On Sunday, Sean Feucht, an Evangelical singer and former Republican congressional candidate, is hosting a “worship protest” on the National Mall, complete with mass baptisms. He expects 15,000 people to show up, per his National Park Service permit. Conspicuously absent from said permit? Any kind of mask or social distancing requirement.
This weekend’s event is the final stop of Feucht’s “Let Us Worship” tour, which has convened thousands of maskless followers in other cities, even as the coronavirus rages. Here’s what you need to know about Feucht, and the potential super-spreader party he’s throwing in our city this weekend.
Sean Feucht? Never heard of him, who is he?
On his website, Feucht describes himself as a “husband, father, missionary, musician, speaker, [and] author.” His primary initiatives include two missionary outreach programs, and a political activist movement called “Hold the Line,” which seeks “to rally the global church to engage in their civic duty—to vote and stand up for causes of righteousness and justice in the governmental arena.”
So, he’s politically active?
Yep, he ran as a Republican in California’s 3rd Congressional District, though he lost in the primaries.
What are some of his political views?
In a recent op-ed in the Federalist, Feucht wrote, “in major cities across America, godless politicians are adopting tactics that more closely resemble those of jihadist ayatollahs than men and women who are sworn to uphold the rule of law.” In a Youtube video this summer, Feucht addressed Black Lives Matter, saying “the movement as a whole is a fraud.”
What’s he doing in Washington?
Feucht will be on the National Mall for one of his “Let Us Worship” rallies, which he started this year in response to “unprecedented attacks” on Americans’ “freedom to worship God and obey His Word.” The rallies have generally involved lots of maskless praying, singing, and baptizing.
Where else have these rallies taken place?
According to the Daily Beast, Feucht held multiple events in California and one in Nashville, Kansas City, Pittsburgh, Maine, Oregon, Colorado, Charleston, and Florida, to name a few.
What has the response been in those places?
In short: extremely concerned. The town manager of Oakland, Maine, said he worried Feucht’s indoor rally there would become a “super spreader” event. Nashville authorities said they would be pursuing “appropriate penalties” against Feucht. One of the California rallies was held at the church that Feucht himself attends—Bethel Church in Redding— seemingly to the congregation’s dismay.
So the lack of mask measures included in the NPS permit isn’t an oversight
How is this happening in DC when we have strict mask rules? Why didn’t the DC Government just stop Feucht?
The rally will be on the National Mall, which is federal land. Meaning the local DC government doesn’t have any jurisdiction over what happens there.
What exactly does Feucht have planned for this weekend?
According to the Let Us Worship website, there will be a “communion” early Saturday evening, and “prayer/worship” on Sunday at the “Senate building,” the “Whitehouse,” St. John’s Episcopal Church, and the Lincoln Memorial. (Probably best to steer clear of *all* the Senate buildings, just to be safe.)