Dozens of faith leaders in Oregon, Washington and Idaho sent a letter to local lawmakers last week protesting a tour by Sean Feucht, a Christian missionary and musician who spreads hateful, anti-LGBTQ rhetoric.
The letter was sent on Friday to lawmakers in the three states because Feucht visited Boise, Salem and Olympia this past weekend as part of his 50-state “Kingdom to the Capitol” tour.
Feucht is a Christian nationalist and Trump supporter who is also affiliated with the conservative nonprofit Turning Point USA. He rose to prominence during the COVID-19 pandemic due to his fierce rejection of public health measures.
More recently, he has said on social media that drag queens are demonic, sick, twisted and “perverting the minds of children” and spoken about a Christian uprising. He is also the former worship leader at Bethel Church in Redding, California.
The letter was organized by the Portland-based civil rights nonprofit Western States Center.
“We reject these attempts to cloak bigotry in religious language, and we ask you to do the same,” the letter reads. “This rhetoric is especially dangerous when paired with Sean Feucht’s and Turning Point USA Faith’s willingness to court political violence across our region and the country.”
Program Manager Kate Bitz said they were inspired to send the letter by Feucht’s disturbing language.
“This kind of activism means that faith voices outside of this very narrow concept of Christianity are being left out of the conversation and boxed out of the conversation. So when we heard that he was headed to our region with this Kingdom to the Capitol tour, we said, ‘Why not reach out to some faith leaders and see what they have to say about someone who is advancing LGBTQ+ bigotry in the language of religion?’” she said.
She emphasized that such hateful language does real harm.
“We know that when this kind of harmful rhetoric is mainstreamed and when it’s wrapped up in these attempts to gain political power from such a bigoted point of view, we know that that has an impact on the ground. None of this is without consequences when people use this kind of language,” she said.
Organizers hope the lawmakers will denounce Feucht’s rhetoric, but they have not yet heard back from them.
Feucht did not respond to a request for comment. On his Twitter account on Monday, he posted a statement in response to “the recent activity against us.” It reads: “When you’re doing something BIG for the kingdom of God, the opposition is LITERALLY Satan. The good news is that GOD WINS”.
Reverend Dr. Marilyn Williams is the pastor at Salem Mission Faith Ministries in Salem, Oregon. She said she signed the letter because Feucht is using the Bible to preach hate.
“It is so dangerous, and using religion to back up your narrow mindedness is extremely dangerous,” she said.
“One of the first commands and one of the greatest commands that Jesus Christ gave was to love one another as He has loved us. If you don’t have love for your fellow man, then you’re not following his teachings. And when I look at that, I’m saying, ‘How can you get anyone who wants to ask Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior when you are preaching so much hate?’” she said. “That is absolutely wrong.”
Reverend Dr. Kelly Wadsworth from Westminster Presbyterian Church in Salem also signed the letter.
“The role of the state in relation to the religious community is to provide a wide container for human expression and flourishing. It is not the role of the state to place undue limits on the people based on the dictates of one religious perspective. I signed the letter of concern because my understanding at this point is that the Kingdom [to the Capitol tour] event does not sufficiently support the separation of church and state, the balance of power, or full and equal human rights for all,” she wrote in a statement.
Feucht’s tour will include Seattle and Spokane later in August.