Mark Burns, a MAGA pastor and GOP candidate for Congress, spoke at a ReAwaken America rally Friday, which was being held at right-wing pastor John Hagee’s Cornerstone Church in San Antonio, Texas, where he riled up the crowd as it chanted “Let’s go, Brandon”—a conservative euphemism for “Fuck Joe Biden.”
The ReAwaken America event was organized and hosted by conspiracy theorist Clay Clark, who has been bringing various election, COVID-19, and QAnon conspiracy theorists together in churches around the country throughout 2021. At the San Antonio event, Burns shared the stage with Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and a cavalcade of right-wing conspiracy theorists, ranging from Mike Lindell and Michael Flynn to Roger Stone and even Alex Jones.
Friday’s event wasn’t the first time Burns had encouraged the “Let’s go, Brandon” chant. In October, he spoke at radical right-wing pastor Greg Locke’s church where he played to the crowd as it chanted the phrase. In the wake of that event, Locke chastised his congregation for chanting the phrase in his church, saying that while he completely agrees with the sentiment, chanting something like that in church is “an embarrassment to the body” of Christ.
Burns took to the stage Friday after Locke had also spoken and recounted the trouble he’d caused by stirring up the crowd at Locke’s church last month. And while Locke has since voiced his supposed disapproval of the “Let’s go, Brandon” chant that broke out, Burns suggested that Locke was not particularly troubled by it at the time.
“You can’t go to Greg Locke’s church without getting hit by the media,” Burns said. “I was at Greg Locke’s church, and the place just started shouting, ‘Let’s go, Brandon.’ And I’m sitting there, brother, and I’m like, ‘Oh God, what do I say? What do I do?’ I look at Greg Locke, and I say, ‘Greg, give me some instructions.’ He was like, ‘Let’s go, Brandon.'”
Predictably, the crowd gathered for the event at Hagee’s church then started chanting “Let’s go, Brandon” while Burns egged them on.
“You’re telling me you want to get rid of Joe Biden?” Burns asked rhetorically. “You want Donald J. Trump to come back right now? … Not later. Y’all need to look those cameras in the face and let the best president of the whole entire world know that you don’t want to come back later, you want him to come back right now!”
“Shout, ‘Now,'” Burns exhorted the crowd. “Now! Now! Now! Now! Now!”
Burns was also a vocal supporter of the so-called Stop the Steal movement, riling up Trump loyalists at a Stop the Steal rally on the eve of the Capitol insurrection by telling them, “We’re ready to do war!”