Local pastors will gather in Batavia on Friday to denounce the ReAwaken America tour

Standing in in front of a Faithful America mobile billboard Calling on Christian nationalist speakers at an event headlined by disgraced General Michael Flynn to ‘stop twisting our faith to attack democracy’, a group of local faith leaders and national clergy will speak at an event in press and will take questions at 11:30 a.m. ET on Friday, August 12.

Faith leaders will gather at First Baptist Church (306 E. Main Street, Batavia, New York) as part of their ongoing efforts to warn their communities and congregations of the dangers posed by anti-democracy Christian nationalism, potential political violence , and disinformation exposed on the next leg of the ReAwaken America Tour (RAT) hosted by Flynn, Eric Trump, Clay Clark and other notable far-right figures who helped inspire the January 6, 2021 insurgency. tour, which includes stops across the country, arrives at Cornerstone Church in Batavia on Friday for a two-day event. Flynn is expected to speak Friday morning following a time of worship led by Sean Feucht, who used members of the Proud Boys for his personal safety.

Faith leaders speaking at Centennial Park in opposition to RAT will include both local and national leaders:

  • Reverend Dr. Roula Alkhouri, Presbyterian Church (USA)
  • The Reverend Dr. Shiela Campbell McCullough, Chaplain, Resident of Batavia and Representative of the New York State Council of Churches
  • Reverend Dr William Wilkinson, former teacher and pastor, First Presbyterian Church, Medina
  • Sareer Fazili, president of Pittsford Youth Services, former president of the Islamic Center of Rochester and board member of the Barakah Muslim Charity
  • The Reverend Nathan Empsall, Executive Director, Faithful America
  • Pastor Doug Pagitt, Executive Director and Co-Chair, Vote Common Good
  • Reverend Jennifer Butler, Founder-in-Residence, Faith in Public Life

The tour stop in Batavia comes after organizers of the anti-democracy tour had to scramble to find a new venue following the cancellation of its originally scheduled stop in Rochester.

“Many may not be aware of the kind of negative stereotyping and radicalization that is being stirred up by the ReAwaken America Tour. In an already divisive time, this has the potential to have a significant negative impact on the ability of our community to talk to each other,” said Reverend Laurel Nelson, speaking on behalf of the Genesee Valley Presbytery Racial Justice Task Force. “In fact, those who have spoken out against the tour have already faced vitriol and threats. past political violence committed in the name of God, associating with extremist groups, demonizing their political opponents and urging their supporters to win God’s battle against their fellow Americans This kind of division fuels hatred, hurts communities and makes our democracy vulnerable to further violence.

“We reject the misappropriation of the gospel by General Flynn and his allies for political purposes. This tour is a dangerous and immoral political event in the name of Jesus that promotes misinformation, lies, and even outright violence, and has no place in the church of God,” added Reverend Nathan Empsall, executive director of faithful americawho sponsored the mobile billboard and worked closely with clergy in Rochester and Batavia to oppose the tour.

Nationally, more than 21,000 Christians have signed Faithful America petitions, rejecting the ReAwaken America tour and ask churches not to join the event. Another 25,000 Christians — including the presiding bishops of the Episcopal Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America — also signed a previous statement from the Christians Against Christian Nationalism initiative denouncing the ideology that now underlies the tour.

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