It got loud Friday evening when Twisted Sister filled the tent — with its iconic “We’re Not Gonna Take it Anymore” — as an intro to the leader of the ReAwaken America Tour at Cornerstone Church.
Not quite a packed house by the evening, the audience rose to its feet clapping and singing along as Michael Flynn took to the stage.
A few minutes later, the music died down and Flynn reiterated its meaning.
“When something happens to you, you say you’re not gonna take it anymore,” said Flynn, who pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI and was later pardoned by the former president. “Here's what I want people to understand about these types of events, and what we do here on this ReAwaken America tour is to really get into the communities and go to places where people would, you know, we’re going out to California a couple of times we went to Oregon, we're going to go back out to the West Coast, up into the Washington State, Idaho area … we're here because we want people to know that we're not giving up on you, right, we're not giving up on this region.”
Applause and standing ovations were sprinkled into his speech. Most attendees had been there all day and planned to return for a full day of speakers on Saturday as well. Flynn said that there were to be baptisms a bit later, and that was going to be “a powerful thing.”
“I know the way that our country is segmented right now,” he said. “There's so much going on. But what we have to understand is that those of us guys like me, or people like me, we're going to come in, and we're going to touch you. And we're going to remind you, we're going to teach you, and we're going to say things to you. But it's really up to you. Those of you that were here this morning heard me say we don't have all the answers. I do not have all the answers and we're gonna make mistakes as we go along this path. And is this an awakening in the biblical sense? Is this a spiritual awakening? You bet it is.”
“I mean, there's a spiritual war and there is a political war. And they are going on, they're going on in this country right now. You know, God didn't choose America, God chose Israel. America chose God,” he said.
He encouraged folks to reawaken themselves and figure out “what it is that we want as Americans.” He knows what he wants.
“I want freedom. I want my safety. I want my security. I want to be left alone. I want to be able to do the things that I want to be able to do," he said. "I served this country for nearly three and a half decades. I've absolutely seen the worst in corruption, the worst. I've seen the worst of humanity, absolute worst of humanity. I have witnessed the sacrifice of young men, principally young men, but young men and women. Great, great sacrifice.”
He spoke of how those young men and women sign on the dotted line to join the military, wanting to do something with their lives. What most of them — not even their parents — know, he said, is that they are signing up to give their “very life to this country.” And he encouraged audience members to do their part as well.
“You have to decide what it is that you are going to do. And you’ve got to decide to do something,” he said. “What we're trying to do is, we're trying to convince you to decide that your life is going to take a different path. That's what we're trying to get you to do. We have 3,000 people in here today. All I want is one person to make the decision, 'I'm going to go and I'm going to crash through life.' I've got my toes over the edge of this stage right now. Purposely. And the message is, this is where our nation is; we are at the edge … I want your attitude to change. That's part of what we're trying to do here. Change about what you believe, how you believe, or how strong is your faith; maybe that's the attitude adjustment that you have.”
He capped off his 15-minute talk by circling back to the baptisms and instructing to “put Jesus Christ first in your life.”
“I hope this event will be life-changing for you,” he said.
Michael Flynn speaks during the tour at Cornerstone Church Friday evening in Batavia. Photo by Howard Owens.