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In a 2020 speech, a justice declared that it is no longer acceptable to define marriage as a union between one man and one woman, as it is now considered bigotry. This statement was strongly emphasized in the justice’s dissent to a ruling. Religious leaders saw former President Trump as a hero, presenting him with an “Appeal to Heaven” flag at a Las Vegas megachurch prayer service just weeks before the 2020 election. After his loss, a religious arm of the “Stop the Steal” campaign was formed, rallying support from swing state megachurches and drawing in thousands of viewers.

The “Appeal to Heaven” flag was prominently displayed on January 6th, with throngs of supporters gathering at the Washington Monument to hear President Trump contest the election results. The flag was visible during clashes with law enforcement, as rioters breached police lines at the Capitol. Scholars note that while the flag was being used by various groups, it is primarily associated with Mr. Sheets and his followers, who envision a more Christian America. The flag’s popularity was on the rise, particularly after the Dobbs decision overturning the federal right to abortion, which was authored by Justice Alito.

In October, the flag was last documented at the Alito beach home, prompting Mr. Sheets to lead a prayer session dedicated to the court, expressing triumph over the shifting Supreme Court. He believed that through the justices, “God’s intent for institutions of government can now be fulfilled.” It is clear that Mr. Sheets and his contemporaries view the Supreme Court as a vessel to shape a more Christian America. Alan Feuer contributed reporting to this account.

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