Last month, Project Veritas exposed Allison Hrabar, a Department of Justice (DOJ) paralegal who claims to be part of the anti-Trump “resistance” inside the government and who abused her position to protest a lobbyist outside his home. Hrabar spoke in the basement of a Washington, D.C. church, which Project Veritas identified as Foundry United Methodist Church (UMC).
In the Project Veritas video released last month, Hrabar discussed “how we can resist from inside,” while making posters with the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) in preparation for a protest. Hrabar also remarked that it is almost impossible to fire federal employees.
“Like, it’s kind of lucky at the DOJ, we can’t really get fired,” she said.
PJ Media reached out to multiple staffers at Foundry UMC and did not receive a response. PJ Media even reached out to the liberal Christian magazine Sojourners, which might support socialism but perhaps not resistance from inside the government. Sojourners also did not respond.
John Lomperis, United Methodist director at the Institute on Religion & Democracy (IRD) who served on pastoral staff for two United Methodist congregations and is a duly elected delegate to the United Methodist General Conference, discussed the range of views in his denomination.
“As a global denomination with nearly 13 million members, members of the United Methodist Church have a wide range of views on political and social issues,” Lomperis explained. In the church’s official teachings, “we are a traditional, orthodox Christian denomination.”
Lomperis lamented that “some United Methodist leaders and members have sought to hijack our church into being a mere pawn for various far-left political agendas,” but noted that the only group with any right to speak for the denomination is the General Conference. While United Methodist leaders once worked with the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, an abortion group, the General Conference ordered UMC agencies to separate from this group in 2016.
“Before rushing to support any political groups promoting Marxist ideologies, I wish left-wing United Methodists would take some time to listen to United Methodists in parts of the world where they have suffered greatly from the governments actually adopting such ideologies,” he urged.
While Lomperis warned against Marxist ideologies, he did not delve into the particular issues raised by Hrabar’s video. “As for resistance to President Trump, as someone from a non-partisan religious group, I am hesitant to offer detailed public commentary on such matters, regardless of my personal feelings as a private individual,” he said.
“Generally speaking, the United Methodist Church has long affirmed the legitimacy of people protesting within the boundaries of legality and non-violence,” Lomperis said. “I also believe that per Romans 13, we owe government leaders a degree of respect, regardless of whether or not we agree with all of their decisions.”
Lomperis would not condemn Hrabar’s resistance from within the DOJ, but that very “deep state” protest directly violates Romans 13.
In that passage, the Apostle Paul urges the Christians in Rome, “Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment.”
Christians have interpreted this passage in many different ways, and there is a long and proud tradition of Christian protest against wicked governments and pushing for civil rights. That said, for a public servant to use her position to frustrate the will of a duly elected leader who is her ultimate boss is a bridge too far.
As Lomperis noted, the UMC tradition affirms the legitimacy of protest “within the boundaries of legality and non-violence.” If Hrabar wants to protest Trump on her own time, she has that right. However, if she abuses her position within the DOJ to resist Trump, as she admitted to Project Veritas, that crosses the boundaries of legal protest.
Hrabar likely knows this, and that would explain why she found it so “lucky” that she “can’t really get fired.”
Members of Foundry UMC should know that their church hosted Hrabar and the Democratic Socialists of America. Lomperis argued that “as a basic matter of stewardship of their buildings, Christian churches should be a lot more discerning and careful than they often are in terms of TO which groups they rent use of their building space.”
Importantly, Lomperis also warned newer evangelical congregations to be discerning about whom “they rent space FROM.” “I am concerned that too many liberal churches that preach a secularized false Gospel, which is more shaped by secular left-wing politics than by Scripture, may be enjoying financial subsidies from the rent money they receive from evangelical congregations that use their space for their own afternoon worship services.”
Whatever Christians think about socialism — and there are excellent biblical reasons to reject all forms of Marxism — they should oppose illegal “deep state” activities like those Hrabar bragged about. Christian churches also need to be careful about which organizations they partner with — especially in such politically charged times.
Follow the author of this article on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.