Sean Feucht, guitarist, volunteer worship leader from Bethel Church in Redding, California knows how to draw a crowd. He’s been doing it across the States, all through the pandemic. No masks. No social distancing. Thousands of people tightly packed together. Because ‘This Is All About Jesus’ and so COVID does not matter.
But when Christian Rock and Roll rolled into Los Angeles’ skid row – the poor district of town – at New Years it may have met it’s match.
Feucht brings a travelling mix of conservative politics and gospelling. “Feucht began hosting “Let Us Worship” open-air concerts nationwide to push back against government restrictions on religious gatherings, then broadened his focus to cities that erupted in protest after the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis,” the LA Times reports A super spreader event was feared, especially by the denizens of the city’s Skid Row, the blocks where the homeless gather.
“Christians, who worship a saviour who left the comfort of heaven to suffer even to the point of being executed, might be expected to be able to sacrifice in this crisis,” Anti-Feucht protestors Shane Claiborne, David Gibbons, and Stephen Cue Jn-Marie wrote for Religion News Service. “Instead, Feucht’s Christian witness is to be upset about having to wear a mask.”
Cue Jn-Marie became one of the organisers of a “Social Distance Car Caravan – Resistance Blockade Against Biological Warfare,” which described itself as aim as “At a time when hospitals are filled to capacity due to Covid-19 and are turning people away. We must protect our Homeless and most vulnerable folks.”
The day before New Years Eve Los Angeles reported 14,503 new cases and 771 deaths that day.
And on the night before New Years Eve the coalition of activists created a car convoy to block the concert. “Feucht, apparently in response, moved the outreach a block away,” the LA Times reports. “One maskless worshiper, wearing a T-shirt saying “Jesus is my lifeguard,” laid hands on a homeless man lying on the sidewalk, reciting ‘Satan, be silent. Go away.’ She waved off hand sanitizer, and dashed a mask a protester had handed her to the ground and stamped on it.”
It’s over, winding down. They left, a small group of them marching around Skid Row singing, about 80% masked.
— kevin m nye (@kevinmnye1) December 31, 2020
But media reports and the activist agree that Feucht’s concert goers wore masks to this event.
Should it take a confrontation between activists – that includes Christians – and the Christians who follow Feucht to do something as simple as get people in a crowd to wear masks? But greater Los Angeles is also home to John MacArthur’s Grace Community Church which continues mask-less and un-distanced indoor services, in a crowded 3500-seat auditorium.
As I researched this story Facebook reminded me “John, Stay Up to Date on Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information
It’s up to all of us to slow the spread of COVID-19. Everyone, including young and healthy people, should avoid large gatherings during this time. Stay up to date with public health guidelines from australia.gov.au.”
I currently live in a cluster zone, Croydon 2132.