Statement from Huntington University Faculty and Staff Concerning the January 6 Attack on the Capitol
On January 6, 2021, when the United States Capitol Building was overrun by protestors and violent rioters, many used Christian symbols to justify their cause. Christian popular music filled the air and a large wooden cross was erected, even as rioters broke police barricades, physically battered journalists, assaulted and murdered police officers, and ultimately occupied the Capitol Building. Anti-Semitic, racist, and white nationalist symbols intermingled with “Jesus 2020” flags and signs proclaiming “Jesus Saves.” One occupier shouted, “Here we are, in the name of Jesus!” Bibles were held aloft and the Christian flag was illegally carried into the Senate chambers, even as a gallows was built on the Capitol grounds and armed rioters shouted, “Hang Mike Pence!”
We, the faculty and staff of Huntington University, are committed to embodying in word and deed the life-giving message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We believe that God is active in the world through us to bring hope, healing, and life, and to stand for truth, justice, and mercy in ways that bear witness to God. The symbols of our faith — such as the Cross, the words of the Bible, and the Christian flag — do not point toward death, destruction, and dehumanization but the restoration of life with God and human flourishing on earth.
Therefore, we stand against the use of Christian symbols to justify anti-democratic violence, insurrection, racism, Anti-Semitism, and white nationalism, all of which bear no resemblance to the Gospel of Jesus Christ and God’s Kingdom that Jesus inaugurated on earth. We do not hesitate in doing so, for Christianity’s history is littered with moments in which the Gospel was idolatrously co-opted for the sake of power, prestige, and the subjugation of the weak. We urgently say “No!” and denounce the blatant perversion of Christian symbols at the Capitol riots as well as the injustices, violence, and destruction committed in God’s name.
We also stand for our calling, hope, and identity as followers of the Prince of Peace, Jesus the Christ. Therefore, we wholeheartedly recommit ourselves to our Christian faith and the moral commitments entailed with being disciples of Jesus. Our commitment entails our inner lives and our public actions, so we repent of passivity or inaction if difficult truths should have been spoken or acted upon and we commit ourselves to engaging matters at the intersection of justice and love with conviction and compassion. We also commit to standing together as equal members of our community — regardless of our political affiliation, religion, or ethnicity — actively engaging each other while resisting slander, libel, or demeaning name-calling.
We pray that God will bless Huntington University, making it a community where courageous conversations foster lives of just mercy and sacrificial love.
“O people, the Lord has told you what is good, and this is what he requires of you: to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.” (Micah 6:8)
The Huntington University faculty and staff listed below have chosen to publicly endorse this statement.