An array of faith leaders across the country have been sharing their vehement objections to the violence and lawlessness that occurred on the grounds of the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday.
Thousands of supporters of President Donald Trump, after his speech on Wednesday outside the White House, made their way to the grounds of the Capitol—and many then breached the building itself, with some breaking windows and even entering the congressional chambers as elected officials were forced to shelter in place or were ushered to secure quarters.
The vast majority of the supporters were there to support the president and to stand up for election integrity.
But too many individuals took things too far—and put others in danger as a result.
Congress had begun the process, earlier on Wednesday, of certifying the Electoral College votes state by state, with both Vice President Mike Pence and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) standing at the front of the chamber during the Joint Session.
As soon as the state of Arizona was called in the roster of states, Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ), backed by Sen. Ted. Cruz (R-TX), rose to object to that state’s electoral votes. At that point, Vice President Pence then ended the session for the time being so that debate could begin—in separate House and Senate chambers—about the Arizona votes.
But shortly after that—and shortly after Trump ended his speech outside the White House—thousands of people made their way to the Capitol. Many of them stormed past U.S. Capitol Police (though video also emerged of a group of police actually opening barricades so that people could walk through—raising many questions).
During the breach of the building itself, a female protester was shot—and ultimately passed away, tragically, of those injuries later in the day.
Many prominent faith leaders have been making their feelings known about what occurred on Wednesday.
Wrote Franklin Graham on Twitter, “I am deeply saddened by what took place in our nation’s capital today. Our country is in trouble. We need God’s healing and we need God’s help. Pray for peace and the protection of our nation. Let’s come together—on our knees.”
Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, shared these thoughts: “The violent, lawless actions at the U.S. Capitol building against Congress and Capitol Police are wrong and dangerous for republic. Lawlessness is not the way … Pray for our republic!”
Said Paula White-Cain, “I have always and will denounce violence, lawlessness and anarchy in any and all forms. I have deep convictions for all people to have protection over the First amendment and freedom of speech. We should be able to do this without becoming violent. I ask all to continue praying.”
And Pastor Greg Locke shared this compelling message: “There’s a reason one of the most secure buildings on the planet had an easy breach on one of the most important and guarded days in history. They were allowed. The paid rioters have changed the game. It’s a smokescreen to frame true patriots.”
After the U.S. Capitol building was fully cleared and secured by police, Congress began to continue, on Wednesday evening, its usually routine process of certifying the Electoral College votes.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) opened the proceedings with a speech about the importance of maintaining the “peaceful expression of the popular will.”
Meanwhile, Twitter has disabled the account of President Donald Trump for 12 hours.
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This article was written by Maureen Mackey. She is a writer, editor, and digital content strategist in the New York City area.