This past weekend, infamous FBI fibber Michael Flynn stood on a stage at Cornerstone Church in San Antonio and spoke his truth: âIf we are going to have one nation under God, which we must, we have to have one religion. One nation under God, and one religion under God.â Christian nationalist mic drop. Heâd finally said the quiet part out loud.
Which, to be fair, was maybe not even the craziest thing that happened at Cornerstone last weekend as it hosted podcast host Clay Clarkâs âReawaken America Tourâ â a shitshow so very spectacular that Cornerstone, the church of famed end times Christian Zionist John Hagee, had to release a face-saving statement saying that maybe, just maybe, things had gone a little too far even for them (âCornerstone Church is not associated with this organization and does not endorse their views.â) There was a woman wearing a Jewish-themed prayer shawl and blowing on a ramâs horn, because, as she explained it, âDemons tremble at the sound of the shofar.â There was My Pillow CEO Mike Lindell and disgraced political operative Roger Stone on hand to provide the event with a legitimate dose of illegitimacy. There was Alex Jones growling at attendees that âthe devilâs reign on this planet is coming to an endâ and that Bill Gates and Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama know that âthey chose SATAN! AND THEY! ARE GOING! TO FAIL!â There were rousing rounds of the oddly-devised anti-Biden chant âLetâs go, Brandonâ and worship music provided by Sean Feucht, graciously in attendance thanks to his failed run for Californiaâs state legislature. There was also, presumably, nary a vaccinated person in the house. (...)
Lance Wallnau used the Oct. 29 episode of his podcast to rail against the âwoke industrial complexâ and to portray âwokenessâ as âa weird new religion.â Wallnau, a Christian nationalist author, speaker, and life coach who promotes Seven Mountains Dominionism, urged Christians to recognize that proponents of âWokeianityâ are their enemies.
âThe Wokeianity of the Antichrist system is an extorted confession of faith,â he said, âwhere you have to use the gender pronoun arbitrarily chosen by a studentâ even if that studentâs reality âisnât real for you.â
Wallnau reaches a wide audience through his books, podcasts, conference speeches, and appearances on religious-right media. He has more than 735,000 followers on Facebook and more than 60,000 on Twitter. In advance of the 2016 election, Wallnau claimed that former President Donald Trump was Godâs anointed âchaos candidate.â He became enough of an insider among Trumpâs Pentecostal supporters that he was invited to the White House for a briefing on the administrationâs Middle East peace plans. In 2020, Wallnau said that Trumpâs reelection would set the stage for the church to take greater authority in the world. When that didnât happen and Joe Biden was sworn in as president, Wallnau declared Biden to be âan illegal counterfeit.â
On last Fridayâs podcast, Wallnau portrayed the political situation in the United States as a âspiritual battle,â something even more powerful and âsinister,â he said, than the political battles as covered by right-wing pundits on Fox News. âItâs a whole invasion of Western civilization with ideas that are grounded in the destruction of America as weâve known it and freedom as weâve experienced it,â he claimed. (...)
Mr. Gallagher promoted himself as an experienced investor with a Ph.D. in philosophy from Brown University, offering clients a path to financial stability and a better life through âpersonal responsibilityâ and âless government,â with âthe help of God.â
âYou can leave Godâs country, and we will not miss you,â Robinson said.
Later, Robinson told the crowd that they are Godâs regiment on Earth and âthe living embodimentâ of all those who have sacrificed their lives in defense of this nation.
âTell our enemies on the other side of the aisle that will drag this nation down into a socialist hellhole that you will only do it as you run past me laying on the ground, choking on my own blood because I will not give up this nation to you!â Robinson bellowed. âIt is not yours. You did not build it, you did not defend it, and you will not own it. We will. The Christian patriots of this nation will own this nation and rule this nation and help freedom survive for future generations.â
âLetâs be very clear,â Stone declared. âGod himself gave Donald Trump the strength and the courage and the wisdom to pardon me. On the morning I was arrestedâat 6:06 in the morningâthe night before Iâd fallen asleep reading the Bible. And when I heard the pounding on the door, I looked down, and the Bible was open to Psalms 16:8: âI will not be shaken.'â
Bishop Patrick Wooden of North Carolina is a viciouslyanti-LGBTQright-wing pastor who has claimed, among other things, that gay men have to wear diapers because they routinely insert cellphones, baseball bats, and animals into their anuses.
Naturally, Wooden is close allies with North Carolinaâs Christian nationalist Republican Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson, who is likewise vehementlyopposed to efforts to promote LGBTQ rights and equality. With Robinson underfire over a clip Right Wing Watch posted of him ranting that Christians must take control of public schools because âthereâs no reason anybody anywhere in America should be telling any child about transgenderism, homosexuality, any of that filth,â Wooden is predictably coming to Robinsonâs defense.
On Thursday, Wooden posted a video on his YouTube channel in which he praised Robinsonâs comments, asserted that those who have criticized Robinson are racist, dismissed local LGBTQ leaders as âlosers,â and reported that Robinsonâs right-wing supporters had gathered with him Wednesday to hold âa big prayer meetingâ amid the controversy. (...)
One of the nationâs most prominent religious conservative lawyers played a critical behind-the-scenes role in the lawsuit that Republican state attorneys general filed in December in a last-ditch effort to overturn the election of President Biden, documents show.
The lawyer, Michael P. Farris, is the chief executive of a group known as Alliance Defending Freedom, which is active in opposing abortion and gay rights. He circulated a detailed draft of the lawsuit that Ken Paxton, the Texas attorney general, ultimately filed against states including Pennsylvania, Georgia and Wisconsin in an effort to help President Donald J. Trump remain in office.
Mr. Paxton filed the lawsuit on Dec. 7, after making some changes but keeping large chunks of the draft circulated by Mr. Farris.
But Mr. Farrisâs role highlighted how religious conservatives supported Mr. Trumpâs unsuccessful attempts to retain power by blocking certification of Mr. Bidenâs victory. (...)
Mr. Farrisâs involvement in the effort, which has not previously been reported, came as part of a broad push by religious conservatives to get Mr. Trump re-elected. Their role intensified after the pandemic hit in early 2020 and states began to loosen absentee ballot rules, which the religious conservatives feared would lead to a surge in participation by liberal voters.
Mr. Farris made a name for himself in the 1980s as the founder of a legal group that successfully pushed states nationwide to allow children to be taught at home, based on a belief that only through home-schooling, away from secular influences in public schools, could a broad Christian movement rise in the United States. (...)
E.W. Jackson, a right-wing pastor who was the Republican Partyâs nominee for Virginia lieutenant governor in 2013, told religious-right activists at the Family Research Councilâs âPray Vote Standâ conference Thursday that Marxism, socialism, âtransgenderism,â homosexuality, and abortion are works of the devil, and that âGod wants to intervene in the rotten here and now and bring us out of this mess that we are in.â
Jackson, whose radio show is broadcast on the American Family Associationâs radio network, told attendees that âthe problem that we have in America is ultimately not political and ultimately not cultural. It is spiritual.â
The United States, he said, is a âprovidentialâ nation and âa gift from Almighty Godâ:
Patriotism comes from the word âpater,â meaning love of or honor of the father. And itâs not just about our Founding Fathers; itâs about the Father God who gave us this nation. And if you really believe that this nation is the gift that God gave to you, to your children, and to your grandchildren, then you ought to be willing to say, âIâm not going to let some bunch of Marxists and socialists and communists take this nation away and rob my posterity of the great gift that God has given us.â
Jackson told activists that Christians have a responsibility âto destroy the works of the devil,â adding:
Marxism is a work of the devil! Socialism is a work of the devil! Transgenderism is a work of the devil! Homosexuality is a work of the devil! Abortion is the work of the devil! And we say, âSatan, weâre going to tear your kingdom down!â
Jackson also denounced âcritical race theory,â railing against the caricature of that academic field of study that right-wing groups have used to rile up and mobilize parents and activists, saying, âAll of this racial division is the work of the devil.â He claimed that children as young as 3 months old are being taught that they are either an oppressor or the oppressed âbased upon the complexion of your skin.â
âThey used to tell me, âHow can you as a Black man not support Barack Obama?â I said, âItâs very easyâBarack Obama doesnât support Jesus and I donât support him,â he added. (...)