“You’ll be able to’t say that marriage is a union between one man and one girl,” the justice mentioned in a 2020 speech. “Till very just lately that’s what the overwhelming majority of Individuals thought. Now it’s thought of bigotry,” he mentioned, a degree he had made strongly in his dissent to the ruling.

The non secular leaders solid Mr. Trump as one other of their heroes. A couple of weeks earlier than the 2020 election, at a Las Vegas megachurch prayer service for his second time period, a pastor from the group presented Mr. Trump with an “Attraction to Heaven” flag from the stage. When he misplaced, Mr. Sheets and a group of others shaped an prompt, advert hoc non secular arm of the “Cease the Steal” marketing campaign, blitzing swing state megachurches, broadcasting the providers at every cease and drawing lots of of 1000’s of viewers.

On Jan. 6, the “Attraction to Heaven” flag was outstanding: on the Washington Monument, the place throngs gathered to listen to President Trump ship a speech contesting the election outcomes, and later above the offended mob that surrounded the Capitol. The flag was seen above clashes with legislation enforcement on the constructing’s west terrace, as rioters breached police traces beneath the scaffolding arrange for President Biden’s inauguration, and eventually, contained in the constructing.

By that day, students say, the flag had grow to be fashionable sufficient to generally be utilized by a number of different teams, together with militia members. However most frequently, they mentioned, it’s tied on to Mr. Sheets, his contemporaries and adherents and their imaginative and prescient for a extra Christian America.

Final October, quickly after the flag was final documented on the Alito seashore dwelling, Mr. Sheets devoted a prayer session to the court docket, this time sounding triumphant. He cited the Dobbs choice, overturning the federal proper to abortion, during which the bulk choice had been written by Justice Alito.

“We now have reached one other part within the strategy of shifting the Supreme Courtroom,” he introduced. Via the justices, he mentioned, “God’s intent for establishments of presidency can now be fulfilled.”

Alan Feuer contributed reporting.



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