Trump Riot insurrection capitol
Trump supporters participate in a rally that turned violent on Jan. 6, 2021. ( (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

Police Officer Says Capitol Rioters ‘Perceived Themselves to Be Christians’

By Jack Jenkins

Describing insurrectionists who attacked the U.S. Capitol as “terrorists” who “perceived themselves to be Christians,” District of Columbia police officer Daniel Hodges told a congressional committee investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection on Tuesday that the crowd massing on the building’s West Terrace brandished banners steeped in Christian symbolism along with those bearing the name Trump.

Hodges’ emotional remarks came in testimony offered alongside three other officers who rushed to the Capitol that day to defend it from an unsuccessful attempt by supporters of then-President Donald Trump to stop the certification of 2020 election results.

“It was clear the terrorists perceived themselves to be Christians,” Hodges said. “I saw the Christian flag directly to my front. Another read, ‘Jesus is my savior, Trump is my president.’ Another: ‘Jesus is king.’ … Another had crossed rifles beneath a skull, emblazoned with the pattern of the American flag.”

Later, Hodges described one insurrectionist who wore a shirt that bore the slogan “God, Guns, and Trump.”

Images from Jan. 6 back up Hodges’ recollection, showing pervasive examples of Christian nationalist sentiment. A flag that waved above the first crowd to attack and overrun police officers was adorned with a fish painted in the colors of the American flag, positioned beneath the words “Proud American Christian.”

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Jenny Cudd, an insurrectionist now facing federal charges, posted a video in which she justified her participation in the attack by declaring that God and country “are one and the same”  and that “if we do not have our country, nothing else matters.” Still other insurrectionists led a prayer from the dais of the U.S. Senate after breaching the chamber. 

An array of Christian leaders, including faculty from Wheaton College, an evangelical school, and Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee chairman Rolland Slade, have since condemned religious expressions at the insurrection as satanic, blasphemous or heretical.

But Eric Metaxas — a conservative Christian commentator who admitted to assaulting an anti-Trump demonstrator in 2020 and emceed events in Washington protesting the 2020 election results in the weeks leading up to the insurrection — derided the House select committee on Tuesday, saying the U.S. is “at war.” He also claimed characterizing the events of January 6 as an insurrection amounts to “a lie.”

“If there was an insurrection, somebody’s brains would have been on the floor of the Capitol,” Metaxas said during an interview with Real America’s Voice.

When asked by Democrat Rep. Jamie Raskin of Maryland about his repeated use of the word “terrorist” to describe insurrectionists, Hodges read a section of the U.S. Code that defines domestic terrorism as “acts dangerous to human life that are a violation of the criminal laws of the United States or of any State” which take place in the U.S. and appear intended to “influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion” or “affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination, or kidnapping.”

Hodges also expressed befuddlement that insurrectionists waved flags traditionally associated with defenders of law enforcement.

“To my perpetual confusion, I saw the ‘thin blue line’ flag — a symbol of support for law enforcement — more than once, being carried by the terrorists. They ignored our commands and continued to assault us,” he said.

Hodges became a fixture of coverage of Jan. 6 as footage showed him being crushed by a door while an attacker forcibly removed his gas mask. Hodges can be seen bleeding from his mouth as the mask is removed, screaming in agony throughout the ordeal.

Members of the select House committee investigating the insurrection played footage of that attack — which Hodges explained was one of many — and other violent incidents from that day during the hearing.

It is unclear if the committee plans to make the religious dimension of Jan. 6 a topic of discussion during the hearings.

Jack Jenkins is an award-winning journalist and national reporter for the Religion News Service. 

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49 thoughts on “Police Officer Says Capitol Rioters ‘Perceived Themselves to Be Christians’”

  1. Christine Schmidt

    Wheaton College and Southern Baptist Convention should put their own house in order before calling out something else as satanic and heretical!!

    1. Attacking the messenger generally means you can’t deal with the message.

      The point is that self-defined Christians whose message is “God Guns and Trump” rather than “Jesus Christ and Him crucified”, or who desecrate sacred symbols and defame the name of Jesus by utilizing them for violence are indeed satanic and heretical.

    2. Jeanine Nolen

      Please watch the the terrorist that calls himself a shaman praying in the name of Jesus during the terrorist attack at the Capitol. Since Christianity does not have shamans what would you call that behavior if not heretical?

    1. Robin Wiggins

      I am willing to bet you that there were many thousands of Christians there and that the ratio of Christians to those who could be defined rightly as “terrorists” was thousands to one. Personally, I doubt that you’re a very reliable judge as to what is and what is not a Christian. Just a hunch.

      1. Please listen to the definition of a terrorist read by one of the brave police officers that was brutally attacked by the peaceful “tourists”.

      2. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”

        Exactly which of the Christian virtues were the rioters displaying as evidence of their faith, Robin? Please be specific.

      3. So far 540 people have been charged with crimes for the January 6th insurrection…that comes to 540,000+ present at the riot by your account….I doubt your competence in what you called your quasi law enforcement role…

        1. Gordon, lets just focus on the 540 fine Christian people arrested. I see through what you tried to do with your comment.

          1. Tom,

            Will do.. keeping track of the 540 ..

            Will include the Felony charges for each of the 540.

            Also will include a table that will list out the following for each Felon:

            – Sprayed Bear Mace in face of Police Officer — Yes/No
            – Beat Police Officers Unconscious with American Flag Pole – Yes/No
            – Screamed Hang Mike Pence – Yes/No

          2. Include some columns such as:
            – Livestreamed and uploaded their antics to Social Media
            – Showed off their loot to a reporter
            – Wore CHRISTIAN paraphenalia

      4. Did you have the same sentiment about Muslims on 9/11? I remember a lot of conservatives complaining about the Muslim community not being vocal enough about condemning the attacks.

      5. Robin, if thousands of those terrorists were Christians, I do not want their Jesus. Those police officers were also protecting you that day.

      6. Jeanine Nolen

        Hodges read aloud the U.S. Code that defines domestic terrorism, which describes “acts dangerous to human life that are a violation of the criminal laws of the United States or of any State; appear to be intended to intimidate or coerce a civilian population; to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination, or kidnapping; and occur primarily within the territorial jurisdiction of the United States.”

      7. Darren Gruett

        Robin, these kinds of comments are just further evidence that the church in America is so sick the people hardly even know what a Christian is anymore. Simon the Zealot once was like one of these rioters in Jesus’ time, but he gave that up when he became a disciple.

        If so-called Christians decided to associate with such seemly people then they will be judged as belonging to the same group. They have tarnished their reputations and squandered their witness.

        When I was a child my mother always used to warn me about hanging out with troublemakers for exactly the same reason.

  2. Robin Wiggins

    Seems to me that the vast majority of protestors did nothing whatsoever, just peacefully protested. Of the hundreds of thousands, maybe one out of a thousand (or less) entered the capitol building and once inside, the vast majority acted like kids on a fraternity prank. They used no weapons, attacked no one, and did nothing other than mill about like ugly Americans on vacation.

    I used to work full time in a quasi law enforcement role (private security, where I guarded government buildings and yes, did face down those with weapons, and no, didn’t sniffle about it later and wipe my little eyes like Mr. Hodges). My thinking is that Hodges is a Big Baby and that he needs to find another line of work. And I sincerely doubt that he is in any manner qualified to say who is and who is not a Christian.

    1. Who should I believe? You or my lying eyes?
      Obviously you did not watch any of the footage from that day.

      Where is your heart? Buried beneath your agenda?

    2. “My thinking is that Hodges is a Big Baby”

      It seems that you yourself are unable to display the Christian virtues of truth and compassion, Robin. What does that say about you?

      “By their fruit you shall know them”.

    3. 26 I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.
      Ezekiel 36:26

      He did this for me and He will do it for you if you ask.

    4. Yes. It’s so sad how many are willing to go along with this narrative and are some how unable to see the deception.

      1. Sarah, I agree with you on this post by you. It is so sad how many are willing to go along with this narrative or the BIG LIE–how are some unable to see the deception?

    5. Marin Heiskell

      @Robin –
      Lea stated it quite well, and I’m just chiming in out of shock that I’m reading such a message as yours on a Christian site. Your sentiment is not only lacking in the compassion of Christ, but it is condescending and completely contradicts and dismisses the testimony of the officers who were there because it does not match up with what you want to believe. While you may doubt Hodges is “in any manner qualiied to say who is and who is not a Christian”, your actions, attitudes, and words prove it more than he ever could
      Can you tell us what qualifies you to make such an assessment about Hodges? What qualifies you to know more about the intentions and behaviors of the crowd of protesters than he?

    6. Mr. Hodges did not claim to discern who is or is not a follower of Jesus. Based on the rioters’ visible symbols and spoken words, the officer concluded that these persons “perceived themselves to be Christians.”

  3. These people have no connection to The Lord Jesus. He could say ” My Kingdom is not of this world. If my Kingdom was of this world My servants would fight.” He could also say ” think not that I could have called twelve legions of angels , but how then would the Scripture be fulfilled.”

    1. An excellent point. Jesus forbade his followers from engaging in violence to fight for Jesus himself! What makes so-called Christians think that their faith permits them to engage in violence to “fight for Trump”?

      Are these people just so ignorant of Scripture that they have no idea what being a Christian is or means?

  4. Many people think they are Christians but they are not. Jesus warns of this numerous times. Christians can be identified as peaceful, loving God and their neighbour. These people in Washington were not Christians.

  5. Metaxas is right. We are at war. This is what happens in a war. People can get violent. People can rig elections. People can release biological weapons, tell lies and censor the opposition. In times of war people would even use the media to make villains out of Patriots. Trump voters have been dehumanized for years so what did people expect? No one has all the facts about the protest gone wrong.
    I’m floored that people would honestly call out “satanic influence” in this “insurrection” but will not call out the satanic influence and timing of this man made virus and these vaccines which could quite possibly be part of a depopulation and sterility plan not to mention destroying the freedom America has had.
    There is a lot of satanic influence going on when Christians are voting to increase abortions and killing of babies because they don’t want to be accused of being a “nationalist”.

    1. Jeanine Nolen

      Can you give us the date that war was declared in the United States against the capitol police?

      Could you also cite your sources for your claim that the virus is man made, and the vaccine could be a part of a depopulation and sterility plan?

      Enquiring minds want to know.

      I have a conspiracy theory of my own. This is why the extreme right has worked so hard to destroy public education.

      1. The Oregon DOE states: “The concept of mathematics being purely objective is unequivocally false.” Tracy Castro-Gill, the ethnic studies program manager of the Seattle Public School, suggests that the problem is “how math is used as a tool for ….you know….”

        And there’s this:

        The Oregon Department of Education (ODE) recently encouraged teachers to register for training that encourages “ethnomathematics” and argues, among other things, that (THIS SPACE INTENTIONALLY LEFT BLANK) manifests itself in the focus on finding the right answer.

        Don’t forget that objectivity as “the belief that there is such a thing as being objective or ‘neutral'” is also a social construct and does not exist.

        I see what you mean about destroying education. It’s as clear as 2+2=(whatever an individual or group decides it is) And what’s to be done with math geniuses who weren’t aware that math is a tool of oppression? I’m sure there were those poor dupes who thought STEM courses were still safe areas. Surely math and science can’t be viewed through the lense of…well… you know.

        So objective truth and searching for correct answers is highly problematic. There should be congressional hearings. I’m going to try this out myself. I’m going to see if I can use a 1/4 in box end wrench on a 1/2 in bolt. What could go wrong?

  6. Michelle Hopkins

    I question the sincerity of the capital police offers that were “selected” to testify at the hearing today. Just another partisan display of antics controlled and coordinated by the party in power. Since the FBI has been investigating the involvement of hundreds of individuals and making arrests, Congress could request any and all information concerning what took place at the capital on January 6, 2021 but that just wouldn’t be as much fun for the insincere democrats. These capital police officers who I have seen on several media outlets trying to get their 15 minutes of fame should take a long look at themselves before they call others hypocrites. They are being used by the party in power. It is theatrics. Only the Son of God, Jesus Christ knows the true heart of a man or woman.

  7. Michelle Hopkins

    The capital police offers that were “selected” to testify at the hearing today were being used by the party in power. It was no more than pure theatre. I have seen these capital police officers on various media outlets in the past months. I question their sincerity in their actions because they seem to me to be after their 15 minutes of fame. They are being used. Honestly, If Congress wanted to know all the details of what occurred on January 6, they could request information from the FBI. The FBI has investigated all that happened on that day and made hundreds of arrests, but that wouldn’t be nearly as much fun for the democrats. The capital police officers that testified today do not need to concern themselves with the hearts of the men and women at the capital on January 6, 2021. Only the Son of God, Jesus Christ knows the heart of a person.

    1. Michelle, if you watched the hearings yesterday only one that believes in conspiracy would call it theater.

    2. Jeanine Nolen

      26 I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.
      Ezekiel 36:26

      He did this for me and He will do it for you if you ask.

  8. Most of the time the capital police are basically doing the job of a security guard, running metal detectors and directing traffic in and around the Capital. They were poorly equipped to handle January 6 and are now in some cases suffering from emotional issues. That’s quite obvious when you listen to the testimony. One officer committed suicide the next day and that’s beyond horrible. No doubt some of those officers knew him and are just crushed that their co-work made that choice. They need our prayers for healing.

    That being said, this has become a political stunt now. The democrats are trying to position themselves as the party of law & order after calling for the defunding of the police and allowing a year of riots in democratically controlled states. In 2020 57 people including law enforcement were killed and 2.4 billion in property was destroyed, but that was a peaceful protest . The Jan 6 incident showcased stupidity on the part of the President and those that committed illegal acts. That being said it wasn’t an insurrection as under the Federal Code insurrection is attempting armed overthrow of the government. No one charged with insurrection for that reason. In 1915 the capital was bombed by a German gentleman causing $300,000 in damages . In 1954 Puerto Rican terrorist attacked and shot five people but the democrats and representative Kinsinger are calling this the worst assault on democracy ever. Amazing

    1. In my city the BLM protests turned ugly with stores being looted and a building being burned down. Those responsible were identified, arrested, and prosecuted. Was that also a political stunt?

      1. Sabrina Savra DeCarlo

        I can say this…I live in a city where buildings were burned and property was damaged in response to the shooting of a black man. But it wasn’t the residents, it was mainly outsiders. I’ve heard stories of this happening in multiple cities. Pallets and piles of bricks strategically dropped so protesters can conveniently chuck them at windows. I would not be surprised if there were outsiders (and even insiders in agreement with them) trying to stir up the crowds. Time and Truth will bear that out. These times require much discernment.

    2. There is no doubt that Democrats are going to get the most bang that they can for their buck. While addressing a horrendous act of insurrection (which they should do), they are also going to point out (accurately) that this insurrection was carried out by Republicans who believed they were following the will of the commander in chief.

      If Republicans want to distance themselves from insurrectionist activity, all they need to do is distance themselves from DJT. This is something they seem incapable of doing, as though DJT is the only image bearer of conservative thought and values. And so, they continue to fuel the Democratic party and hurt all of us who are genuinely conservative. And in the end it is all Americans who lose because it is conservativism that protects the innocent, reduces poverty, reduces crime and raises the standard of living for all.

  9. Trump supporters participate in a rally that turned violent on Jan. 6, 2021. ( (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

    Does this remind anyone else of the Hate Week scene from the 1984 production of 1984?
    Complete with Big Brother’s face on all the Telescreens?

    Or a Megachurch “franchise campus” service with Lead Pastor Superapostle delivering a remote sermon, his face ten meters tall on all franchises’ Telescreens?

    Or author Leon Uris describing a Nuremberg Rally in Armageddon: a Novel of Berlin – “SEE HIS FACE! HEAR HIS VOICE! FUEHRER! FUEHRER! FUHRER!”?

      1. There’s also a week-long Hate Week later in the book. It’s where Oceania suddenly has always been at Peace with Eurasia and at war with Eastasia.

        That scene was based on a real event – the one-eighty flip in the Party Line when Germany attacked Russia in June 1941. For the duration of the Nazi-Soviet Pact (to carve up Poland in 1939), The Party Line was one of Undying Eternal Friendship between Hitler and Stalin. Then Germany invaded in 1941; according to the story, Orwell was covering a Communist Party rally where the Commissar was ranting about Germany and USSR’s Eternal Friendship when he was handed a slip of paper with the news Germany had invaded. He switched to the New Party Line – War with the Hated Fascists – literally in mid-sentence.

        1. Gordon Hackman

          I don’t remember the hate week scene from the book. I listened to an audio recording of it about 20 years ago so I’m sure a lot of it has faded from memory.

          I also was unaware of the historical events that inspired the scenes from the novel. I knew about the Nazi-Soviet pact that Hitler betrayed but I did not know about the change mid-rally.

          1. Another thing based on real life was the random “disappearances – no, they never existed” of people for thoughtcrime. Besides Stalin’s M.O. this was also a dig on Orwell’s pointy-haired bosses at the BBC – going into work one morning and finding someone gone and his replacement sitting at his desk like he’d always been there was the BBC’s way of firing someone.

            Orwell spent most of WW2 working wartime propaganda for the BBC under his real name of Eric Blair. Result? Stalin meets Dilbert.

    1. Yes. All of the above. Narcissists all tend to behave the same way.
      They’re very recognizable, especially the malignant ones.
      It’s a shame more Christians can’t seem to see the warning signs.

      1. More like mistake the warning signs for God’s Anointing/The Holy Spirit.

        But then they’ve been mistaking Donald Trump for Jesus Christ for – what’s it been? Five years straight?

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