Christian actor and filmmaker Kirk Cameron has drawn criticism for organizing large outdoor gatherings of mostly maskless people to sing Christmas carols in protest of California’s COVID-19 restrictions. The latest event that Cameron held was on Dec. 13, and the actor says he “absolutely” plans to hold more.
“I’m looking around and I’m seeing the devastation and the suffering of people whose businesses have been bankrupted, people dealing with anxiety, depression, suicide is spiking, the abused being quarantined with their abusers, and I can’t just ignore that,” Cameron told Fox News. “I love my neighbors and so I want to give them hope.”
People are just clamoring to come and be a part of them. This is the land of the free and the home of the brave and there are thousands and thousands of people in our community who would rather not suffer in isolation and come out to sing and express their gratitude because we believe that there is immunity in community, but there is desolation in isolation.
Kirk Cameron: Do You Love God, Christmas and Liberty?
Kirk Cameron is best known for playing Mike Seaver on the sitcom “Growing Pains” and is a Hollywood actor who is vocal about his Christian faith. He held his first “Christmas caroling peaceful protest” on Dec. 6. and described the event as “Part Town Hall meeting, part community caroling and ALL Christmas Joy!” According to Cameron, over 500 people attended.
“Have you ever sung Christmas carols by candlelight at a time when your state governor prohibited you from doing that?” asked Cameron. “In America! Well, this is actually happening, you can’t make this up…If you love God, if you love Christmas, and you love liberty, you’re not going to want to miss this.”
Cameron said the caroling protests are affiliated with “Sing It Louder USA,” which is listed as a community organization on Facebook. Its About section reads, “Are you fed up with govt officials imposing restrictions on how you celebrate Christmas? IT’S TIME TO SAY NO TO GOVT TYRANTS who are attempting to control our lives. Singing will be our protest and response!”
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Carolers gathered for Sunday’s meeting at 5 p.m. in the south parking lot of The Oaks mall in Thousand Oaks, California. A large crowd of people, most of whom were not wearing masks or observing social distancing, held candles while singing Christmas songs such as “Angels We Have Heard on High” and “Jingle Bells.” Participants also sang “God Bless America.”
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A woman helping to lead the caroling protest asked attendees to post pictures and videos of the event in order to encourage others to follow their example.
Reactions to Kirk Cameron’s Caroling Protests
California’s regional Stay Home Order requires people to “stay home or at their place of residence, except for permitted work, local shopping or other permitted errands, or as otherwise authorized.” The order goes into effect when a region’s ICU capacity falls below 15 percent.
As of this writing, an interactive map shows an ICU availability of 0.5 percent for the region of Southern California, which includes Ventura County (where the city of Thousand Oaks is) and neighboring Los Angeles County. The order took effect for Southern California on Dec. 7. While the order bans all public and private gatherings, it does allow for outdoor activities for “places of worship and political expression.”