WASHINGTON (JTA) – The Anti-Defamation League and the US Jewish Congress have joined with many groups and individuals in condemning the call by Michael Flynn, Donald Trump’s former national security adviser, for states -United have one religion.
âIf we are to have a nation under God, what we need to, we have to have a religion,â Flynn said Saturday during a rally in Texas for ReAwaken America, a Christian-themed speaking tour supported by The Network of America Faith Christian Information. . âA nation under God and a religion under God. “
ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt and the US Jewish Congress have both taken to Twitter to call Flynn’s statement “anti-American.”
“To suggest that the United States of America, a nation founded on the twin pillars of pluralism and the freedom to practice any religion, should ‘have a religion’ is anti-American, undemocratic and downright dangerous,” said Greenblatt.
âMichael Flynn’s statements are both unacceptable and anti-American,â the US Jewish Congress said. âSuch dangerous rhetoric goes against American values ââand threatens the foundations of our democracy. “
Many Democrats and a number of Flynn’s former colleagues in the military, where he rose to senior ranks, have also denounced Flynn.
The rally was said to have taken place at the shrine of Cornerstone Church in San Antonio, led by prominent evangelical pastor John Hagee, founder of the Zionist Christian group Christians United for Israel. Hagee spoke at the 2018 inauguration by the Trump administration of the new United States Embassy in Jerusalem. A CUFI spokesperson directed a reporter’s investigations to Cornerstone Church.
In response to a question, the Cornerstone press team said: âLast week the Cornerstone Church facilities were used by an outside organization. Cornerstone Church is not associated with this organization and does not endorse their views.
Trump fired Flynn after confessing to lying to senior Trump administration officials about conversations he had with Russian officials. He pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about these conversations, including one that had to do with Israel policy.
Trump eventually pardoned Flynn, and Flynn became the provider of some of the more outlandish conspiracy theories surrounding Trump’s presidency; he also endorsed Trump’s false claim that President Joe Biden’s election was fraudulent.
Greenblatt linked Flynn’s rhetoric to the murderous Jan.6 insurgency on the U.S. Capitol, spurred by allegations of Trump’s election fraud.
“We are living in a post-traumatic moment as a nation, reeling from the fallout from the January 6 insurgency,” he said. The ADL “is deeply concerned that rhetoric like Flynn’s – which elevates one religion over others – has the potential to deepen these divisions and incite political violence.”
Flynn had at least Jewish support: Josh Mandel, a Republican candidate for senator from Ohio who has championed what he calls âJudeo-Christianâ values ââin his campaign, said on Twitter: âWe support General Flynn .
A number of Jewish groups in 2016 joined a call for Trump by liberal groups not to appoint Flynn to the post, citing his anti-Muslim rhetoric and his retweeting of an anti-Semitic statement. (He apologized for amplifying the anti-Semitic statement.)