A number of witnesses showing earlier than the Jan. 6 committee have spoken about how they relied on their religion to withstand stress from then-President Donald Trump and his allies – and even their very own pals – to help Trump’s plot to steal the 2020 election after he misplaced to Joe Biden.
“My religion actually sustained me by way of it,” Greg Jacob, who served as authorized counsel to then-Vice President Mike Pence, stated of the occasions of Jan. 6, 2021.
Jacob, a Christian, instructed the Jan. 6 committee that whereas a violent mob of Trump supporters invaded and ransacked the US Capitol, chanting that they needed to hold Pence, he was with the vice chairman and some different aides in an underground parking storage. Secret Service brokers swarmed round their black SUVs, holding the engines working for a fast escape.
Jacob pulled out his Bible and flipped to the E book of Daniel. “Daniel 6 was the place I went,” Jacob stated. “In Daniel 6, Daniel has grow to be the second accountable for Babylon, a pagan nation, however he fully, faithfully serves. He refuses an order from the king that he can’t comply with, and he does his responsibility constant along with his oath to God. And I felt that is what had performed out that day. ”
Studying the story, Jacob stated, gave him “nice consolation” amid extraordinarily troublesome circumstances.
Pence’s closest adviser, Marc Quick, has additionally instructed the committee about how he, Jacob, Pence and two different aides gathered for prayer on the morning of Jan. 6.
“Figuring out it might be an necessary day we gathered in prayer,” Quick stated. The group “requested for steering and knowledge, understanding that the day was going to be a difficult one,” he stated.
Practically 24 hours later, after rioters had been cleared from the Capitol, and after Congress had resumed and completed its work of certifying the election outcomes, Quick and Pence returned to the touchstone of their shared Christian religion.
“At 3:50 within the morning once we lastly adjourned and headed our personal methods, I bear in mind texting the vice chairman a passage from 2 Timothy 4: 7 about, ‘I fought the great combat, I’ve completed the race, I’ ve saved the religion, ‘” Quick stated.
This week Arizona’s Home speaker, Rusty Bowers, spoke in regards to the stress he got here underneath from Rudy Giuliani and Trump supporters after the 2020 election. The president’s private lawyer needed Bowers to take procedural steps that may assist Trump’s plan to disregard the need of the folks and exchange members of the Electoral School with electors who would assist Trump.
However Giuliani, Bowers testified underneath oath, was working out of a special sort of religion, one which believed fraud had occurred and was trying to find any proof to justify that perception.
“My recollection [is Giuliani] stated, ‘We have got a number of theories. We simply haven’t got the proof, “ Bowers stated.
Bowers, who’s a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and who stated he voted for Trump and needed him to win the election, spoke of a religion that stood in stark distinction to Giuliani’s. Slightly than utilizing blind religion to understand for an end result he needed to be true, Bowers relied on his non secular religion to just accept details he didn’t like and to do his responsibility regardless of a barrage of harassment and threats to him and his household.
At Bowers’s dwelling, Trump supporters, some bearing firearms, drove forwards and backwards with “panel vehicles with movies of me proclaiming me to be a pedophile and a pervert and a corrupt politician and blaring loudspeakers in my neighborhood and leaving literature … arguing and threatening with neighbors and with myself, ” he stated. “On the identical time … we had a daughter who was gravely sick, who was upset by what was occurring outdoors.”
Bowers’s grownup daughter died not lengthy after this, on Jan. 28, 2021, “after combating sickness for a protracted interval,” Bowers wrote on the time.
Throughout his testimony, Bowers learn from a journal entry, his voice generally quavering.
“It’s painful to have pals, who’ve been such a assist to me, activate me with such resentment,” he wrote in December of 2020.
“I’ll, within the eyes of males, not maintain right opinions or act in line with their imaginative and prescient or convictions, however I don’t take this present scenario in a light-weight method, a fearful method or a vengeful method. I don’t need to be a winner by dishonest. I cannot play with legal guidelines I swore allegiance to. ”
Bowers wrote that he was guided by his “deep foundational need to comply with God’s will, as I imagine he led my conscience to embrace.”
“How else will I ever method him within the wilderness of life, understanding that I ask this steering solely to indicate myself a coward in defending the course he led me to take?” he wrote.
The religion of Bowers and Pence and his aides, a dedication to do one’s responsibility regardless of one’s preferences and in full gentle of identified details, stood in stark distinction to the way in which Trump supporters believed that there was fraud regardless of the shortage of any proof.
Gabriel Sterling, the chief working officer of elections in Georgia, instructed the committee about an legal professional he knew who refused to imagine Trump misplaced. When speaking to the legal professional, Sterling defined “5 – 6 issues” that had been false claims made by Trump, and every time, the lawyer stated, “OK, I get that.”
“However on the finish, he goes, ‘I simply know in my coronary heart they cheated,'” Sterling stated.
This type of fact-denying religion was on show by outstanding Trump supporters within the days after the 2020 election as nicely.
“So who cares what I can show within the courts? That is proper. This occurred, and I’m going to do something I can to uncover this horror, this evil, ”Eric Metaxas, an evangelical discuss radio character, stated in December 2020. Metaxas made clear that he certainly meant that Trump supporters ought to do something.
“We have to combat to the dying, to the final drop of blood, as a result of it is value it,” he stated.
Rod Dreher, a conservative author who’s pals with Metaxas, wrote on the time, “He’s declaring as a matter of religion that Donald Trump received the election. How are you going to argue with that? You possibly can’t. It’s a assertion of religion. … That is fanaticism. ”
Non secular leaders additionally voiced such “fanaticism” on the time, looking for to make use of their religion to make issues true they wished to be true. Pentecostal chief Lou Engle referred to as on Christians to “give themselves to fasting and praying, crying out for the publicity of voter fraud.”
Engle, who helped manage a latest gathering of over 50,000 younger folks in Kansas Metropolis, Mo., stated he believed demons had been perpetrating the dishonest. “I imagine there are religious powers in heaven and on earth who’re shifting in corruption and in fraud,” he stated the day after the 2020 election.
Such evidence-free religion in political outcomes remains to be displaying up. Jan. 6 committee Chairman Bennie Thompson on Tuesday learn the feedback of a county commissioner in New Mexico, Couy Griffin, who refused to certify the outcomes of a latest main election due to his perception that the outcomes had been marred by fraud.
“My vote to stay a‘ no ’isn’t based mostly on any proof, it’s not based mostly on any details. It is solely based mostly on my intestine and my intestine feeling and my very own instinct and that is all I have to base my vote on the elections proper there, ” stated Griffin.
Griffin has stated he was a pastor earlier than getting into politics, and in addition served 20 days in jail for trespassing on the US Capitol grounds on Jan. 6. Griffin has stated he’s “dedicated to the Lord” and that on Jan. 6, “my actions had been taken as the results of my religion.”
However Pence, in a speech to conservative legal professionals in February of this yr, spoke of a spiritual religion that doesn’t search to bend actuality to its will for the sake of energy or self-preservation. Slightly, he stated, the position of religion was to empower him to do the correct factor even when it was troublesome.
“Look, I perceive the frustration many really feel in regards to the final election. I used to be on the poll, ”Pence stated with a chuckle. “However regardless of the future holds, I do know we did our responsibility that day. And John Quincy Adams reminds us, ‘Obligation is ours, outcomes are God’s.’ ”