The events of January 6 at the U.S. Capitol and in Washington, D.C. were violent insurrection and domestic terrorism. As people of faith, we lift our prayers for an end to violence and for peace instead of hate and polarity.

As we condemn all of the violent actions taken at the Capitol, we also specifically condemn the white supremacy and Christian nationalism present in the displays of the rioters who attempted to subvert the crucial acts of our democracy.

Particularly painful is the display of the Confederate flag and signs with racist slogans among the insurrectionists, as well as the clear difference between how the domestic terrorists were treated by law enforcement yesterday in contrast to how Black Lives Matter protestors were treated over the summer. Baptist Women in Ministry condemns racism in all forms, and we join those who are grieved by how white supremacy took shape in the seditious acts of January 6.

Just as troubling are the uses of the Christian flag and the name of Jesus on the flags and signs of the rioters. In the words of the Baptist Joint Committee’s statement against Christian nationalism, “Christian nationalism seeks to merge Christian and American identities, distorting both the Christian faith and America’s constitutional democracy. Christian nationalism demands Christianity be privileged by the State and implies that to be a good American, one must be Christian. It often overlaps with and provides cover for white supremacy and racial subjugation. We reject this damaging political ideology and invite our Christian brothers and sisters to join us in opposing this threat to our faith and to our nation.”

As we follow Christ, we seek to follow the great commandments Jesus taught us—to love God with all that we are, and to love our neighbor as ourselves. On January 6, the Feast of Epiphany, when we celebrate how the light revealed Christ to the Magi and reveals Christ to us, the light has revealed to us how much this love is needed in the midst of this world’s darkness. So we pray and seek to act in ways that elevate love of God and love of neighbor over any power that hate tries to exert.

Lord, have mercy. Christ, have mercy.

Meredith Stone, executive director, Baptist Women in Ministry and Baptist Joint Committee board member.

Lynn Brinkley, (pictured), BWIM associate director and Baptist Joint Committee board member. This picture was captured in 2019 when BJC board members visited the U.S. Capitol.