Let the Church ROAR! was a political and religious rally held on Dec. 12, 2020 on the National Mall and at the Capitol in Washington. Rally-goers criticized perceived corruption and fraud in the 2020 presidential election and called for declaring Trump the rightful winner.
The event was organized through a partnership between Jericho March and Stop the Steal, two activist groups that had organized many similar rallies around the country in the wake of Trump’s defeat. The event was supported by the Phyllis Schlafly Eagles, the group founded by the anti-feminist activist in 1981 and, as of 2022, run by Missouri attorney Ed Martin.
Participants joined a march and then gathered on the National Mall to listen to a number of right-wing speakers spread misinformation about voting fraud, including former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn (making his first public appearance after being pardoned by Trump), Jenny Beth Martin of the Tea Party Patriots, Ali Alexander of Stop the Steal, right-wing author Eric Metaxas, and Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.). Nick Fuentes, a white nationalist, led a chant urging participants to “destroy the GOP.” Amy Kremer, founder of Women for America First, also attended, as did U.S. House representatives Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.), Madison Cawthorn (R-N.C.), Louie Gohmert (R-Texas), Bob Good (R-Va.), Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.), Mike Kelly (R-Penn.), and Mary Miller (R-Ill.).
Members of right-wing militia and paramilitary groups also attended the Let the Church ROAR! event, including the Proud Boys hate group. By the end of the event, at least four people had been stabbed and numerous Black Lives Matter banners had been ripped down from historically black churches.
The event also featured a march in which participants circled the Capitol “seven times to send a very clear message to national and state leaders as they hear patriots and people of faith roar in support of election integrity, transparency, and reform.” The march was meant to reenact the Biblical story of the Israelite army marching around the walled city of Jericho, blowing the shofar until the walls crumbled and the army was able to defeat its enemies.
January 6, 2021
- At the Jericho March, CJ Pearson of the Free Thinker Project made remarks that presaged the rhetoric used to inspire the Capitol insurrection three weeks later. “Donald Trump never stopped fighting for us, so we will never stop fighting for him,” he told the crowd. “It doesn’t matter what we have to do. We will go from state to state, city to city, and we will organize, rally the troops.”
- Metaxas also used incendiary rhetoric in the lead-up to the Dec. 12 event, telling Turning Point USA founder Charlie Kirk in an interview that Christians must fight “to the last drop of blood” to keep Trump in office.
- During his remarks, radical right-wing State Senator Doug Mastriano (R-Pa.) said they needed to “do what George Washington asked us to do in 1775. Appeal to Heaven. Pray to God. We need an intervention.” According to The New Yorker, “The phrase ‘appeal to heaven’ comes from John Locke’s argument in support of the right to violent revolution in the face of tyranny.”
- After the Dec. 12 rally, Boebert led an after-hours, unauthorized tour of the Capitol, which has prompted questions about whether her tour was a reconnaissance mission for the Jan. 6 attack.
The Big Lie
- A now-deleted page on the Jericho March website said the event on Dec. 12 was meant to gather Trump supporters for a march “until the walls of voter fraud and corruption fall down and the American people are allowed to see the truth about this election.”
- Describing her mission in holding the event, Jericho March co-founder Arina Grossu said, “I’m here today because I had a vision of this happening right here behind us. I had a vision of people coming out to pray all around their state capitals and the streets because they want election truth. And they want to fight election fraud and corruption, and that they want justice to come out.”