By AlaskaWatchman.com

Twelve Anchorage-based religious leaders issued a joint statement condemning what they called “unthinkable mutiny” at the U.S. Capitol Building on Jan. 6.

The Jan. 12 statement begins by affirming the “right to assemble and peacefully protest,” but then goes on to call the acts at the Capitol a sin. The pastors do not distinguish between the hundreds of thousands of peaceful protesters, many of them religious believers, and the much smaller fraction that perpetrated vandalism and violence, including the tragic death of a police officer who was on duty that day at the Capitol.

“Whether driven by the sin of hate, the sin of racism and white supremacy, the sin of self interest, the sin of the abuse of power, the sin of violent anger over perceived injustices in an election process, the sin of arrogance, the sin of pushing God out of our lives, all of these sins stand equally condemned,” the pastors state. 

Video footage from Jan. 6 shows some peaceful protesters trying to stop the violence and others calling out for Antifa to leave the gathering as one man tries to break a window. The letter issued by the Anchorage pastors makes no mention of this but it does take issue with Christians who attended the Jan. 6 gathering.

The event began with patriotic songs and speeches by major conservative leaders, including President Trump. Among those in the massive crowd were religious believers who held pro-God and pro-life flags and signs. It’s not clear if the pastors’ condemnation was narrowly directed at those who committed crimes or also at the larger crowd of peaceful attendees who were protesting election fraud.

The pastors claim that “there were signs carrying Christian slogans displayed that have been associated with this sad event. Propagating scripture and Christian statements in such a manner as this is blasphemy. The violent actions of these individuals are not the Christian way and Jesus would not approve of being used in such a way. We condemn those who would seek to use the Bible to their personal or political advantage.”

“It is not the American way and the provocation of these acts by the Commander-in-Chief is a disgrace to the foundational moral fabric of our nation.”

Towards the end of the letter the pastors turn their ire on President Trump, blaming him – as did all Democratic representatives in the U.S. House –  for provoking the violence. House Democrats – joined by 10 Republicans – voted to impeach the president on Jan. 13. The main charge was that he incited the smaller group of protesters to commit violence.

“These rioters can only be categorized as domestic terrorists who sought to steal and destroy our democracy,” the Alaska pastors wrote. “It is not the American way and the provocation of these acts by the Commander-in-Chief is a disgrace to the foundational moral fabric of our nation.”

Video footage of Trump’s speech, however, show him restating his belief that the election was stolen, but then urging protesters to hold a peaceful rally. One eyewitness in the D.C. crowd that day was community college prof and 24-year Navy veteran Thomas Smith. He wrote a lengthy essay in the American Thinker describing the rally with President Trump as “docile except for the cheering, clapping and flag waving.” He added that “the only ones guilty of causing trouble were the ones who stormed the Capitol – not us, not the hundreds of thousands at the rally, not Rudy, Kimberly, Eric, or the President.”

FULL STATEMENT FROM ANCHORAGE FAITH LEADERS

It pains our hearts to hear and watch the devastation that took place at our nation’s Capitol on January 6. While we fully affirm the right to assemble and peacefully protest, we condemn without hesitation the acts that led to this unthinkable mutiny. We as Christian leaders, must call it what it is, SIN. Whether driven by the sin of hate, the sin of racism and white supremacy, the sin of self-interest, the sin of the abuse of power, the sin of violent anger over perceived injustices in an election process, the sin of arrogance, the sin of pushing God out of our lives, all of these sins stand equally condemned.

Furthermore, there were signs carrying Christian slogans displayed that have been associated with this sad event. Propagating scripture and Christian statements in such a manner as this is blasphemy. The violent actions of these individuals are not the Christian way and Jesus would not approve of being used in such a way. We condemn those who would seek to use the Bible to their personal or political advantage.

Finally, the incident at our capitol was reckless and thoughtless. These rioters can only be categorized as domestic terrorists who sought to steal and destroy our democracy. It is not the American way and the provocation of these acts by the Commander-in-Chief is a disgrace to the foundational moral fabric of our nation.

We call on God in times such as these to bring healing and peace to our nation. We also acknowledge our own shortcomings in not humbling ourselves, seeking God, turning from our wicked ways, so that God can hear us, forgive our sin, and heal our land.

We firmly believe the Lord Jesus Christ remains the only solution for individual and national peace!

Signed by:

Pastor Undra Parker, Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church

Rick Benjamin, Pastor, Unite Church

Dr. Patricia Wilson-Cone, Pastor, First American Baptist Church

Pastor Andy Bartel, St John United Methodist Church

Pastor Tim Davis, Chapel By the Sea

Dr. Joel Kiekintveld, Reclaim Christian Spiritual Community

Dave Kuiper, Pastor Emeritus, Crosspoint Community Church

Dr. Jeff Anderson, Wayland Baptist University

Pastor Criss Mitchell, First Covenant Church of Anchorage

Pastor Murray Crookes, Every Nation UMC

Pastor Martine Robinson, Present Hope Church

Pastor Yolanda Jackson, First CME Church

12 Alaska faith leaders condemn D.C. violence, blame Trump

Joel Davidson
Joel is Editor-in-Chief of the Alaska Watchman. Joel is an award winning journalist and has been reporting for over 20 years, He is a proud father of 8 children, and lives in Palmer, Alaska.