Liberty Fest protesters expose America’s political, religious divide; anger at social platforms, mainstream media, ‘elite’ establishment




By Michael Hernandez

COVID-19 deaths do not discriminate between Democrats, Independents, nor Republicans but the response to the pandemic exposes America’s political, religious divide and demonstrates a growing anger at social media platforms, mainstream media and an opportunistic ‘elite’ establishment that relishes power and control over citizenry.

The Liberty Fest held in Sacramento on May 23 brought together 15,000 Californians (despite the Sacramento Bee and other mainstream media under reporting the crowd size as only 2,000) to the Capitol including 50 from Ventura County (many who traveled up on Friday night and stayed at the Sacramento Sheraton Grand).   Their tone was serious, yet enthusiastic.   Hair stylists were cutting hair.  Unlike previous rallies, law enforcement was friendly and subdued.  Locals who spoke include: Pastor Rob McCoy of Newbury Park Godspeak Calvary and Denise Pedrow, Republican candidate for State Assembly District 44.

The Liberty Fest was evidence of a great populace California uprising and exposed a great American divide as seen by the following examples:

  • Democrat Governor Gavin Newsom’s statewide stay-at-home coronavirus orders that highly differ from Florida Republican Governor Ron DeSantis orders. (Note:  The difference in ranking these governors is highlighted by an April 1 Politico story that rates Gov. Newsom as the second best response by a state governor and Gov. DeSantis as the worst response.  This editorial writer believes the opposite is true!  Re-opening states has become ‘very political’ with Democrat governors wishing to remain in quarantine mode and Republican governors wishing to open up America once again.)
  • A May 21 tweet by Harvard psychology professor Steven Pinker that reopening society from lockdowns comes from Christianity’s “malignant delusion” of belief in an afterlife.  Atheists who believe in this life alone are more concerned with health and safety while Christians tend to devalue “actual lives” and live a risker existence.  (Note:  This editorial writer believes in an afterlife of heaven and hell.  Pinker was responding to Washington Post columnist Gary Abernathy writing May 20th that a “literal belief in eternal salvation–eternal life–helps explain the different reactions to life-threatening events like a coronavirus outbreak.”  Anger was flamed by churches not being included as “essential” despite liquor stores, cannabis facilities and abortion clinics viewed as “essential.”  See Citizens Journal link:
  • Gary Abernathy–a freelance writer based in Hillsboro, Ohio; former editor of three Ohio newspapers–writes in the May 20th Washington Post guest column that “most Republicans are appalled at how casually governors–in their view–trampled the Constitution at the behest of state and federal health departments.  As one small business owner in Tennessee said of the lockdowns, ‘If constitutional rights can be taken away whenever there is a crisis, then they are not rights at all–they are permissions.”  (Note:  This editorial writer is seeing that others; besides Republicans are embracing constitutional rights.).
  • Those who fight for community health vs. those who fight for mental, financial and spiritual health.  (Note:  This editorial writer thinks this a false position to take—the battle for health is not an either-or fight. Thousand Oaks psychologist Dr. Shannae Anderson has been sounding the cry on COVID-19’s staggering effect on America’s mental health.  “We are just at the tip of the iceberg…we have a mental health epidemic” due to unemployment, anxiety-anger-depression, addictions, domestic violence, child abuse and suicides increased by “lockdown” and “isolation.”  See story at:
  • Anger at mainstream media’s and ‘ruling elites’ fear narrative that justified a national quarantine to “flatten the curve” but then changed messaging that the quarantine should remain in place until a “cure was found” or until a vaccine “developed”  while at the same time lashing out at medical treatments such as the use of hydroxychloroquine or the use of remdesivir.  Different messaging would not be tolerated even if it arose from the medical and scientific community such as the 52-minute April 24th press conference by Dr. Daniel Erickson, co-owner of Accelerated Urgent Care in Bakersfield–which had tested more than half of the COVID-19 cases in Kern County.   When his press conference went viral with more than 4.3 million views, YouTube took it off its social media platform for not following “community guidelines.”  In effect, they were censored for not following the message of the “ruling elites.”   (Note:  Ironically, the Bakersfield ABC affiliate challenged YouTube for this action.  See:

What is the outcome of this Sacramento Liberty Fest protest and other “We The People” and “Freedom” rallies held this past month  in California:

  • The re-opening of churches in California on Pentecost Sunday (May 31st). Pastor Jim Domen, the founder of Church United, a church ministry equipping pastors as culture-changers states in a Citizens Journal interview that 3,000 churches will re-open on Pentecost Sunday with over 1,200 pastors signing a Declaration of Essentiality petition written by Attorney Robert Tyler of Advocates for Faith and Freedom. (Note:  See story on: Meanwhile, 25 California Republican legislators have requested that Gov. Newsom include churches in Stage 2 instead of Stage 3:  In effect, the Democrat governor’s position that churches are “non-essential”   has united the faith community as they have pursued making houses of worship “essential”.)
  • New political battles in California that already has resulted in a newly elected official–Congressman Mike Garcia (R-25) sworn-in on Capitol Hill (May 19th) in a special election held May 12th filling the seat of former Congresswoman Katie Hill who resigned in November, 2018 after allegations of inappropriate relationships with staff members.  This is the first time a California Republican has flipped a Democratic set in the House of Representatives in 22 years.  Former Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton won the district (which includes Simi Valley) by seven percentage votes in 2016.  To see the Citizens Journal story link go to:  To get involved in Ventura County activism contact the POV at:  [email protected].)
  • A new interest in leaving public schools after COVID-19 shuts down all schools for 55 million children in the United States and generates interest in exiting public schools.  See link to  Co-founder Dran Reese, president of The Salt and Light Council, is spearheading public school exit because “government schools are seriously harming children through sexualization, indoctrination, and dumbing down.” She is joined by co-founder Lt. Col. E. Ray Moore, leader of Exodus Mandate and the Christian Education Initiative who has worked for decades to rescue children from “godless, pagan” government schools.  Also joining is co-founder Alex Newman, educator and president of Liberty Sentinel who states:  “Hopefully, when public schools start back up, they will have a lot less victims.”  University professor Dr. Duke Pesta, who runs the online K12 Freedom Project Academy states “with the technology today, there are no more excuses for parents to send their children to public schools.” Former Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction Diane Douglas calls “this part of a 100-year or 150-year battle for the souls of our children.”  Those wishing an introduction to “Learning To Homeschool” are invited to a Thursday, June 4 live stream webinar from  3:30-5 p.m. led by Pastor Carl Broggi, of the Community Bible Church in  Beaufort, South  Carolina.  (Note:  To participate in the homeschool webinar go to: 

  • A growing movement to advance civics education—particularly an understanding of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution –which includes the Bill of Rights (the founding documents of America).  Both David Barton, WallBuilders, and Rick Green, Constitutional Alive, have made it their mission to share nationwide that we are endowed by our “Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among them are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness—That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.”  (Declaration of Independence).  The first three words of the Constitution refer to “We the People” with the First Amendment stating: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”  (Note: For Ventura County residents who wish to either take a Constitution class or lead others in a constitution class you coach, contact Scarlett Lani at:  [email protected].) 

Michael Hernandez, Co-Founder of the Citizens Journal—Ventura County’s online news service; editor of the History Makers Report and founder of History Makers International—a community nonprofit serving youth and families in Ventura County, is a former Southern California daily newspaper journalist and religion and news editor. He worked 25 years as a middle school teacher in Monrovia and Los Angeles Unified School Districts. Mr. Hernandez can be contacted by email at [email protected]

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