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Opinion: Capitol rioters made a mockery of Christian values

January 14, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.

Compression ratio: 22.8%. 1 min read.

A man holds a large wooden cross near the Washington Monument during a rally in support of US President Donald Trump in Washington DC on January 6, 2021. - Donald Trump's supporters stormed a session of Congress held today, January 6, to certify Joe Biden's election win, triggering unprecedented chaos and violence at the heart of American democracy and accusations the president was attempting a coup. (Photo by Joseph Prezioso / AFP) (Photo by JOSEPH PREZIOSO/AFP via Getty Images)

What the world witnessed at the Capitol attack, with rioters carrying crosses and signs invoking Jesus, was a warped and dishonest portrayal of Christianity -- and of American identity itself, writes Yale Divinity School Dean Gregory E. Sterling.

(CNN)As someone who has devoted his entire life to understanding, exploring and teaching the truth about Christianity, I saw the use of Christian symbols and rhetoric as part of the violent assault on the US Capitol as a desecration of democracy's chapel and a blaspheme of my faith.

Watching the events unfold, I was deeply ashamed as an American and horrified as a Christian that these perpetrators were associating Christianity with their misguided efforts.

I wonder how these self-declared patriots and Christians -- rioters, in reality -- could square their racism-fueled attempt of a forceful takeover of our government, a cause emboldened by evil lies (and longstanding support of the Christian right's leadership), with the Bibles many of them carried.

While one was committed by an avowed enemy of the United States, the insurrection in our capital city was committed by individuals who demonstrated no regard for the will of the majority of the American people, much less for Christian living.

It is as far from the principles of Christianity -- or any faith that I know -- as a person can get.

The dissonance exists between their claim to be loyal Americans and Christians, on the one hand, and their trampling upon the principles of democracy and Christianity, equality before God and non-violence on the other.

And she was a better Christian.

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