Disgraced former national security adviser Michael Flynn claimed this weekend that if the U.S. wants to be one nation under God, then it needs to outlaw all religions other than Christianity.
Flynn made his call for a theocracy during his appearance on stage at the “Reawaken America” tour event in San Antonio, a conspiracy-laden event where religious leaders, anti-vaccine promoters, and QAnon adherents mix freely.
“If 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,” Flynn told the thousands in attendance.
Since being pardoned by former President Donald Trump last November, Flynn has fully embraced the world of conspiracy theories and repeatedly boosted outlandish and dangerous ideas. Last May during a QAnon conference in the same state, he told an audience member that he didn’t see any reason why a Myanmar-style military coup shouldn’t happen in the U.S.
Unsurprisingly, Flynn’s comments drew widespread anger and criticism. “These people hate the U.S. Constitution,” Minnesota Democrat Ilhan Omar, one of the first Muslim women elected to Congress, tweeted.
But just as he did back in May, Flynn is now trying to walk back his comments about creating a single-religion state.
However, rather than issuing a public statement, Flynn instead chose to speak to Tracy Beanz, one of the earliest QAnon promoters, who was recently elected to a leadership position in the GOP in South Carolina.
“My message is and has always been, when I discuss religious persecution, that our nation was built upon a Judeo-Christian set of values and principles,” Flynn told Beanz in a comment posted on her Telegram channel.
“We were founded by people seeking to practice their religion freely and without harm from their government. God is under attack today by the left. In this country, we should be able to worship however we want, to whomever we want, and we should not be persecuted for our faith—a faith that is under attack by the left every single day,” Flynn added.
What Flynn didn’t explain was why he called for a Christian theocracy in his speech at the San Antonio conference.
But it should really come as no surprise to anyone who’s been tracking Flynn’s rise within the right-wing MAGA world since he was fired as national security adviser for lying to the FBI.
Since Trump was ousted from office and Q fell silent, Flynn has taken on the mantle of a leader within the QAnon community. In that vacuum, he has sought to leverage his popularity by appearing at a seemingly unending number of conferences and rallies in all corners of the country. He has even opened an online shop that sells merchandise featuring QAnon slogans.
During that time, QAnon conspiracy theories have become increasingly intermingled with evangelical Christianity. Pastors are now openly spouting QAnon conspiracies from the pulpit, while some church leaders have echoed Flynn’s rhetoric about the return to a Judeo-Christian society, supposedly based on what the founding fathers wanted.
One of those is Pastor Ken Peters, head of the rabidly pro-Trump Patriot Church movement, who says he feels under attack for his beliefs—which include the belief that Trump is still president—and is willing to resort to violence if necessary.
“If the truth is suppressed and covered up, then that ultimately will lead to violence,” Pastor Ken Peters, head of the Patriot Church movement, recently told VICE News. “It could end up bad, you know, a lot of things end up rough and violent. We hope it doesn't, but we can't be so afraid of a violent outcome that we allow the left to cheat their way to destroying this country.”
And so while many Democrats blasted Flynn’s comments over the weekend, on the message boards and Telegram channels where Trump supporters now gather, those same comments were embraced enthusiastically.
“Flynn is a true patriot! Period,” one commenter on a popular QAnon-focused Telegram channel wrote. Meanwhile, Lin Wood, the pro-Trump lawyer and major QAnon influencer, told his 775,000 Telegram followers: “I admire General Flynn and his service to this country and his fight for our freedom.”
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