HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – Some may ask “Why would a Baptist pastor want to publicly share his thoughts on a politically fueled riot that took place in the nation’s Capitol earlier this week?”
First Baptist Church Huntsville Pastor Travis Collins said since Mo Brooks is his congressman, and is in the middle of things, he feels this is a matter in which his voice could make a difference.
“I’ve bitten my tongue 1001 times, whether it’s people on the right or the left,’ he said. “But this time, it was my representative, the closest thing I have to a voice in the Capitol. That’s why this time is, is a little different for me in terms of my choice to say something.”
News 19 has received dozens of phone calls and social media comments raising concerns about Brooks’ words at President Trump’s rally, calling for people at the rally to sacrifice and asking whether they had the nerve to lay down their lives.
“Our ancestors sacrificed their blood, their sweat, their tears, their fortunes, sometimes their lives to give us their descendants an America that is the greatest nation in world history,” Brooks said Wednesday morning. “So I have a question for you. Are you willing to do the same? My answer is yes. Louder, are you willing to do what it takes to fight for America? Louder, will you fight for America?”
“That played well in the moment,” Collins said. “Those words will play poorly in history.”
Five people did die, including a capitol police officer.
Collins compared Wednesday’s riot at the capitol to what he witnessed as a missionary in Nigeria in the 90s.
“I watched Nigeria fail at an attempt at a peaceful transition of power,” he said. “I know it’s not the same level and degree but I had those same sad and angry feelings that I had on Wednesday that I had, watching my Nigerian people suffer.”
Collins, who identifies as politically conservative, said now that Wednesday is in the past, he’s waiting on Brooks to turn things around.
“I’ve been looking for him, either to apologize or to accept responsibility all I have seen is him blaming Antifa,” he said.
No member of the protest group or group that caused violence at the Capitol have been confirmed to be a part of Antifa. Many of those who broke inside the Capitol have been identified as well-known Trump supporters and extremists.
Brooks told our news partners at AL.com an apology isn’t in his plans.
“I make no apology for doing my absolute best to inspire patriotic Americans to not give up on our country and to fight back against anti-Christian socialists in the 2022 and 2024 elections. I encourage EVERY citizen to watch my entire rally speech and decide for themselves what kind of America they want: One based on freedom and liberty or one based on Godless dictatorial power.”Rep. Mo Brooks, R-Alabama
But Collins said what happened Wednesday had nothing to do with religion.
“I saw several Jesus signs among the rioters,” he said. “Please understand, Jesus didn’t cheer on Wednesday. He wept over D.C. like he wept over Jerusalem 2,000 years ago.”
The pastor said he wants Brooks to reconsider.
“Don’t let that be your legacy.”