Kirk Cameron is taking heat.
Earlier this month, Cameron hosted what he called a “Christmas caroling peaceful protest” that drew a large crowd together in close quarters to sing traditonal holiday songs.
He planned the event in conjunction with Sing It Louder USA in opposition to Calif. Gov. Gavin Newsom‘s stay-at-home order, which took effect as hospital intensive care units dropped below 15% capacity.
In an Instagram video, the actor claimed “over 500 people gathered” for the first protest Dec. 6 before an “encore protest” was held Dec. 13 in Thousand Oaks, Calif.
“If you love God, if you love Christmas and you love liberty, you’re not going to want to miss this,” he said in the video.
He also shared footage from Sunday’s protest while at the event, featuring a massive crowd huddling together and singing.
In the videos shared on social media, it appeared little adherence was paid to safety recommendations such as social distancing and face masks.
The two clips from the event drew criticism from followers.
“This is one of the most irresponsible things I’ve seen lately,” one commented. “To him that knoweth to do good and doeth it not, to him it is sin…”
“Unbelievable,” wrote another.
“No social distancing and only a couple of people wearing masks? This is so disrespectful and disappointing,” a third insisted. “This isn’t about your right to do it, this is about a country currently crippled by death from Covid-19 and the unwillingness to do what’s right. It’s a slap in the face to the health workers who are trying to treat everyone and the ones who are at risk of this and doing the right thing.”
A fourth added: “This is so selfish. Looks like a super spreader party to me. Hopefully no one dies from it.”
“Liberty and freedom are very fragile and they come with great responsibility,” Thousand Oaks Mayor Claudia Bill-de la Pena said to local outlet KABC-TV. “Continuing to hold large gatherings and ignoring all guidelines, I feel, is unChristian.”
On Tuesday, the Los Angeles Times reported that fewer than 100 ICU beds were available in L.A. County.
The star responded to the backlash during a virtual appearance on “Fox News @ Night” on Wednesday.
“All I can tell you is that I’m looking around in my community 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 just ignore that,” he said.
Cameron continued: “I love me neighbors and so I want to give them hope.”
Furthermore, he said that he “absolutely” plans to continue hosting similar events.
“People are just clamoring to come and be a part of [the events],” Cameron said. “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.”