Skip To Content
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.

Support the Forward

Funded by readers like you DonateSubscribe
Fast Forward

U.S. needs ‘one religion under God,’ ex-Trump advisor Michael Flynn tells far-right rally

This article originally appeared on Haaretz, and was reprinted here with permission.

Michael Flynn, former President Donald Trump’s national security adviser, called for Americans to adopt a single religion this weekend during a far-right rally in San Antonio, Texas.

Speaking during an appearance at the ReAwaken America tour – which featured fringe conspiracy theorists like MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell, longtime Trump ally Roger Stone and pro-Trump attorney L. Lin Wood – the forcibly retired lieutenant general declared that, contrary to the First Amendment, which guarantees freedom of religion, “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.”

His comments were almost immediately endorsed by hard-right Republican Senate candidate Josh Mandel, who tweeted “We stand with General Flynn” and “Freedom of religion ≠ freedom FROM religion,” on Saturday evening.

Mandel, a grandson of Holocaust survivors running for Senate in Ohio, recently made waves when he claimed, without proof, that Jewish philanthropist George Soros helped mastermind both the COVID-19 pandemic and the racial justice protests across the United States last year.

His Twitter bio states that he is “Fighting to protect the Judeo-Christian bedrock of America.”

Candidate Mark Pukita, who is running against Mandel in the Republican primary, recently ran an ad explicitly singling out his opponent’s Jewish identity, asking “Are we seriously supposed to believe the most Christian-values Senate candidate is Jewish?”

According to Politico, when asked if he believed the ad was antisemitic, Pukita told a forum of voters that “In terms of antisemitism, all I did in an ad was point out that Josh is going around saying he’s got the Bible in one hand and the constitution in the other. But he’s Jewish. Everybody should know that though, right?”

Flynn served as then-President Donald Trump’s first national security advisor in 2016 but was fired after only 24 days for lying to Vice President Mike Pence as controversy broke over the former general’s contacts with then-Russian Ambassador Sergei Kislyak.

He was later one of several former Trump aides to plead guilty or be convicted at trial in former Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Moscow’s interference in the 2016 U.S. election to support Trump’s candidacy. He was pardoned by Trump in November 2020.

Flynn also served as head of the Pentagon’s Defense Intelligence Agency but was forced out in 2014 in part due to his management style and opinions on how to fight Islamist militancy.

He has a history of making controversial remarks and spreading conspiracy theories, having called for a military coup and saying that “they’re talking about putting the [COVID] vaccine into salad dressing.”

Flynn’s latest comments about religion come after some adherents of the Qanon conspiracy theory accused him of engaging in Satanism, a charge which he has denied.

This article originally appeared on Haaretz, and was reprinted here with permission.

Engage

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.