress.
The Insurrection of January 6th may go down in history as a pitiful attempt to overthrow an election by Christian Nationalists, but if we are not vigilant, this national tragedy could lead to further anti-democratic movements and actions.