A four-day QAnon conference called the 'For God & Country Patriot Roundup' took place in Dallas, Texas this Memorial Day weekend. An organization called 'The Patriot Voice' organized the conference and said it was its “inaugural kick-off event” on its website.
“For three days, you will have the opportunity to hear from some of your favorite Patriots and Digital Soldiers in both keynote speeches and panel forums,” the website says. “You will also have the opportunity to meet and interact with these people, as well as meet fellow Patriots from around the country and world.”
Michael Flynn, former national security advisor to Donald Trump, was the main event at the sold out gathering. Flynn resigned from his national security post after reports that he had lied about his contact with a Russian official came to light. In December 2017 he entered a guilty plea for lying to the FBI about his communications with Russia's ambassador to the US at the time. Trump eventually pardoned him late last year.
During a Q & A session at the 'God & Country Patriot Roundup' Flynn stated that the US should have a coup like Myanmar where the military overthrew the democratically elected government. On February 1 of this year Myanmar's military overthrew its government and arrested its leaders. 800 Burmese people, including at least 40 children, have been killed according to Myanmar's Assistance Association for Political Prisoners. More than 4,000 people have been arrested.
"I want to know why what happened in Myanmar can't happen here?" a conference attendee asked Flynn.
"No reason. I mean, it should happen here," Flynn responded to thundering cheers from the crowd.
Lt. Col. Yevgeny "Eugene" Vindman, an Army officer who was fired by the Trump White House, has said Flynn could face a court-martial over his behavior. "With these seditious remarks Comrade Flynn may have crossed the line for recall to active duty and court-martial," he wrote on his personal Twitter account.
It would be one thing if this kind of thing was taking place on the remote fringes of society but it isn't. In today's Republican party it's mainstream, and that's terrifying. What makes it even more alarming is that it's all being done in God's name. Talk about taking the Lord's name in vain.
According to NPR a recent survey by the conservative American Enterprise Institute shows that 3 in 5 white evangelicals say Biden was not legitimately elected. Among them is Pastor Ken Peters, who founded the Patriot Church in Knoxville, Tenn., last year.
Peters states, "I believe that right now we have an illegitimate president in the White House and he was not elected by the people. I believe the truly 'We the People'-elected, should-be president is residing in Florida right now."
Combine these sentiments with the fact that 39% of Republicans say political violence may be necessary and you can see that Michael Flynn's comments at the 'For God & Country Patriot Roundup' aren't on the fringe at all. They're front and center in the extremely dangerous movement of right-wing 'Christian' nationalism. From our perspective there's nothing Christian about it.
We started this ministry in 2009 because we were very troubled by what we saw taking place in the US Christian community at large. Frankly, we're not all too surprised with recent developments. It was more or less inevitable. 80% of white evangelicals supported Donald Trump in both elections and he knows it.
While it wasn't hard to predict how it would play out it's still hard to fathom how so many Christians can be so misled. Just about every day we find ourselves asking, "Really? How can this be happening?" We just can't quite understand how anything the modern Republican party stands for can be attached to Jesus. When we read what Jesus actually taught it's obvious to us that it's antithetical to current Republican ideology.
So here we are. It certainly feels like a big relief the disgraced former president isn't sitting in the oval office any longer but we're kind of scared of any form of complacency. Things are far from smooth sailing conditions. Voter suppression legislation is being hatched throughout the entire nation based on 'The Big Lie' that the election was stolen from Donald Trump. Some states are trying to set things up so that if Republicans don't win the powers that be can just overturn the results. That's what Donald Trump wanted to do with his 2020 defeat. It didn't work. That could all change if Republican state legislators get their way. What we would have then would no longer be a democracy. That is what's known as a dictatorship. Too many conservatives in the US are just fine with using violence to achieve their objectives.
So what do we do as a community of Christian progressives? What do we do with the situation we're faced with? We have been at this now for almost 12 years. A lot has changed for the better, like marriage equality, but the money and influence driving The 'Christian' Right is enormous. It's literally a billion dollar communications juggernaut. The only way we were ever able to break through its enormous barriers to entry in the first place was the revolutionary advent of social media. Incidentally, we're convinced Donald Trump was elected for the same reason. Without Twitter we don't believe he would have been president. That's why we always say this is much, much more than 'just a Facebook page.'
What we do is do what we can. We're doing just that every day at The Christian Left. We work full time to create an environment where this community of 400K people can stay vigilant, engaged, and active. COVID put a big lid on our in person social justice action but very soon we'll be hitting the road for hot spots around the country. We've forged strategic alliances with most of the other progressive Christian organizations in the country throughout the years, from Vote Common Good, to the Wild Goose Festival, Chalice Press, and the Patheos Progressive Christian Channel.
We maintain a website, a blog, a Facebook page, a Twitter page, an Instagram page, an email list (Please join it, We pay a monthly fee to maintain it and it isn't cheap), a store, and a YouTube channel. Every single day since 2009 we've engaged with our social media audience at least 12 hours a day, providing a troll-free environment to discuss the news and events of the day in culture and politics. It's the only place quite like it online and it was definitely the first of its kind.
We wouldn't be able to do any of this without your help. The Christian Left is user supported. As we've explained, we're one of very few voices offering a counternarrative to the billion dollar empire of The 'Christian' Right. We need dedicated people who believe in this mission to participate by backing our effort financially. Make a contribution today and sign up to make it monthly if you can. Any amount helps. Here's how (click or tap here).
"Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up."
- Galatians 6:9
"By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
- Jesus, John 13:35
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About TCL Blog
We’re not about Dogma here. We’re just Christians who think the political and Christian right-wing have their priorities wrong.
Charles Toy is the founding member of The Christian Left. We're sure you will enjoy his passion as well as his wit. Guest bloggers featured often.