For over a decade Republicans have been trying to co-opt Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s popularity – although not his policies or beliefs.
On Monday, far-right wing Christian nationalist Jackson Lahmeyer, the founder of Pastors for Trump, which is working to get the ex-president re-elected, observed Martin Luther King Jr. Day by falsely claiming the civil rights icon who dedicated his life to battling racial discrimination and fighting for equality would have been a supporter of Donald Trump and his "MAGA" movement.
Lahmeyer tweeted a photoshopped image of Dr. King with a red "Make America Great Again" hat and offered these to support his false claim: "Under FBI Watch For Politics, Against Endless Foreign Wars, Judge Character Not Color Of Skin, Bible Believing Christian."
"Pretty sure if Dr. King were alive to today (sic) that he would be MAGA," he tweeted.
Lahmeyer tried to unseat U.S. Senator Jim Lankford (R-OK) in the GOP primary last year, but failed. He was endorsed by ex-Trump National Security Advisor Mike Flynn. Flynn is now a Christian nationalist who has pledged an oath to QAnon. An Associated Press article puts him "at the center" of a "new movement based on conspiracies and Christian nationalism."
Trump is "the best pro-Christian president we’ve had in my lifetime," Lahmeyer, 31, has said, according to an in-depth profile last month by Rolling Stone. He noted, “In Oklahoma, we are now an abortion-free state — and that is thanks to President Donald Trump.”
Rolling Stone describes Lahmeyer's church as both fundamentalist and End-Times, with Lahmeyer saying "we are at war in this country; it is a spiritual war between good and evil."
"Charismatic Christians like Lahmeyer also hold that the realm of angels and demons is literal and — as the pastor puts it — 'overlaps with our modern political world.' In Lahmeyer’s depiction, 'The spiritual realm is just as real as the physical realm that we see and feel and touch and hear.' Lahmeyer insists that when 'Lucifer was cast out of heaven, he took a third of the angels with him' and that they’re 'still here today.'"
Lahmeyer likens Democrats to the Devil.
"In the pastor’s with-us-or-against-us worldview the political left is infested with 'Luciferians.' As evidence, Lahmeyer points to Democratic support of abortion (which he calls 'murdering babies inside their mother’s womb'); same-sex marriage; and the mainstream acceptance of trans identity. 'The gender confusion that they’re pumping upon children,' Lahmeyer claims, 'that is Luciferian.'"