Who’s Who In ‘God & Country’

“God & Country,” a new documentary about Christian nationalism, is set to be released this week. Produced by Rob Reiner and based on Katherine Stewart’s book “The Power Worshippers: Inside the Dangerous Rise of Religious Nationalism,” the film explores that ways in which far-right Christian activists use and misuse religion and the Bible for political purposes and the role that Christian nationalism played in the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.

The roster of right-wing figures featured in the film reads like a who’s who of Right Wing Watch posts over the years; the film’s credits include thanks to Right Wing Watch for providing source material. In anticipation of the film’s release, we have put together his a quick overview of just who these activists are to help viewers understand their views and roles within the larger Christian nationalist movement.

  • Greg Locke is a radical right-wing pastor and fervent conspiracy theorist who pastors Global Vision Bible Church in Mt Juliet, Tennessee. Locke has incessantly refused to accept that President Joe Biden won the 2020 election and he was among the speakers at rally in Washington, DC, the night before the insurrection. Locke’s sermons frequently consist of him screaming conspiracy theories from the pulpit.
  • Charlie Kirk is a right-wing commentator and youth organizer who has increasingly embraced overt Christian nationalism in recent years. Kirk created a faith branch of his Turning Point USA organization, called TPUSA Faith, which he uses to mobilize churches to get politically engaged, often by spreading flagrantly untrue Christian nationalist pseudo-historical disinformation.
  • Rick Wiles is a far-right pastor and host of an End Times program called “Trunews,” which he uses to spread bigotry, wild conspiracy theories, and undisguised antisemitism. Wiles and his network nevertheless regularly received press credentials from the Trump White House.
  • Lance Wallnau is a self-proclaimed Christian nationalist who rose to prominence by declaring that Trump had been anointed by God to serves as a “modern-day Cyrus.” A leading proponent of Seven Mountains Dominion theology who is heavily focused on mobilizing conservative Christian voters to turn out in 2024, Wallnau is an unabashed Trump cultist.
  • Kenneth Copeland is a multimillionaire televangelist and Christian nationalist who served on the Trump campaign’s Evangelical Executive Advisory Board and proved to be one of Trump’s most loyal sycophants. even telling voters that God would ensure they would be “blessed financially” for voting for Trump.
  • Like Copeland, Jesse Duplantis is a multimillionaire televangelist who loves owning private jets and spreading Christian nationalist disinformation.
  • Gene Bailey is a host of the “FlashPoint” program, which airs on Copeland’s Victory Channel network. “FlashPoint” began ahead of the 2020 elections and was created to rally Christian conservatives to vote for Republican candidates and Trump in particular. Since the election, the program has consistently pushed the false claim that the election was stolen from Trump and spread misinformation about the Jan. 6 insurrection, as well as any number of other baseless conspiracy theories.
  • Jim Bakker is a televangelist who was convicted by a jury of 24 counts of fraud and conspiracy and sentenced to 45 years in prison for having bilked members of his Praise The Lord ministry. Following his early release from prison, Bakker returned to television with a program focused on preparing Christians for the fast-approaching End Times by peddling fear, buckets of survival food, and bottles of a silver solution that could supposedly be used as a possible cure for the COVID-19 coronavirus. Bakker’s network eventually faced a series of legal problems for making the COVID claims.
  • Jerry Falwell was one of the founders of the religious-right movement when he launched the Moral Majority in the late 1970s. Known for his fiery opposition to reproductive rights, LGBTQ equality, and anything else that he felt violated his personal understanding of the Bible, Falwell is probably most well-known for blaming “pagans and the abortionists and the feminists and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People for the American Way” for the 9/11 attacks.
  • Like Falwell, Pat Robertson was also a titan of the religious-right, creating the Christian Coalition out of the remnants of his failed 1988 presidential run. For decades, Robertson served as the host of “The 700 Club,” using it as a daily platform from which he unleashed bigoted attacks and baseless fearmongering.
  • Ralph Reed was tapped by Robertson to serve as the head of the Christian Coalition in the 1980s. Reed quickly transformed the organization into a religious-right powerhouse and himself into a right-wing power broker. After leaving the Christian Coalition in the 1990s, Reed became a high-profile political consultant and even attempted to launch a political career, only to see his campaign implode amid reports that he had used lobbying prowess to benefit corrupt gambling interests. Reed eventually resurfaced as the head of a new religious-right organization called The Faith & Freedom Coalition.
  • Tony Perkins is the head of the Family Research Council, a powerful religious-right organization that established close ties to the Trump administration and had many connections to the events that unfolded on Jan. 6. Every year, FRC organizes a “Pray, Vote, Stand” conference (formerly known as the Values Voter Summit) that brings together dozens of Republican elected officials and far-right activists.
  • Jerry Boykin is a Christian nationalist colleague of Perkins’ at the Family Research Council, where he serves as executive vice president. A former high-ranking military officer, Boykin retired amid controversy after declaring that the “war on terror” was really a spiritual battle between Muslims and “Christian America.” In his position at FRC, Boykin has continued to attack Islam, LGBTQ people, and spread wild conspiracy theories.
  • Michael Flynn is a right-wing conspiracy theorist who briefly served as Trump’s national security adviser before he resigned and pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI during the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. Pardoned by Trump, Flynn has been a loyal surrogate who has cultivated close ties to the fringes of the far-right movement, where he has been hailed as a hero. A proponent of spreading Christian nationalist disinformation, Flynn has openly proclaimed that “we must have one religion.” He is expected to be given a high-level position if Trump returns to power.
  • Televangelist Paula White served Trump as spiritual adviser and White House aide, playing a key role in creating deep ties between religious-right organizations and activists and the Trump administration by granting them unprecedented access to the Oval Office. In this capacity, White once declared that to oppose Trump was to oppose God. She opened Trump’s Jan. 6, 2021 rally with a prayer asking God to give the assembled MAGA activists “holy boldness.”
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