Should we be concerned when a former military man who briefly served as the country’s national security adviser tells a church filled with evangelists and Christian nationalists that the time has come for the U.S. to have just one religion?
“If we are going to have one nation under God, which we must, we have to have one religion,” said convicted felon Michael Flynn, during his speech at the “ReAwaken America Tour” in San Antonio last week. “One nation under God, and one religion under God.”
His statement was delivered before a packed sanctuary led by the Rev. John Hagee, a powerful televangelist. Flynn’s wish for a single religion flouts the country’s First Amendment, which states “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…”
Jews, and other minorities should take note of Flynn’s position. He is still deeply popular with the upper echelons of the Republican Party and also has found support among the evangelical base. Over the years, he has praised and mingled with anti-Muslim and antisemitic activists, and retweeted antisemitic and other hateful statements.
While Flynn’s aspiration for “one religion” should cause Jews to pause, it will be welcomed by many evangelists. This same base is led by pastors such as John Hagee. They have been pro-Israel for decades, and their influence reaches the top circles of American and Israeli governments. That said, their support of Israel is based upon Jews returning to Israel to hasten the coming of their messiah, Jesus. With the “rapture,” Jews will either convert to Christianity or go to Hell.
A one-religion country is the antithesis of America. The U.S. economy was not built by a group of people who belonged to the same religion; its wars were not fought by men and women who worshipped in the same church; its values were not established by one set of religious tenets.
As Americans, we need to continue to stand together and celebrate our differences and acknowledge that diversity has made this country a unique land. We also need to protect democracy and our Constitution. Let us make our voices heard whenever powerful interests challenge our freedoms.