Cornerstone Church of San Antonio, Texas, a prominent evangelical congregation headed by Pastor John Hagee, has garnered controversy for hosting an event that featured a widely circulated video of a crowd shouting the anti-Biden chant, “Let’s go, Brandon.”
On Saturday evening, the Twitter account PatriotTakes posted a clip of a large gathering at Cornerstone in which a crowd was chanting “Let’s go, Brandon,” a saying that has become a popular euphemism for “F*** Joe Biden" in recent weeks.
A later clip from the same event showed that the chant was being “led from the stage,” as a speaker with a microphone helped to lead the audience in the partisan chant.
The footage was from a multiday event known as the “Reawaken America Tour,” which featured speakers such as former Trump National Security Advisor retired Gen. Michael Flynn and controversial radio personality Alex Jones.
Cornerstone released a statement to multiple media outlets distancing themselves from the event and the viral video of the chant.
“This past week, Cornerstone Church facilities were used by an outside organization. Cornerstone Church is not associated with this organization and does not endorse their views,” the church stated.
Oklahoma Pastor Jeremy Coleman was quoted by News 4 San Antonio as denouncing the event, stating that churches should be “places of unconditional love for your neighbor.”
“I don't think that that kind of behavior, no matter where you fall on the political spectrum, has any place inside the church,” Coleman said.
“You endorsed the organization to come in the doors. …You knew that the people who were speaking at that event were extreme, so you knew what you were welcoming into the doors when you allowed it.”
Mark Tooley, president of the theologically conservative think tank the Institute on Religion & Democracy, also criticized Cornerstone’s decision to host the event.
“Cornerstone and its pastor John Hagee will need to disassociate themselves from The Reawaken America Tour and its vulgarity in their sanctuary,” wrote Tooley.
“Whatever its association with the Reawaken America Tour, hopefully, Cornerstone Church will focus on truly reawakening America through Gospel proclamation and not through echoing or hosting vulgar political bromides.”
The “Let’s Go Brandon” chant traces its origins to an incident at a NASCAR event in October when, while doing an interview with race winner Brandon Brown, NBC reporter Kelli Stavast claimed that the audience chanting “F*** Joe Biden!” was actually chanting “Let’s go, Brandon!”
From there, many anti-Biden crowds took to shouting “Let’s go, Brandon!” as a euphemistic way of verbally attacking the president. The trend has taken on a life on social media as well.
Robin Schumacher, an author and Christian apologist, penned a column for CP published Monday in which he denounced the “Let’s go, Brandon” chant.
“I’m still naturally drawn to satirical statements, and so when the ‘Let’s go Brandon’ meme became culturally popular, I instinctively wanted to get on board,” wrote Schumacher.
“But something happened to me when I saw an advertisement for ‘Let’s go Brandon’ apparel and thought about buying it. Out of nowhere, a thought popped into my head: ‘Honor the king’ (1 Pet. 2:17). And voilà, there’s that Holy Spirit convicting and sanctifying work I was talking about.”
Schumacher went on to note that while “I’m certainly no fan of our current president’s actions,” Christians “need to swap out ‘Let’s go, Brandon’ with ‘Pray for Joe Biden.’”