The Council for American-Islamic Relations called for an Orlando-area church to drop an event featuring speaker Brigitte Gabriel.
Gabriel, the founder of ACT for America and the author of Rise, is set to speak March 27 at Fellowship Church of Winter Springs about how to preserve religious freedom and respond to cultural developments including flag burning, media corruption and kneeling during the national anthem.
The following day, March 28, Gabriel is scheduled to speak at the Brevard County Government Complex.
According to a CAIR-Florida press release, the group sent letters to the Brevard County Commissioners and to Roger Diaz, who is the pastor for the Fellowship Church in Orlando, asking them to:
1) disassociate from ACT for America in the same way they would from any other hate group (KKK or neo-Nazi), 2) familiarize the Board of County Commissioners with ACT for America's status as an anti-Muslim hate group, 3) drop ACT for America's events from the Fellowship Church and Brevard County Government Complex and 4) refuse to attend such bigoted events with ACT for America's director or staff.
Gabriel said CAIR is a terror-designated organization and an unindicted co-conspirator in the largest terrorism financing trial in the history of the United States.
"This is a time where churches need to stand up and speak the truth about what's happening in our country," Gabriel tells Charisma. "If we the people, if we Christians in this country are not going to stand up and speak about the difficult issues, who else is going to speak about the difficult issues? Our nation was founded on Christian principles, and right now, we are watching these principles be assaulted, be assessed, be completely erased from our school system, from our public institutions. And if we don't stand up and speak in defense of those foundations, who else will? What kind of country will we leave for our children?"
"I hope that pastors will invite Brigitte Gabriel, and the Brigitte Gabriels of this world, to their churches to speak up about, 'What can the body of Christ do in order to rise up in defense of these values and these freedoms?'" Gabriel says.
Despite the threats, Fellowship Church still has the event listed on its website, though Diaz could not be not be reached for comment.
"ACT for America has more than 1 million members nationwide who are standing up to fight evil, to protect America from terrorism and speak up in defense of our nation," Gabriel says.
Brevard County District 2 Commissioner Bryan A. Lober, who serves as vice chair of the Brevard County Commission, says his district's official position and his personal position as a licensed attorney is that freedom of speech must be protected.
"We must respect everyone's right to express speech with which we may not agree," Lober says. "This includes speech commenting on another's beliefs or on another's speech. This is a fundamental tenet of our legal system and to have otherwise would be to denigrate the freedoms that we, as a society, hold most dear."
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