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Christians Explain Why They Attended D.C. Protest Rallies

In an interview with LifeSiteNews, Leo Kelly describes being one of the first people to breach the Capitol, where he prayed with others on the Senate floor. We “consecrated it to Jesus,” he says, making an “appeal to heaven” because we’ve “been betrayed” by governmental leaders. “Nobody in the courts will listen,” says Kelly, and “none of my institutions are working. What am I supposed to do?”

Kelly, who says he “tried to be respectful” while inside the Capitol, says he got swept up in the historic moment. “It’s not unlike the days of the beginning of the country,” he says. “At some point, there’s enough illegal behavior and there’s enough crimes against the Constitution being committed by the elected officials.” Kelly admits, “Maybe we shouldn’t have done that,” adding, “God will judge us for what we did.”

Who’s to blame? 

Despite no evidence that Antifa was present and responsible for Wednesday’s events, some Christian leaders are among the Trump supporters pushing that idea.

Steve Berger, pastor of Grace Church in Nashville, describes being “in the thick of it” at the D.C. rally, saying crowd members were “totally, completely peaceful” and “unbelievably polite.” In a Facebook Live video, he says, “I’m not here to tell you that all the troublemakers were Antifa members, but I can tell you this: They were there…they were present, and they were identified. They were inside the Capitol building waiving Trump flags having Trump paraphernalia.”

Berger, whose congregants include Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee, tells listeners, “Do not allow your faith in Jesus to be hijacked by the chaos that’s happening in the world right now—and it’s going to be happening in an increasing level in the days to come.”

South Carolina Pastor Mark Burns, who’s been criticized for using inflammatory language against Democrats, tweeted on Wednesday, “I’m here in DC and I’m (saddened) and Angry at Antifa for the (Capitol) attack.”

Author Eric Metaxas tweeted, “There is no doubt Antifa infiltrated the protesters today and planned this. This is political theater and anyone who buys it is a sucker.”

At LifeSiteNews, Garcia Jones blamed the unrest on “a long train of abuses” and “ever increasing oppressiveness.” He writes, “When…freedom and democracy are blatantly flaunted and crushed as they were in this November’s elections, and the fascistic COVID lockdowns that essentially put most of America under house arrest, the people will respond, and not always peacefully.” Wednesday’s violent events, he insists, were caused by Trump “demanding election integrity.”

What’s next? 

Politically, America seems to be in for a tumultuous couple of weeks. Calls have been growing—including from some former allies—for Trump to either resign, be removed from office via the 25th Amendment, or be impeached again.

No matter what transpires, America has plenty of healing to do in 2021. The Rev. Albert Mohler, who’s in the running to be the next Southern Baptist Convention president, tells The Atlantic that “repentance is always called for” when “we find ourselves in the wrong.” But he took issue with a reporter’s question this week about whether evangelical Trump supporters had enabled the president. “Conservatives do not believe there is any excuse, whatsoever, for unleashing what amounts to a destructive rage in the nation,” says Mohler.

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Stephanie Martin, a freelance journalist, has worked in Christian publishing for 28 years. She’s active at her church in Lakewood, Colorado, where she lives with her family.