A number of witnesses showing earlier than the Jan. 6 committee have spoken about how they relied on their religion to withstand strain from then-President Donald Trump and his allies — and even their very own pals — to assist Trump’s plot to steal the 2020 election after he misplaced to Joe Biden.
“My religion actually sustained me by 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, informed the Jan. 6 committee that whereas a violent mob of Trump supporters invaded and ransacked the US Capitol, chanting that they wished to hold Pence, he was with the vice chairman and some different aids 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 develop into the second in charge of Babylon, a pagan nation, however he utterly, faithfully serves. He refuses an order from the king that he can not comply with, and he does his obligation from him constant together with his oath from him to God. And I felt that is what had performed out that day.”
Studying the story, Jacob stated, gave him “nice consolation” amid extraordinarily tough circumstances.
Pence’s closest adviser, Marc Brief, has additionally informed the committee about how he, Jacob, Pence and two different aides gathered for prayer the morning of Jan. 6.
“Realizing it will be an essential day we gathered in prayer,” brief days. The group “requested for steering and knowledge, figuring out that the day was going to be a difficult one,” he stated.
Almost 24 hours later, after rioters had been cleared from the Capitol, and after Congress had summarized and completed its work of certifying the election outcomes, Brief 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,’” brief days.
This week Arizona’s Home speaker, Rusty Bowers, spoke concerning the strain he got here below from Rudy Giuliani and Trump supporters after the 2020 election. The president’s private lawyer wished Bowers to take procedural steps that may help Trump’s plan to disregard the desire of the individuals and exchange members of the Electoral School with electors who would help Trump.
However Giuliani, Bowers testified below oath, was working out of a special sort of religion, one which believed fraud had occurred and was looking for any proof to justify that perception.
“My assortment [is Giuliani] stated, ‘We have got plenty of theories. We simply do not have 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 wished him to win the election, spoke of a religion that stood in stark distinction to Giuliani’s. Relatively than utilizing blind religion to know for an consequence he wished to be true, Bowers relied on his spiritual religion to simply accept info he didn’t like and to do his obligation regardless of a barrage of threats and threats to him and his household harassment his.
At Bowers’s house, Trump supporters, some bearing firearms, drove backwards and forwards 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 … threatening with neighbors and with myself,” he stated. “On the similar 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 preventing sickness for a protracted interval,” Bowers wrote on the time.
Throughout his testimony, Bowers learn from a journal entry, his voice typically quavering.
“It’s painful to have pals, who’ve been such a assist to me, activate me with such a grudge,” he wrote in December of 2020.
“I could, within the eyes of males, not maintain right opinions or act in keeping with their imaginative and prescient or convictions, however I don’t take this present scenario in a lightweight method, a fearful method or a vengeful method. I do not need to be a winner by dishonest. I can’t play with legal guidelines I swore allegiance to.”
Bowers wrote that he was guided by his “deep foundational want to comply with God’s will, as I consider he led my conscience to embrace.”
“How else will I ever strategy him within the wilderness of life, figuring out 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, the dedication to do one’s obligation regardless of one’s preferences and in full gentle of identified info, stood in stark distinction to the way in which Trump supporters believed that there was fraud regardless of the dearth of any proof.
Gabriel Sterling, the chief working officer of elections in Georgia, informed the committee about an lawyer he knew who refused to consider Trump misplaced. When speaking to the lawyer, 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 effectively.
“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 speak 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 loss of life, to the final drop of blood, as a result of it is price it,” he stated.
Rod Dreher, the 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.”
Spiritual leaders additionally voiced such “fanaticism” on the time, in search of to make use of their religion to make issues true they wished to be true. Pentecostal chief Lou Engle known as on Christians to “give themselves to fasting and praying, crying out for the publicity of voter fraud.”
Engle, who helped arrange the latest gathering of over 50,000 younger individuals in Kansas Metropolis, Mo., stated he believed demons had been perpetrating the dishonest. “I consider there are non secular 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’ just isn’t primarily based on any proof, it isn’t primarily based on any info. It is solely primarily based 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 coming 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 12 months, spoke of a spiritual religion that doesn’t search to bend actuality to its will for the sake of energy or self-preservation. Relatively, he stated, the function of religion was to empower him to do the proper factor even when it was tough.
“Look, I perceive the frustration many really feel concerning 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 obligation that day. And John Quincy Adams reminds us, ‘Responsibility is ours, outcomes are God’s.’”