Former PA State Rep and Christian Nationalist Rick Saccone Stormed the Capitol During Jan 6 Invasion

Rick Saccone is a former state representative and adjunct professor at St. Vincent College in PA. He once ran and lost an election against a current member of the House of Representatives from PA, Conor Lamb. He also once sought the GOP nomination to run for Senate in PA and had Christian nationalist icon David Barton’s endorsement. More recently, Saccone showed up on January 6th as a part of the crowd that stormed the Capitol. In fact, he filmed himself describing it.

He then issued a statment minimizing his earlier words. In this KDKA report, part of that statement is provided.

I don’t buy his explanation since he said they were going to run the evil people and “Rinos” out of their offices. Shortly after this video was posted on Facebook, he resigned his adjunct position at St. Vincent and took the video off of Facebook.

I am posting this because I want to draw a line between Saccone’s Christian nationalist beliefs and his appearance in a mob willing to “storm the Capitol.” I realize this is one person and not all persons who hold Christian nationalist beliefs are willing to go as far as Saccone. However, Saccone is a case of an individual who articulates a pious Christianity on one hand but on the other justifies aggressive action when he perceives that his ideology isn’t dominant.

Here is a Saccone on Christian television, Cornerstone TV:

Saccone’s evidence that the Lord is working in America is Trump’s leadership and a good economy. He says as long as “the Lord is leading us,” America will be fine.

But what happens when Trump (or the current messianic political figure) isn’t in power?

Apparently, for at least some Christian nationalists, it is time to take to the streets and storm the Capitol. If your Christianity doesn’t include nationalism, you simply accept whatever happens in each election and continue to pursue the Kingdom of God. However, if your Christianity requires America to be run by Christian rule, then when your preferred candidate loses, your faith is threatened. These are incompatible visions of what our mission here is about. One leads to peace and preoccupation with redemption and service to all. The other leads to political preoccupation, division, discord and sometimes violence. I have a pretty clear idea about which one I think is right.

64 thoughts on “Former PA State Rep and Christian Nationalist Rick Saccone Stormed the Capitol During Jan 6 Invasion”

  1. Asking for a friend… “is there any easy read book from a Christian (never-trump) author that I could read together with a trumpist, that might crack their devotion a little?”

    1. Try anything from Rob Bell, Richard Rohr, Brian Zahnd, Dr. Benjamin Corey. Chris Kratzer’s Leather-bound Terrorism will send them running, so I advise against that one.

      1. ha ha! you’d think that would be a good start… I know some though, that have learned/been indoctrinated in techniques to rationalize that away…

        1. Oh yes, there isn’t a single Bible verse they will admit their far-right ideology runs counter to.

  2. I hadn’t realized how much I believed in the American dream until I watched its effigy fall in downtown Manhattan on 9/11. I hadn’t realized how naive and heedless my faith had been until 6/1. Now I realize that the American idea is as perishable as the WTC. I also had never before took Christian Nationalism seriously. I’ve been offline for years; just working and carrying on with life. Not anymore. For the last few days, I’ve been zeroing in on Eric Metaxas and others, which is how I found your good work. Sincere thanks for your excellent scholarship and determination.

    1. Dr. Throckmorton has been an incredible and consistently reliable resource over the years.

  3. Eric Metaxas quoted in the NYTimes for their “How White Evangelical Christians Fused With Trump Extremism” article. Previous paragraph included for context.

    In Kalamazoo, Mich., Laura Kloosterman, 34, attended mass on Wednesday and prayed that Congress would decline to certify Mr. Biden’s victory. She had read claims online about flawed voting machines undercounting votes for Mr. Trump — there is no evidence for these claims, which Mr. Trump and right-wing voices online have promoted.

    Ms. Kloosterman follows the evangelical writer and radio host Eric Metaxas, who has repeatedly claimed the election results were fraudulent. Mr. Metaxas, who punched a protester outside the White House last summer, told Mr. Trump in an interview in late November that he would “be happy to die in this fight,” in a conversation about attempts to overturn the election results. “God is with us,” he added.

  4. Former PA State Rep and Christian Nationalist Rick Saccone Stormed the Capitol During Jan 6 Invasion

    Joining the WV State Assemblyman who Livestreamed the entire event.

  5. I trust that Mr. Saccone will shortly be arrested for his part in the seditious takeover of the US Capitol. Protests are as American as apple pie. Sedition is not, and it should not be tolerated in any way. Christianity, no matter how fervent, is not an excuse. It’s a hard lesson, but one that he, and all the others who participated in the riot/takeover, need to learn.

      1. Do they also have a reward out on the guy in the Rotunda with that HUGE Confederate Battle Jack?

      1. Voluntarily or Involuntarily?
        (We’re seeing a lot of the latter when their bosses find out.)

        1. None of the articles I’ve read on it stated. Nor do I think that info is going to be given out.

  6. I also went out and protested at the church where the pastor believes God will overturn the election results because well, his profits proclaimed it. I had people come out to the sidewalk and tell me they STILL believe that God is going to overturn the election. I had no problem telling them that if they asked God to overturn the election results, then they had the blood from Wednesday’s coup on their hands.

    Oh, and the reason God is all in on Donald Trump? Abortion. The pastor said it in the original video that gave me the impetus to start protesting his church back in November. I told one young woman that 350,000 people died of COVID-19 and she didn’t seem to care. It’s all about abortion.

    1. I’m curious if your spelling of the word “profits” as opposed to “prophets” was deliberate. Either way I think it was accurate 🙂

    2. Raising abortion is just an easy excuse to dismiss all non-conservative arguments without needing to intellectually engage. I have absolutely no doubt millions of conservative Christians would vote eyes wide open to turn the US into a dictatorship if the wannabe dictator only promised to make abortion illegal.

      1. The Germans did in 1933.
        Make Abortion Illegal, and Pornography, and Homosexuality.
        Before their Coup from Within, the National Socialists positioned themselves as the Party of Traditional German Family Values against the HOMOSEXUAL decadence of Wiemar Berlin. Their “Blood and Soil” slogan was originally the name of a popular genre of the time about a Simpler Rural Past where Family Values prevailed – sort of “Little House on the Prairie” auf Deutsch.

    3. There is a direct line between the people who fought integration and those who publicly have made abortion such a religious controversy.

      For people like that, the issue has always been power, not a god. (Which is not to say that everyone who opposes abortion is driven by a need for power. I expect most are motivated by their religion. It’s the leadership that scares me.)

    1. You would think his lawyers would tell him to stop this nonsense at this point.

      It really isn’t going to help in the defamation suit against him. Or maybe his lawyer is as “good” as Giuliani and they are trying for an insanity defense.

      1. The Rules of CELEBRITY are in effect.

        NOBODY tells The CELEBRITY anything other than what The CELEBRITY wants to hear.

        Otherwise —
        “YOU’RE FIRED!”
        “YOU’RE FIRED!”
        “YOU’RE FIRED!”
        “YOU’RE FIRED!”
        “YOU’RE FIRED!”
        The Apprentice (Reality Show)

        “I don’t pay a lawyer to tell me what I want to do is illegal. I PAY A LAWYER TO TELL ME HOW TO GET AWAY WITH WHAT I WANT TO DO!”
        — either John D Rockefeller or J.P.Morgan

    2. Does his radio show run on one of those networks own by a corporation that’s suddenly getting very nervous about being the home of seditious talk show radio hosts?

      1. No, he’s on Salem Media Group, which hasn’t yet decided to turf hosts who continue to speak insurrection on a day to day basis.

  7. One question I have is when will this a**hat be arrested and charged for all applicable violations of law for his actions in breaching the Capitol barricade? What about incitement to riot and sedition charges?

    1. Incitement to riot would be hard to get a conviction on with just that video as evidence. Although, perhaps charging him with it as an incentive for him to plead out to lessor charges.

  8. i don’t believe any of these Christian Nationalist fanatics have read the Constitution of the United States or even their Holy Bibles recently. The Constitution mentions a creator but not God or Jesus Christ. As for the Holy Bible – it is as if most fundamentalists forget continually that Jesus was our Messiah – and we live under the New Testament- not the Old Testament. And we don’t need a new Savior – not Donald Trump or anyone else.

    1. The Constitution does not “mention” a “creator”. The Declaration of Independence refers to a “creator” and “Nature’s God”.

  9. There is a big disconnect between politics, politicians and the actual things that Jesus said in their proper context. Jesus said that His Kingdom was not of this world. He told his disciples not to lord their authority over others. He told them the greatest would be the one who is the most humble and the least selfish. Politics and politicians are the opposite of all that. They are the narcissists trying their hardest to tell a large enough group what they want to hear so they can get elected. Once elected they can make themselves very rich and powerful by lording their authorities over others. They become like the rich young ruler that walked away from the real Jesus after He offered him the chance of a lifetime to follow the Messiah. There is no answer in the worlds politics, only abuse, lying and deception. There is an answer in people becoming humble and actually becoming as concerned with the plight of others as they are to their own plight. Hence a “Christian” political nationalism is a total oxymoron.

    1. It’s been many years since I read the Bible. But I don’t remember where Jesus said he wanted us to be billionaires.

      If someone could get me that reference…

      1. That passage is right next to the one where Jesus instructs his followers to celebrate his birthday every December by reciting “Merry Christmas” on demand, just like Jesus always wanted.

  10. “There is a healthy secularism, for instance, the secularism of the State. In general, a secular State is a good thing; it is better than a confessional State, because confessional States finish badly.” – Pope Francis I

  11. If your Christianity requires America to be run by Christian rule, then you have to admit that you do not believe in following the Constitution. So you’re talking about a very different kind of rule. So define what you really mean.

    I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone admit this up front.

    1. They can be just as selective in interpreting the Constitution as they are with the Bible. If they can dodge Christ’s commands to “render unto Caesar”, they can dodge piddly stuff like inconvenient amendments.

      1. Except the difference is, that anyone can interpret their religious text any way they like. However, the SCOTUS has final say on interpreting the constitution.

      2. Good point. White-Nationalist Evangelicals long ago succeeded in erasing Jesus entirely from their theology without difficulty. See the Cranach blog on Patheos Evangelical as Exhibit A.

        1. And some have replaced Jesus with Trump.
          In 2016, GOD’s Only Party got themselves a new God.

          1. U.S. White-Nationalist Evangelicals worship a triune pagan deity of Trump, Aries/Mars, and Thanos. They left Jesus behind years ago.

    2. Actually is it more than not believing in the constitution, it shows you do not believe your religion can survive on its own, and requires government intervention to enforce your beliefs.

      1. For some I would agree. But many seem to believe that they need total control of the Seven Mtn. in order for Christ’s return. They don’t need a majority, they say; just enough levers of government and social media to turn things their way. They’ve been at this for quite a while.

        1. And when does “just enough” remain just enough? There will always be someone holier than the rest of us peasants who knows better than we do.

        2. But they are still ‘putting the trust in princes’ (cf. Psalm 146 : 3), so are wasting their time, as well as embracing a form of totalitarianism.

      2. Worse, it leads to theocracy. Which is thoroughly at odds with what the Constitution stands for. Madison and the others were clear that religion in government benefits neither religion nor government.

        We know from history how well different religions play with each other. Which is to say, not at all. When you go from a pluralistic toleration of differing beliefs to seizing power to elevate one religion over another (which is phrasing it with great restraint), look out.

        1. “Confessional (single-religion) states end badly.”

          That was the Pope, by the way!

  12. Doesn’t matter whether you are “peacefully” storming the barricades or “violently” storming the barricades. it is still illegal.

    You would think someone with a criminal justice degree would know that.

    Be interesting if there is any footage of him actually inside the capitol building or not. I suspect he did enter, and that had more to do with the resignation from St. Vincent than the video clip.

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