The concern for male military virtue, while still present in the movement, has become a hallmark of the Trump and post-Trump era. For example, Tony Perkins, head of the Family Research Council, recently formed a partnership with retired Lieutenant-General William Boykin, who previously served at the Central Intelligence Agency and was instrumental in nurturing Christian nationalist networks. in the military and among “disaster relief” NGOs abroad. The duo helped lead a men’s ministry called Stand Courageous to help men “make commitments that will bring men closer to God’s good purpose and design – men who will remain courageous!” At Stand Courageous rallies across the country, masculinity, patriarchy, and militarism are the name of the religion itself. “We need the men to be men, tough with compassionate strength, dedicated to uncompromising justice, with arms closed and standing,” the group documents say. “We are to be the men for whom God created us; warriors for all that is right, true and just.
In the pre-Trump era, reporting this kind of military rhetoric was inevitably greeted with a shrug and the excuse that it was, after all, just rhetoric. After January 6, 2021, it’s hard to hear it the same way.
Before introducing the next speaker, Connelly urges members to soak up Barton’s work and ideas: “So you can erase this nonsense that we hear from school boards, that no one wants God involved. It’s crazy. ”He continues,“ This time we can’t just sit idly by. I know you all do a phenomenal job in Loudoun County telling the school board ‘enough is enough’, Virginia, and beyond — a continuation of the right’s long-standing effort to undermine public education. “If you didn’t attend a school board meeting, you should be,” says Connelly.
Hogan Gidley, who worked as Trump’s White House deputy press secretary and is portrayed as an “election expert,” is the final guest speaker in today’s presentation. It is his presence on the agenda that brings the subtext of the meeting to light. “The Center for Electoral Integrity that Chad mentioned is non-partisan,” says Gidley. Then he promptly offers the kind of misinformation that passes for wisdom in the Trumpist embodiment of the Republican Party. “You’ve seen it in Arizona, you’re going to see more in Wisconsin; these are important problems, and they can no longer be dismissed out of hand, the facts are too glaring, ”he said.