Eric Trump, Flynn and other right-wing figures headline conference at San Marcos Church

Eric Trump, Roger Stone, retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn and other right-wing figures spoke at a conservative conference at a church in San Marcos over the weekend, while other leaders local clerics protested the event, calling it an anti-democratic move. that distorts Christianity.

The Reawaken America Conference, hosted by Flynn and Thrivetime Show podcast host Clay Clark, was held at Awaken Church in San Marcos as part of a nationwide tour. Other Awaken churches made headlines during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic when the county issued cease and desist notices ordering them to stop holding indoor unmasked services.

This challenge matched the message of the two-day event, where speakers railed against mask mandates and COVID-19 vaccines in a program that included elements of a trade show, political rally and a revival of the gospel tent of fire and brimstone.

Although not a real campaign rally for his father, who has not announced a re-election bid, Trump bragged about the former president’s accomplishments and spoke about the election in to come.

“We have to fight for religion, we have to fight for God, we have to fight for the nuclear family, which has been destroyed,” said Eric Trump, who spoke for about 40 minutes Friday afternoon before a crowd. crowded in the mega-church, while others watched the livestream from afar.

As the conference continued Saturday, the Reverend Beth Johnson, pastor of the Palomar Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, and an interfaith group of several other local pastors gathered a few miles away in Vista. They said the conference promotes a Christian nationalist ideology that combines discrimination and militarism with a distorted view of the Christian faith.

Reverend Margaret Decker of the Trinity Episcopal Church speaks out against the Reawaken America tour Saturday with other pastors. At left is Reverend Beth Johnson of Palomar Unitarian Universalist Fellowship Church and at right is Reverend Rebecca Littlejohn of Disciples of Christ.

(Charlie Neuman/For the San Diego Union-Tribune)

“The Reawaken tour is a stunning example of Christian nationalism on full display,” Johnson said. “While claiming to be Christian, claiming to follow Jesus, and inspired by the holy spirit, Christian nationalism distorts the Christian faith into an unrecognizable ideology of hatred.”

Flynn, who pleaded guilty to counts of lying to the FBI about Russian election interference and was later pardoned by trumprepeated allegations of voter fraud and said their political opponents were not incompetent or stupid, but evil.

The younger Trump also aired allegations of voter fraud, playing to a largely sympathetic crowd.

“You have the biggest fraud that ever happened in America,” he said. “Does anyone believe this was a legitimate election?”

More than 50 lawsuits and numerous election investigations and recounts have found no evidence of widespread fraud. Clay, the Reawaken tour organizer, faces a defamation lawsuit by a former Dominion Voting Systems executive whom Clark accused of rigging voting machines in the 2020 election.

Trump also picked up familiar refrains from his father’s 2016 campaign. The crowd chanted ‘Lock her up’ after Trump, the scion of a real estate dynasty, wondered aloud how House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a California Democrat, could afford to buy a 25-bedroom house. million dollars in Florida a mile from hers. Fact checks by multiple outlets revealed that Pelosi did not purchase the luxury home.

Saturday’s lineup included Californian political candidates, alternative health practitioners and darkly messianic religious speakers, whose messages ranged from a recommendation to avoid COVID-19 by eating organic meat and leafy greens, to the warning: “Do not be surprised if the Angel of Death shows up in Washington.

The Reverend Meg Decker, rector of Trinity Episcopal Church in Escondido, said the mix of political intrigue and calls to arms in an impending spiritual war corrupts Christian values ​​of tolerance and charity.

“What I see watching the Rewaken America campaign is what we in the mainstream church would call blasphemy,” she told reporters at the ecumenical gathering in Vista.

The tour heads to Oregon next month.

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