Lawmakers were evacuated from the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 as demonstrations of support for President Donald Trump devolved into chaos and violence. Members of the U.S. House and Senate were set to count electoral votes that gave President-elect Joe Biden a victory in November’s presidential election.Embed from Getty Images
Protestors breached security barriers and broke into the U.S. Capitol building following a rally where Trump spoke.
“Now it is up to Congress to confront this egregious assault on our democracy,” Trump told gathered supporters. “After this, we’re going to walk down – and I’ll be there with you – we’re going to walk down to the Capitol, and we’re going to cheer on our brave Senators and Congressmen and women. And we’re probably not going to be cheering so much for some of them, because you’ll never take back our country with weakness. You have to show strength and you have to be strong. We have come to demand that Congress do the right thing.”
Republican Sen. James Lankford of Oklahoma, a Southern Baptist, was addressing the Senate when proceedings were interrupted due to security concerns.
This mob attack on our Capitol and our Constitution is immoral, unjust, dangerous, and inexcusable. What has happened to our country is tragic, and could have been avoided.— Russell Moore (@drmoore) January 6, 2021
News reports indicate that Ashli Babbitt, a 35-year-old Air Force veteran, died after being shot by U.S. Capitol Police while she attempted to enter an inner section of the Capitol building through a broken window pane. Babbitt’s social media posts suggest she believed a wide-ranging conspiracy theory called Q-Anon, which claims that a cabal of leftist elites participate in child sex abuse and secretly plot against President Trump and his supporters.
At least three others were fatally wounded during violent rioting on Capitol Hill. Around 1,100 National Guard troops were mobilized to help support law enforcement officers, according to the Associated Press.
Russell Moore, president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, posted a tweet saying, “This mob attack on our Capitol and our Constitution is immoral, unjust, dangerous, and inexcusable. What has happened to our country is tragic, and could have been avoided.”
All staff members based out of the ERLC’s Washington, D.C. office are safe and accounted for, according to ERLC leaders.
Albert Mohler, president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky., said, “What we are seeing in Washington now is the refutation of our American commitment, a form of unleashed anarchy which is the enemy of ordered liberty, and President Trump is responsible now for unleashing mayhem. Pray that God will rescue us from this.”
Jason Allen, president of Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, called on President Trump to ask his supporters to stand down. “The scene in the US Capital is amongst the most grievous and troubling scenes I’ve ever witnessed in our country,” Allen tweeted.
In a news release from Baptist Press, Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) Executive Committee president Ronnie Floyd said he was “deeply grieved over the destruction and violence at the U.S. Capitol. The peaceful transfer of power is a hallmark of American democracy, and today we saw the opposite of peace. This is not what we are called to be as Americans, and this is surely not what we are called to be as Christians.”
SBC president J.D. Greear tweeted, “Peaceable transitions of power have marked our Republic since the beginning. It is part of honoring and submitting to God’s ordained leaders whether they were our choice or not. We need you, @POTUS to condemn this mob. Let’s move forward together. Praying for safety.”
Peaceable transitions of power have marked our Republic since the beginning. It is part of honoring and submitting to God’s ordained leaders whether they were our choice or not. We need you, @POTUS to condemn this mob. Let’s move forward together. Praying for safety.— J.D. Greear (@jdgreear) January 6, 2021
President Trump later tweeted, “These are the things and events that happen when a sacred landslide election victory is so unceremoniously & viciously stripped away from great patriots who have been badly & unfairly treated for so long. Go home with love & in peace. Remember this day forever!” Both Twitter and Facebook suspended President Trump’s social media accounts for violating their rules of conduct.
Lawmakers returned to the U.S. Capitol at 8 p.m., Jan. 6 to pick up where they left off in the day’s procedures. Sen. Lankford expressed gratitude for the U.S. Capitol Police and other law enforcement officers before finishing his interrupted address to the Senate about concerns with election integrity in Arizona.
“Rioters and thugs don’t run the Capitol,” Lankford told fellow Senators. “We are the United States of America. … While we disagree on things, and disagree strongly at times, we do not encourage what happened today. Ever.”
Congress completed its count of electoral votes before dawn this morning (Jan. 7), confirming Joe Biden as the winner of November’s presidential election.
This article was updated Jan. 7 at 7:30 a.m. ET.