Joshua Feuerstein, a hard-right evangelical online personality, declared at a Jan. 5 pro-Trump rally in Washington, D.C., “It is time for war! Stop the steal!” The next day, a violent insurrection at the U.S. Capitol interrupted congressional affirmation of Joe Biden’s Electoral College victory and left five people dead.
The rally featured right-wing leaders mixing Christian nationalism, Trumpism, stolen-election conspiracy theories, COVID-19 denialism, and threats of violence. Feuerstein was one of several speakers who talked about the “black robe regiment,” colonial-era preachers who mobilized the men in their congregations to join the war for independence from the British.
Here’s what Feuerstein had to say at the rally:
Ladies and gentlemen, the Bible declares that the thief and the enemy has come, but to kill, to steal, and to destroy. For the last 40 years, the liberals have tried to kill our unborn babies, steal elections, and destroy the Constitution. But patriots have come to Washington, D.C., to make their voices heard that we will not allow them to steal this election!
There is a particular passage that perfectly parallels the perilous times in which we live. The Bible says that the shepherd David was on the back side of a Judean hill tending the flock when a lion and a bear came to steal the little lambs. Why did God put David there? He put him there to stop the steal!
You see, the liberals and leftists know that if you come in the spirit of a predator like the lion and the bear, and you take one little lamb today, it will be another little lamb tomorrow, and another little lamb the next day.
But we, as the church of the living God, are standing up saying, “We’re not just mad at Hell, but we’re mad as hell.”
The Bible declares that it was David that defeated the lion and the bear. Unfortunately, today, we don’t fight lions and bears. We fight liberals and RINOs. [RINO is right-wing slang for Republican in Name Only, referring to Republican officials who aren’t sufficiently right-wing.]
And let me speak to Right Side Broadcasting, to every cowardly congressman, or limp-wristed, weak-kneed sissified senator like Ben Sasse and little Mitt Romney and son-of-a-Mitch McConnell. We say you cowardly congressmen and sissified senators better stand up tomorrow like shepherds and stop the steal.
I close with this thought, as I am echoed by patriot preachers and black robe regiment. It was the preacher Emerson that stood there, a black robe regiment, from his pulpit and preached to several hundred one Sunday morning, when he took off the black robe that that signified that he was a preacher and he said, “There is a time for peace, and there is a time for war. And now it is time for war.” And so today, I stand with the black robe regiment, and I am one preacher declaring to patriots, “It is time for war! Let us stop the steal!”
Feuerstein had declared the 2020 election to be a “civil war that will change the face of America forever” at the 2019 American Priority Festival and Conference.
Feuerstein has gained notoriety with online shenanigans, including the claim several years ago that Starbucks’ holiday season red cup was part of a war on Christmas. His videos have been criticized for suggesting violence against abortion providers and generating death threats against a bakery owner who declined to make a cake with an anti-gay message on it. His Instagram account recently featured posts denouncing Vice President Mike Pence as a “Judas” and a “traitor.”
In September, after Feuerstein’s Facebook account was suspended, he used his wife’s account to announce that he was starting a new church, “America’s Church,” in Plano, Texas, that he said would “never back down, back up, or be silenced.”