If you’re driving by the Milwaukee County War Memorial on September 15 at 6 p.m., you might spot a large gathering of people not socially distancing, spraying droplets and singing along with some Christian contemporary music while people get dunked in a tub of water. The poodle-haired minister leading the show is musician, missionary, author, activist, and would-be politician Sean Feucht.
Feucht has grabbed headlines over the last months for his “Riots to Revival” events—big spectacles that pop up in areas hit by civil unrest. Feucht’s first salvo was a revival in Minneapolis near the site of George Floyd’s death. Back home in California, he was chastised for hosting a crowded gathering at the Sundial Bridge in Redding, the same city where Feucht’s Bethel Church is located (they have their own label, Bethel Music).
Last month Feucht brought the show to Portland, where Trump’s Street War has been most intense. Then he had a show in Cal Anderson Park, the heart of Seattle’s former CHOP district. Feucht’s appearances have drawn criticism as being insensitive, opportunistic, and, as writer Jelani Greenidge put it, a display of “toxic positivity, where the traumatic experiences of others are minimized with ‘feel good’ quotes and rhetoric.”
Feucht is a Trump supporter—he traveled to the White House in December as part of a coalition of 50 religious leaders who hoped their combined powers could Care-Bear-stare the impeachment away. He ran as a Republican for Congress in California’s 3rd District, but lost in the primary. He’s made statements about Black Lives Matter, describing it in one post as a “dark movement with hidden agenda,” and has made homophobic statements.
Feucht’s latest Christian contemporary rock album, Wild (2018, Bethel Music) is self-described as “inspired by Jesus as the ‘Wild One,’ this album thematically depicts how Jesus modeled a life of radical obedience and holy boldness.”
Surprisingly, no events are listed for Kenosha—that seems like a totally Feucht thing to do.