The Congressional Freethought Caucus highlighted during a briefing last March 17 the role of so-called "Christian nationalism" in the U.S. Capitol riot.
As per the Baptist News, the Caucus comprised Democrat Representatives Zoe Lofgren of California, Jamie Raskin of Maryland, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, and Steve Cohen of Tennessee.
The briefing, interestingly entitled "God Is On Our Side: White Christian Nationalism And The Capitol Insurrection," was a private event. The briefing was attended by 50 members of Congress including staff and experts. It focused on the 66-paged, "Christian Nationalism and the January 6 Insurrection," report produced by the Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty.
The report, which is a compilation of essays, was released in partnership with the atheist group Freedom from Religion Foundation.
According to the Washington Post, there was much concern on rising radicalism among White American Christians that Congress held the online briefing. The event was described the biggest held on the topic of so-called religious extremism in years.
Americans United for Separation of Church and State's Andrew Seidel is one of the report's authors. Seidel claimed that the US Capitol riot was not the end but the culmination of the so-called insurrection. The riot allegedly gave insurrectionists the moral license for the attack, which Seidel said has since been increasingly used by Americans to justify it. Seidel alleged that something like it is going to happen again, especially with the rhetoric currently happening as the midterm elections approaches.
While California Representative Jared Huffman raised the importance of Christian nationalism in the alleged insurrection though people do not fully understand it. Huffman claimed that the shared worldview of Christianity to be fused with civic life coupled with the belief that true Americans are natural-born, culturally conservative, and White brought people together and led to the insurrection.
"A lot of Americans look at that day and think: 'A lot of crazy people acted out.' But it was far more organized, and it wasn't just the Trump political organization," Huffman said.
The report was first introduced in a webinar held on February 9 hosted by the Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty. Authors warned on the alarming actions of Christian nationalists that increased since the riot.
"The situation is so alarming, they said, that Americans who stand up against the lie that the 2020 election was stolen from Donald Trump and who disagree with the unconstitutional idea that the United States should be an exclusively Christian nation are now being labeled as ungodly and evil at extremist rallies and through videos, websites and blogs," Baptist News said.
In the report, the authors explained what Christian nationalism is and contrasted it to White Christian nationalism. The report also highlighted the patriotic witness of Black Christians and the network of Christian nationalism that led to the riot. It also identified events, particular individuals, and networks involved in the tragic event.
More than anything, the report tagged the attack on the capitol as an evidence of the role of White Christian nationalism. The report ended by presenting possible Christian responses to Christian nationalism after the January 6 attack.