Thursday, June 13, 2024

A Concerned Community Comes Together

Letters to the Editor submitted to The Coronado Times are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the publisher, editors or writers of this publication. Submit letters to [email protected].

Submitted by Brad Willis

It was a full house of more than 500 concerned citizens this past Sunday at the screening of the “God & Country” documentary at the Coronado Performing Arts Center. People in our community truly care. We are concerned about the Christian nationalist political movement, and we don’t want the radical political hate group, Awaken, whose founder calls us unholy, unclean demons and threatens to run us out of town, coming here trying to take over our school board, exploit our military, attack our library, preach a false gospel and seek to, in his own words, “take the crown of our Crown City.”

The film had numerous voices, most of them Christian leaders, including conservative evangelical pastors, expressing their deep concerns about the Christian nationalism movement, the role it played in the January 6th Insurrection, and the threat it poses to our democratic republic. The event was hosted by World Religion Professor Bolland, who led a panel discussion afterward with three local pastors, J.T. Greenleaf of St. Paul’s United Methodist Church, Steve Mather of the Coronado Council of Churches, and Reverend David Rodriguez of Graham Memorial Presbyterian Church. The discussion lasted more than an hour, and covered a lot of important territory.

As some opponents have noted, we all have the right to freedom of religion. I could not agree more. But when an organization falsely cloaks itself in religion to conceal ulterior political motives, concerned citizens have the right, and duty, to speak up and inform the public. The Bible warns of “Wolves in Sheep’s Clothing,” and that’s what we have with Awaken.

As one attendee noted in response to the threats Awaken’s founder has made to run us out of town, “I took that as a personal threat from what I saw come from the man’s mouth. It wasn’t secondhand. It wasn’t a rumor. I saw it. I’m not going to stand for it. I live here, I grew up here, and I’m staying here.”

As a former war correspondent who was inside Afghanistan during the Soviet occupation in the 1980s, and spent time in Iraq and the wider Middle East during the Gulf War, I’ve seen what radical religious theocracies do when they are in power. Believe me, it’s not something we want here in the United States of America.

For more on Awaken and the threat to Coronado, please see

Brad Willis



Managing Editor
Managing Editor
Originally from upstate New York, Dani Schwartz has lived in Coronado since 1996. She is happy to call Coronado home and to have raised her children here. In her free time she enjoys reading, exercising, trying new restaurants, and just walking her dog around the "island." Have news to share? Send tips or story ideas to: [email protected]

More Local News