Police Officer Says Jan 6 Insurgents “Really feel Like Christians”
WASHINGTON (RNS) – District of Columbia police officer Daniel Hodges described insurgents who attacked the US Capitol as “terrorists” who “saw themselves as Christians,” and told a congressional committee on Tuesday, July 27 , of the 6th uprising. On the west terrace of the building, crowds gathered and waved banners steeped in Christian symbolism along with those bearing the Trump name.
Hodges’ emotional remarks came in testimony along with three other officials rushing to the Capitol that day to defend it from an unsuccessful attempt by then-President Donald Trump’s supporters to halt certification of 2020 election results.
“It was clear that the terrorists saw themselves as Christians,” said Hodges. “I saw the Christian flag right in front of me. Another read: “Jesus is my Savior, Trump is my President.” Another: ‘Jesus is King.’ … Another had crossed rifles under a skull that was decorated with the pattern of the American flag. “
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Hodges later described an insurgent who wore a shirt that bore the slogan “God, Guns and Trump”.
Pictures from January 6 support Hodges’ memory and show ubiquitous examples of Christian nationalist sentiments. A flag that flew over the first crowd that attacked and overran police officers was adorned with a fish painted in the colors of the American flag and positioned under the words “Proud American Christian”.
Jenny Cudd, an insurgent now facing federal charges, posted a video in which she justified her involvement in the attack by stating that God and land are “one and the same” and that “if we don’t have our country, nothing else counts. “Still other insurgents offered a prayer from the US Senate podium after breaking into the chamber.
A number of Christian leaders, including teachers from Wheaton College, an evangelical school, and former Southern Baptist leader Russell Moore, have since condemned religious statements during the insurrection as satanic, blasphemous, or heretical.
But Eric Metaxas – a conservative Christian commentator who admitted attacking an anti-Trump protester in 2020 and protesting the 2020 election results in the weeks leading up to the Washington uprising – mocked the House of Representatives election committee on Tuesday and Tuesday said the US was “at war.” He also claimed that characterizing the events of January 6th as an insurrection was a “lie”.
“If there had been a riot, someone’s brain would have been on the Capitol floor,” Metaxas said during an interview with Real America’s Voice.
When asked by Maryland Democratic Rep. Jamie Raskin about his repeated use of the word “terrorist” to describe insurgents, Hodges read a section of US law that defines domestic terrorism as “acts that harm human life and harm of the criminal ”. Laws of the United States or any other state ”in force in the United States that appear to be intended“ to influence government policies through intimidation or coercion ”or“ to influence government conduct through mass destruction, assassination or kidnapping ”.
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Hodges also expressed confusion over insurgents waving flags traditionally associated with law enforcement defenders.
“To my constant confusion, I saw more than once the ‘thin blue line’ flag – a symbol of law enforcement support – carried by the terrorists. They ignored our orders and kept attacking us, ”he said.
Hodges became a regular feature on January 6th when footage showed him being crushed by a door while an attacker forcibly removed his gas mask. Hodges is bleeding from his mouth when the mask is removed and screams in agony during the ordeal.
Members of the select House Committee investigating the riot played footage of the attack – which Hodges said was one of many – and other violent incidents that day during the hearing.
It is unclear whether the committee intends to bring up the January 6 religious dimension during the hearings.