Former Trump national security adviser Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn told a group of evangelical Christians Nov. 13 that America needs only “one religion under God.”
Flynn spoke at a three-day church-based political rally in San Antonio, Texas, at the church where televangelist John Hagee serves as pastor. Flynn twice addressed attendees of the Reawaken America Tour — promoted as sold out or nearly sold out in multiple cities.
The sanctuary of Hagee’s Cornerstone Church reportedly seats 5,400 people, and it appeared to be filled to capacity on Saturday. Other speakers at the event included Info Wars host Alex Jones and My Pillow founder Michael Lindell. A recurring theme of the speakers was opposition to COVID-19 vaccines and mask mandates.
On Sunday, Nov. 14, several news sources reported that Flynn said, “So, 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.”
“So, 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.”
In their version of the story on Flynn’s remarks, the online political journal The Hill included a tweet by Ron Filipkowski whose Twitter profile lists him as “Attorney, Marine, Triathlete, Historian, Former Federal Prosector & Repub; now Defense Attorney & Democrat. General Counsel for Woke Mob.”
Filipkowski’s tweet included a portion of the video that the conference posted online. The full conference video runs 11 hours and 8 minutes. Flynn’s first appearance, in the morning, was a question-and-answer session with audience members. His second appearance, apparently in the afternoon, ran just over 3 minutes. Filipkowski’s tweeted video contains 23 seconds of these remarks. In this portion, Flynn references the Gospel of Matthew, but the context is not clear.
What follows is a complete transcription of the remarks, which begin at 6:56:19 in the video posted at americanfaith.com. The italicized section marks the portion in the video segment posted by Filipkowski.
FLYNN: So, I think I just heard one of the best phrases that I’ve ever heard. Honestly. And comin’ out here, it was just, you know whether — you know — this — what he said because we were back there talking about religion and the religious community. ‘Cause I actually think we’ve got a(n) issue in the religious community (crowd cheers) and because it’s not together. But if we can have one nation under God, we should have one church under God. Right? And I think that that’s really, really a powerful, powerful statement. And uh … Because the religious community and these pastors out there around this country, they know, because I’ve spoken to many of them. We have to take (sic) not just about religion. ‘Cause the religion is the founder, is the foundation of this country. It really is. I mean if you really study the 1500s, the 1600s, the 1700s, and how we were created as a Judeo-Christian country with the you know beautiful, beautiful set of values and principles that we have. But now we’ve lost sight of that. We’ve lost sight of that. And many of the churches are — they’re split, and they’re doin’ their own thing. And somethin’s not right. Somethin’s not workin’. And so, you know, when we think about, when we think about our own faith, and this is what you’ve heard a lot about from different people today I think, when we talk about faith, there’s something shaking. OK? The ground underneath us is shaking. And it’s shaking because, you know what I mean? There is a time, and you have to believe this: that God Almighty is like involved in this country because this is it. This is it. This is the last place on Earth. This is, this is the shining city on the hill. This is the city on the hill. The city on the hill. The city on the hill was mentioned in Matthew. OK? It was mentioned in Matthew. And then a guy by the name of Winthrop mentioned it again in 1630. In 1630, OK, before the country was formed. And he also coined the term New England. “We’re going to go to this New England” — this new world he was talking about. And he talked to the people there about this thing called the city on the hill. And then Ronald Reagan a couple of hundred years later again talked about it as the shining city on the hill. And they’re talking about the United States of America. Talking about the United States of America. ‘Cause when Matthew mentioned it in the Bible, he wasn’t talking about the physical ground that he was on; he was talking about something in the distance. So, if we are going to have one nation under God, which we must, we have to have one religion, one, one, one nation under God and one religion under God. Right? All of us together. Working together. I don’t care what your ecumenical service is or what you are. We have to believe that this is a moment in time where this is good versus evil. So, ladies and gentlemen, I’m going to turn this over to this beautiful man — Josh — and let him take it from here. So, God bless you and enjoy. (Crowd cheers.)
As of late Sunday evening, social media posts and news outlet reports featured strong reaction to Flynn’s remarks. This comes just over a month after Business Insider reported that a prayer delivered by Flynn had made him the target of QAnon — the mysterious underground political movement.
Flynn said his prayer was a rendering of a prayer to St. Michael, taught to him by his mother. QAnon asserted he was praying to Satan. Business Insider quoted Flynn as replying: “People need to stop overthinking what everyone is saying and listen to what is happening around us. Pay attention to reality that is happening around us instead of interpreting things that don’t need interpretation.”
Bradley W. Bull is a lecturer in the School of Interdisciplinary Studies at Tennessee Tech University.
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