We’ve seen stories already about how Christianity was on display during the attack on the Capitol earlier this month. There were Jesus banners outside the building and some of the terrorists stopped to say a prayer inside the chambers of the House.
But here’s a very different example of religion coming into play that day.
One of the men charged with entering the Capitol unlawfully is Bryan Betancur, a “self-professed white supremacist” who fantasized about committing murder and who was convicted in the past for fourth degree burglary.
Betancur has violated his parole before, so he needs permission from his parole officer to go anywhere outside the area. If that permission is granted, he has to wear something like an ankle bracelet to monitor his location at all times. According to the FBI agent who filed the criminal complaint against him, Betancur received permission the day before the attack to go to D.C. from his home in Silver Spring, Maryland.
The excuse he gave his parole officer?
He wanted to distribute bibles with Gideons International.
BETANCUR received permission to leave the state of Maryland on January 6, 2021, in order to distribute Bibles with an organization called Gideon International. BETANCUR previously received similar permission to go to Washington, D.C. with this group.
The GPS monitor on Betancur placed him in or around the Capitol during the hours of the attack. He also posted photos of himself at the scene.
It’s not clear if he ever distributed those bibles. It’s also not clear why the probation officer believed that story, or if there’s proof Betancur actually gave out bibles in the past. It should be noted that Gideons International says very clearly they don’t give out bibles to individuals. They put them in hotels, but you wouldn’t see members handing out books on the street. So if Betancur was lying, it wasn’t even a believable lie.
Ultimately, though, Christianity wasn’t just present at the scene of the crime. It was the excuse some people gave to get there in the first place.
(Thanks to Brian for the link)