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As insurrectionists began the attack on the Capitol, a banner waved above the throng. It read: ‘Proud American Christian.’

“A mistake a lot of people have made over the past few years … is to suggest there is some fundamental conflict between evangelicalism and the kind of violence or threat of violence we’re seeing,” said Kristin Kobes Du Mez, a history professor at Calvin University and author of “Jesus and John Wayne: How White Evangelicals Corrupted a Faith and Fractured a Nation.”

“For decades now, evangelical devotional life, evangelical preaching and evangelical teaching has found a space to promote this kind of militancy.”

“In the the last five years, we’ve seen this God and country nationalism coalesce around the figure of Donald Trump,” Du Mez said. “There were a variety of paths to get to this point, but it coalesced in part around this long-standing us-versus-them mentality, this persecution complex, this sense that white evangelicals were particularly vulnerable and therefore needed to not just defend themselves, but that the best defense is a good offense.”

Trump, she said, “is really the perfect figure to stoke these anxieties, to promise to be their strong man, to be their protector. … He’s God’s special defender that God has blessed the country with for this perilous moment.”


Jack Jenkins. “For Insurrectionists, a Violent Faith Brewed from Nationalism, Conspiracies and Jesus.” Religion News Service. January 12, 2021.

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