I, like many of you, was floored by what I witnessed on Wednesday afternoon at the United State Capitol Building.
It was truly horrifying to see rioters waltzing right into the Capitol, strolling through the Rotunda like tourists on any given day. From there, seeing them storm their way inside the Senate chamber, scale the gallery walls, and take time for photo ops at the dais of the Senate, where Vice President Mike Pence had just resided.
Members of Congress and staff were told to shelter in place. The House chamber was barricaded by security detail with guns drawn to the angry mob on the other side of the main doors. One member of Congress said she had told her husband where her last will and testament was located Tuesday evening in preparation and was fearful she would not see her family again during the upheaval. At one point, it was reported that members of the presidential line of succession were secured in the event of something more happening.
What are we doing, America?
I traveled to Washington, D.C. with my mom for the first time ever in 2007 and one of the coolest things we did was take a tour of the U.S. Capitol. The security screening, naturally, was fierce prior to entering. Inasmuch as I being required to remove my belt for the highly sensitive metal detectors. Something a person typically would not do elsewhere. We were able to see the Rotunda, Statuary Hall and the outside of the Speaker of the House’s office. Ending our visit by stepping onto the very balcony that is utilized to inaugurate presidents.
We were there legally as tourists. Excited to get the opportunity to visit the center of our democracy. We had to stay with our tour group at all times during our tour and we were certainly not allowed to sit in the Speaker of the House’s office, propping our feet up on the desk. Yet the rioters on Wednesday forced their way into doing these things with no regard to defacing a beacon of our of our country.
What I keep going back to was the apparent, utter failure of security at the Capitol, particularly by Capitol Police. For comparison, the dorm I lived in while studying at N.C. State was more secure. Seriously, I had a key to enter the elevator lobby, a key to enter my suite and a key to enter my room. All but the door to my room automatically locking each time they closed. There should undoubtedly be a full, unbridled investigation. I can say with almost certainty that there will be several terminations made in the ranks of Capitol Police and other departments.
Another striking point for me in all this was the quick pivot to a state of “whataboutism” or concocting of wackadoodle reasons from some trying to excuse an inexplicable act. Comparing what happened today to various protests in recent months while simultaneously continuing to perpetuate unfounded claims of voter fraud in the 2020 Election. I was even told by one random commenter on Facebook that there was no “burning, looting, or damage to property” during all of this. Really?
The silence from some people has been deafening as well, like with some Christian leaders and parishioners alike, who refuse to call this for what it is. Particularly reports of seeing many of these rioters bearing the name of Jesus. Let me tell you, the heinous acts exhibited here were not of Jesus. They were, in fact, a product of idolatry. Idolatry to a narcissist, egotistical, shell of a human who has, in my view, done nothing but divided us further as a country.
Perhaps most hurtful is to have seen some fellow Christians, even some friends, fall under the Trump spell in the past four years. Not necessarily condoning violence but being willing to turn a blind eye to much of what Trump has said and done. Or demonizing Democrats as to imply they are the only people on planet earth who commit sin. For that, I will say the following,
“For ALL have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.”Romans 3:23
It boils down to this: why was a violin vigil for Elijah McCain tear gassed and peaceful protestors tear gassed for President Trump to conduct a photo-op at St. John’s Episcopal Church, but rioters at the Capitol allowed to bring the grounds under siege in minutes with very few arrests? This double standard alone absolutely enrages me.
This was insurrection. An attempted coup fueled by rhetoric perpetuated by President Trump and his enablers. I’m calling on a swift removal of him from office, either by invoking the 25th Amendment or impeachment. Specifically as a way to prohibit Trump from holding public office in the future.
If you have chosen not to believe that what happened was a heinous assault on our democratic norms or condone this behavior – whether the rhetoric and/or physical action – you can go right ahead and unfriend, unfollow, unsubscribe, what have you. Better still, let me know and I will do the honor for you. I have no interest in engaging with anyone who supports the rhetoric or this treasonous assault on our republic.