Opponents of a nationwide speaking tour featuring prominent white Christian nationalists and megachurches has scored a victory.
Main Street Armory in Rochester, N.Y., a former military facility that hosts sporting contests, live music concerts, rallies and other large events, canceled a mid-August stop by the ReAwaken America Tour. Former Gen. Michael Flynn, Trump confidant Roger Stone and other speakers connected to the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection and COVID disinformation headline the tour.
Faithful America, an ecumenical online community of Christians seeking social justice, announced Main Street Armory’s decision.
“The cancelation of ReAwaken America’s August stop is proof that there’s a cost to doing business with Christian nationalists and other right-wing extremists who push the big lie (about the 2020 presidential election) and peddle in COVID misinformation,” Faithful America Executive Director Nathan Empsall said.
“The violence and misinformation spread by right-wing Christian nationalism is the greatest current threat to democracy, public health and equal rights alike.” — Nathan Empsall, Faithful America executive director
Empsall called news of the Rochester cancellation “a victory for democracy and an enormous credit to faith leaders and activists in Rochester.”
“We congratulate Rochester residents and organizers on their accomplishment, and we thank Main Street Armory owner Scott Donaldson for his decision,” Empsall said. He pledged to put similar pressure on other tour venues, so they will “face the same grassroots backlash for … participation in Flynn and Stone’s extremism and misinformation.”
“The violence and misinformation spread by right-wing Christian nationalism is the greatest current threat to democracy, public health and equal rights alike,” Empsall said. “The ReAwaken America Tour in particular — comprised of grifters and extremists who helped plan and carry out the Jan. 6 insurrection — threatens to incite more political violence everywhere it goes. Christians across the country will continue to resist this unholy and dangerous event, which distorts the gospel and is neither Christian nor patriotic.”
Faithful America expressed solidarity with Christians Against Christian Nationalism, a campaign spearheaded by the Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty. Early this year, Christians Against Christian Nationalism produced “Christian Nationalism and the January 6, 2021, Insurrection,” which connects Flynn and other ReAwaken America Tour speakers to the failed coup.