February 21, 2021 Editor

His pastors tried to steer him away from social media rage.

He stormed the Capitol anyway.

Listen to this article
Feb. 19, 2021

photo above: Michael Sparks, far left, stands with other Trump supporters as they are confronted by U.S. Capitol Police officers outside the Senate chamber on Jan. 6. (Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP)

WN: The article highlighted is an anatomy of a Trump cultist who stormed the Capitol. It did not turn out well for him.

I have close relatives who are Trump cultists. As for anyone caught up in a cult, rational dialogue is  invariably replaced by angry diatribe. (Though he ironically rails sometimes at university students who cannot do basic reasoning. I guess it’s because he’s a university graduate himself. 🙁 )

So four years ago I struck a bargain that we would not talk about things like:

  • Trump
  • immigration
  • Muslims
  • Blacks
  • Aboriginals
  • climate change
  • feminism
  • Obama
  • Hilary
  • Trudeau
  • LGBTQ+
  • “fake news”–never of course consumed by him!
  • etc.

This one relative not only feeds on hatred and xenophobia towards the above, he exposes himself as Sparks in the article highlighted, to social media that constantly reinforce that anger.

It’s all very sad. While the relative often has broken our pact (less so recently, thankfully), I have not once initiated comment on any of the above. Though he was warned if any of the above is initiated in the company of others, and I could not readily extract myself, I would speak up; else silence could communicate agreement.

That happened just once.  I spoke up. The outcome was not good.

A couple of times early on, I ventured the question, “WWJD?”–What would Jesus do? And expressed that I was trying at least to follow Jesus. Then the question: WWJD? Neither in fact of my “Christian” close interlocutors liked that question. . .

Sigh. . .


Facebook was making him angry.

For weeks last spring and summer, Michael Sparks had watched video of protests for racial justice around the country with growing unease. He could not turn away from his phone, even as he feared it was changing him. He posted his outrage. He posted that he hated seeing what was happening to his country. He posted that it made him want to kill people.

The 43-year-old husband and father didn’t believe that he actually would, but he knew even just saying so fell short of the Christian witness he wanted to bring to the world. His pastor at Franklin Crossroads Baptist Church in Cecilia, Ky., advised him to leave Facebook. He considered it. Instead, the rage that had begun online led him to Washington, D.C., not long after the new year.

According to the FBI, Sparks was the first to enter the Capitol through a smashed window near the Ohio Clock Corridor. Wearing jeans, a light black jacket and eyeglasses, he crawled over broken glass to overturn a presidential election. In his booking photo from Kentucky’s Oldham County Detention Center taken 13 days later, he is wearing a T-shirt that reads “Armor of God” and cites a Bible verse, Ephesians 6:11: “Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.”

Please click on the following for the rest of the sad story:

So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me.“–Paul

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Wayne Northey was Director of Man-to-Man/Woman-to-Woman – Restorative Christian Ministries (M2/W2) in British Columbia, Canada from 1998 to 2014, when he retired. He has been active in the criminal justice arena and a keen promoter of Restorative Justice since 1974. He has published widely on peacemaking and justice themes. You will find more about that on this website: a work in progress.

Always appreciate constructive feedback! Thanks.

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