Several Christian leaders are criticizing the use of the “Let’s Go Brandon” chant at John Hagee’s Cornerstone Church in San Antonio last weekend.
Attendees, many of whom were not members of the church, chanted the phrase during the Reawaken America Tour rally. A video of the chant went viral on social media, with another video showing the chant being led from the stage. The rally, which was not part of the church service, was organized by Clay Clark and featured dozens of speakers, including Mike Lindell, Michael Flynn and Greg Locke.
The phrase became popular following a televised NASCAR race in October when fans at Alabama’s Talladega Superspeedway began chanting a vulgar phrase during an interview with race winner Brandon Brown. An NBC reporter wrongly, and some say purposely, reported it as “Let’s Go Brandon.” Brown, acknowledged what was actually being shouted and tweeted “let’s go Brandon” the next day. Since that moment, “Let’s Go Brandon” has served as a cleaner version of the phrase and is regularly chanted at concerts, sports and other public events as President Joe Biden’s approval rating sinks to record lows.
This is the first known time the phrase was chanted inside a church and some Christian leaders and pastors on social media joined others in criticizing the rally. Others say the criticism sets up a double standard.
Church of John Hagee, author of “In Defense of Israel”, chants “Let’s Go Brandon.” pic.twitter.com/QBBHkEpHoJ
— Richard Hanania (@RichardHanania) November 15, 2021
While the phrase may be something millions of Americans are thinking, if not saying out loud, the church setting caught many by surprise.
“This church has been totally subverted & compromised of the Gospel of Jesus & his Kingdom – a perfect picture of Christian Nationalism,” said Bob Roberts Jr., global senior pastor at Northwood Church in Keller, Texas., and founder of GlocalNet. “Call it what is – a false prophet leading lambs to the slaughter.”
Author and writer Rod Dreher tweeted, “This is blasphemous. Shame, shame, shame! What kind of church is this?!? Repent and believe the Gospel!”
Steve Viars, pastor and counselor of Faith Church in Lafayette, Ind., said in a Saturday column the phrase “Let’s Go Brandon” should never be used by Christians.
“Is it appropriate for Christians to use this phrase in any sense or setting? The answer from Scripture is an unqualified ‘no,’” Viars wrote. “When the people of God are caught up using words and phrases that are wicked to their very core, we have shown that politics has become more important than purity. Whenever and wherever that occurs, judgment needs to begin at the household of God (1 Peter 4:17).”
But many on social media defended the crowd’s chant saying these same leaders who now criticize this were silent when former President Barack Obama encouraged church congregations to get political.
In a 2008 video [click here], President Obama explicitly called on African Americans to “go ‘to your faith community’ to get the word out about his campaign,” reported the Catholic League. “He even goes so far as to say that “congregation captains” should be organized to accomplish this goal.”
More recently, on the Sunday before the November 2021 elections, Vice President Kamala Harris appeared by video in hundreds of black churches across Virginia.
In an effort to sway the minority vote toward McAuliffe, Harris aired a video endorsement of the Democrat nominee and urged congregants to place their vote for McAuliffe. The McAuliffe campaign has embraced “Souls to the Polls,” block-party style events featuring top campaign surrogates after church near polling locations, to drive turnout.
Pundits point out that those speaking out against the “Let’s Go Brandon” slogan in a church setting, were silent about the video of Harris asking for votes in 300-plus black churches. Neither were profane but one, (pointing to Harris’ statement) was clearly against IRS regulations.
The “Let’s go Brandon” phrase shows no sign of stopping and, in fact, continues to grow as a polite way to show voter disapproval. Stickers with the phrase are now appearing on tens of thousands of gas pumps across the nation. It’s often included on another sticker that portrays President Biden pointing at the gas price with a comment bubble stating, “I DID THAT!”
–Alan Goforth | Metro Voice