The following editorial was originally written by the editorial board of The Dallas Morning News and published on November 20, 2021:
(TNS) – Michael Flynn, a former national security adviser under President Donald Trump, sparked a firestorm last weekend with calls for an American theocracy at a rally in San Antonio. Patriots should be aware of this un-American ideology and reject it.
Speaking on the ReAwaken America Tour, Flynn said, “If we’re going to have a nation under God, which we have to do, we have to have a religion.”
We would prefer to ignore Flynn. After all, it’s the watchdog that once called for a coup and continues to claim that Trump is the president. Flynn is not a serious constitutional thinker or an American patriot. But ignoring it isn’t made easier by the fact that Allen West, the former Texas GOP chairman turned gubernatorial candidate, proudly announced Flynn’s endorsement, just days after the theocracy’s brouhaha.
Nor can we ignore Americans who seem to approve of Flynn’s message. The ReAwaken America tour took place to a packed house at Cornerstone Church in San Antonio, where attendees chanted “Let’s go Brandon,” a semi-cryptic insult to President Joe Biden.
More worryingly, thousands of Americans say they would prefer the religious hegemony described by Flynn, according to the Public Religion Research Institute. In a PRRI survey released this month, only 13% of white evangelicals prefer religious diversity, while 57% agree with the statement: “I would prefer the United States to be a primarily made up of people who follow the Christian faith. White evangelicals are the only religious cohort in America where a majority shares this view.
This is, of course, an unconstitutional opinion. The First Amendment expressly prohibits state endorsement of religion (presumably, the only way to achieve Flynn’s theocratic fever dream.) It may shock Flynn and West to realize that, far from being patriotic , their rhetoric could lay the groundwork for the greatest threat to our democracy. . Those of us who were horrified by the events of January 6 can see it, even if the ReAwaken America crowd has yet to wake up to it.
Adding to the absurdity here, an internet sleuth named Jim Stewartson discovered that part of Flynn’s presentation may have been copied from a non-Christian source. About 80 words of a prayer he gave are identical to a speech given in 1984 by cult leader Elizabeth Clare Prophet. Only the pronouns have been changed.
Finally, it’s hard to ignore Flynn’s remarks since they happened here in Texas and the ReAwaken America tour is set to visit Dallas next month.
As Christian nationalism grows, Americans should know that it is neither Christian nor American to promote Flynn’s thought. Such an ideology must be rejected. Mainstream Republicans must speak out against this troubling trend within the party.
© 2021 The Dallas Morning News.
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