A chant of “Let’s Go Brandon” at a well-known Texas church over the weekend was met with a round of rebuke from multiple Christian leaders, who called the moment shameful and antithetical to Jesus’ teachings.
The phrase – a substitute for “F--- Joe Biden” – was chanted Saturday at the Reawaken America Tour rally at San Antonio’s Cornerstone Church, where popular author John Hagee serves as pastor. A video of the chant went viral on social media, with another video showing the chant being led from the stage. The rally was organized by Clay Clark and featured dozens of speakers, including Mike Lindell, Michael Flynn and Greg Locke.
The videos show attendees on their feet and clapping while chanting the phrase – similar to how fans at a sporting event would act.
The phrase became popular following a televised NASCAR race in October, when fans began chanting the vulgar phrase ("F--- Joe Biden"), but an NBC reporter misheard it as “Let’s Go Brandon” – which happened to be the first name of the race winner.
Since that moment, “Let’s Go Brandon” has served as a cleaner version of the R-rated phrase.
Christian leaders and pastors on social media joined others in criticizing the rally for chanting the phrase.
“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.”
This church has been totally subverted & compromised of the Gospel of Jesus & his Kingdom - a perfect picture of Christian Nationalism https://t.co/ZBioURPmEj— Bob Roberts Jr. ن (@bobrobertsjr) November 14, 2021
“The church is supposed to be far more than the Republican Party at prayer. ‘Let’s Go Brandon” means “F*** Joe Biden’ Where the Spirit of God is, we already have a slogan. It’s ‘Jesus Is Lord.’ And if we believe it, we think twice before using church for this political nonsense,” said Griffin Gulledge, pastor of Madison Baptist Church in Madison, Ga.
The church is supposed to be far more than the Republican Party at prayer. “Let’s Go Brandon” means “F*** Joe Biden.”— Griffin Gulledge (@griffingulledge) November 14, 2021
Where the Spirit of God is, we already have a slogan. It’s “Jesus Is Lord.” And if we believe it, we think twice before using church for this political nonsense. https://t.co/yavgVCM4wl
“I don’t see Jesus fist-pumping to Let’s Go Brandon chants,” said former U.S. Rep. Denver Riggleman, a Republican.
I don’t see Jesus fist pumping to Let’s Go Brandon chants. I’m probably out of touch though…Being decent and all.— Denver Riggleman (@RepRiggleman) November 14, 2021
Pass the plate to get to the gate https://t.co/SuNRGFMkr6
Author and writer Rod Dreher tweeted, “This is blasphemous. Shame, shame, shame! What kind of church is this?!? Repent and believe the Gospel!”
This is blasphemous. Shame, shame, shame! What kind of church is this?!? Repent and believe the Gospel! https://t.co/2sKWX73Brr— Rod Dreher (@roddreher) November 14, 2021
Steve Viars, pastor and counselor at 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 in a column for the Journal & Courier. “... 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).
“Every Christian who has been gleefully standing and shouting ‘Let’s Go Brandon’ needs to answer this question: have you spent an equal or greater amount of time on your knees quietly praying for our president?” Viars asked. “… We should be known as peacemakers and those who love people with whom we disagree. It’s called speaking the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15). Let’s go, people of God. We can and must do far better than this.”
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Booky Buggy
Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.