“Christian nationalism—and even the idea of separatism, with a subtext of White, Christian and conservative-leaning [influences]—took a more dominant role in the way that extremist groups talk to each other and try to propagandize in public,” Jared Holt of the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab told Jenkins.
Christian nationalism has long been a feature of the nation’s extremist right, dating back to the original Ku Klux Klan of the 1860s and its later version in the 1920s. Fuentes’s rhetoric “could have come word-for-word from a Klan speech in 1922,” historian Kelly J. Baker told Jenkins. “The Klan’s goal here was patriotism and nationalism, but it was combined with their focus on White Christianity.”
This worldview was a powerful animating force at the Jan. 6 insurrection, embodied by the moment when the self-described “Patriots” entered the vacated Senate chambers, took over the dais, and proceeded to share a prayer led by Jacob “QAnon Shaman” Chansley.
A video captured by The New Yorker shows the moment: One insurrectionist shouts, “Jesus Christ, we invoke your name!” The men bellow “Amen!” Then Chansley begins to lead them in prayer, saying: “Thank you heavenly father for gracing us with this opportunity to stand up for our God-given inalienable rights.” He also thanks God for allowing them to “exercise our rights, to allow us to send a message to all the tyrants, the communists and the globalists that this is our nation, not theirs.”
He concluded: “Thank you for allowing the United States of America to be reborn. Thank you for allowing us to get rid of the communists, the globalists, and the traitors within our government.”