The FFRF Action Fund considers the criminal indictment of former President Trump for attempting to subvert the will of voters in 2020 as reassuring evidence that the rule of law still applies to all.
“Trump played to his Christian nationalist base in seeking to undemocratically overthrow the will of the people — and continues to do so,” reminds Annie Laurie Gaylor, FFRF Action Fund president.
The un-American Christian nationalist movement played a major role in the Jan. 6 insurrection, as shown in a report titled “Christian Nationalism and the January 6, 2021 Insurrection” and published by the Freedom From Religion Foundation and the Baptist Joint Committee. Leading scholars explain in the report the white Christian nationalist roots of the Jan. 6 putsch. Chapters by Andrew Seidel meticulously document the Christian nationalist lead-up to that day, involving events, people and networks.
FFRF similarly researched the Christian nationalist viewpoints of the 147 members of Congress who later that day — following hours of brutal hand-to-hand combat by police defending the Capitol and its inhabitants — proceeded to vote against certifying the winner of the election, Joe Biden, as the 46th president of the United States. Almost half of the 138 House members who objected to the Electoral College count expressed Christian nationalist sentiments.
In a chilling development, Trump has openly announced that if reelected he would end the independence of the Justice Department and other federal government entities from White House political control. Here again, Christian nationalism is tied in, with the Christian-based Heritage Foundation leading the $22 million planned presidential transition operation and promulgating the legal theory that Article 2 of the Constitution gives the president complete control of the executive branch.
The 44-page indictment filed yesterday by special counsel Jack Smith (pictured) in Federal District Court in Washington, D.C., accuses Trump of these conspiracies:
-Defrauding the United States by trying to impair, obstruct and defeat the lawful federal government function of collecting, counting and certifying the presidential election.
-Obstructing official government proceedings (two counts).
-Depriving citizens of the right to vote and have one’s vote counted.
“The attack on our nation’s Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, was an unprecedented assault on the seat of American democracy,” said Smith at the press conference (pictured above). “As described in the indictment, it was fueled by lies — lies by the defendant targeted at obstructing a bedrock function of the U.S. government: the nation’s process of collecting, counting and certifying the results of the presidential election.” Smith properly lauded as heroes the men and women of law enforcement who defended the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. “They put their lives on the line to defend who we are as a country and as a people,” he remarked.
The indictment asserts that Trump spread lies about winning the elections, knew that these claims were false, and attempted to “create an intense national atmosphere of mistrust and anger, and erode public faith in the administration of the election.”
The prosecutions, which follow the House Jan. 6 committee hearings and findings, and the work of at least two grand juries, could end in a trial at the Federal District Court in Washington, D.C., where many of the Jan. 6 riot leaders, such as Proud Boys and the Oath Keepers, have been prosecuted.
Whatever happens, justice is being served by ensuring that no one, not even a former president, is considered above the law — a core principle of democracy.
The Freedom From Religion Foundation and its legislative arm, the FFRF Action Fund, will continue to work to educate the public about the rising tide of Christian nationalism and its impact on secular American democracy.
FFRF Action Fund is a 501(c)(4) organization that develops and advocates for legislation, regulations and government programs to preserve the constitutional principle of separation between state and church. It also advocates for the rights and views of nonbelievers, endorses candidates for political office, and publicizes the views of elected officials concerning religious liberty issues. FFRF Action Fund serves as the advocacy arm of the Freedom From Religion Foundation, which has more than 40,000 members and works to keep religion out of government and educate the public about nontheism.