This article originally appeared at Baptist News Global on August 7, 2023.
Christian supremacism has gotten completely out of hand in the United States.
We’ve seen it in the insurrection warfare of the New Apostolic Reformation, the battle against librarians by the likes of Kirk Cameron, the desire to punish homosexuality by Al Mohler, Dan Patrick’s claims that God wrote the U.S. Constitution, Ron DeSantis’ efforts to redefine American history, and Greg Abbott’s cruelty toward immigrants.
The result: Many ex-evangelicals who have deconstructed their faith are so fed up with Christian supremacy that they can’t imagine being a part of progressive Christianity either, despite any common political views they may hold. They see all Christianity as corrupt.
This negative witness for the faith may be seen clearly in three areas: Worship, abortion, and marriage.
Ironically, the antidote to Christian supremacy in these areas could be one of America’s founding principles: Religious freedom.
Let us worship or let us burn
When nearly seven million people began dying from the COVID-19 pandemic, then-Vice President Mike Pence and worship leader Michael W. Smith gathered with nearly 100,000 evangelicals at the National Mall in Washington, D.C., for a political worship rally.
Worship leader and political activist Sean Feucht spent 2020 targeting cities that had suffered from police violence against Black people by organizing “riots to revival” events he called “worship protests,” complete with sound systems that would drown out the sound of Black anger and lament.
The backlash to Black Lives Matter was a racism-denial tour.
Feucht’s “Let Us Worship” tour robed itself in “Kingdom to the Capitol” T-shirts and engaged evangelical worshipers in the sonic warfare celebration of God taking 300 warriors, overtaking a nation, and never losing a war. Since July 2020, his tour has visited 170 cities. And now, Feucht is in the middle of another tour with the intention to take Let Us Worship “to every single state capitol across America.”
Feucht claims the Constitution grants him the religious freedom to spread misinformation under the guise of a religious revival. But to his surprise, religious freedom applies to other groups as well. According to The Satanic Temple, the band Satanic Planet has responded by applying to play at the same locations where Feucht is playing.
“Feucht is openly a theocrat who courts the attention of politicians and seeks to proselytize through his performances,” Satanic Planet frontperson Lucien Greaves said. “He has his opinions, and we have ours, but one thing the government cannot do is preference his viewpoint over ours by giving him exclusive access to perform a concert on the Capitol grounds.”
Satanic Planet is not seeking to exclude Feucht’s “Let Us Worship” tour from the public square. The goal instead is to claim the same freedom of religion arguments for the “Let Us Burn” tour.
“That stage is every bit as much ours as it is his, so, in the name of pluralism and religious liberty, there are some state capitols that are likely soon to be hosting Satanic Planet shows,” Greaves said.