DeSantis’ spiritual-warrior style a bid for support from like-minded pastors

by | May 26, 2023 | Religion

(RNS) — On Monday (May 22), Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis strode onstage in Orlando and stood before a podium, silhouetted against a giant American flag. The crowd, attendees at a gathering of the National Religious Broadcasters, a Christian group, leapt to their feet. Some applauded, while others held up cell phones to record the moment.DeSantis began with a line he uses often — “Welcome to the free state of Florida!” — before launching into a stump speech recounting his proudest accomplishments as governor, such as removing books from public libraries and “waging a war on woke.” In a nod to his audience, he sprinkled his remarks with religious references, lauding churches that refused to close during the pandemic and encouraging listeners to “put on the full armor of God.”
As he closed, DeSantis gripped the podium and leaned forward.
“We’re proud of what we’ve accomplished in Florida, but I can tell you this: I have only begun to fight,” he said.
Technically, it wasn’t a presidential campaign announcement — that would happen two days later, when DeSantis joined Elon Musk for a glitch-ridden appearance on Twitter Spaces. But it was telling that DeSantis, who is Catholic, chose to speak to a largely evangelical Christian audience the same wee …

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