Bethel Music — a worship ministry affiliated with California’s Bethel Church in Redding, which made headlines for praying for the resurrection of a dead toddler a few months ago — hosted an outdoor music festival of sorts on Saturday.
That by itself wouldn’t be a problem beyond the corona risks, per se… except singer Sean Feucht and his band decided to play at the scene of George Floyd‘s murder, turning a place where people were gathering to honor Floyd’s life into a captive audience for their Christian preaching.
So …Bethel Music is at the scene of George Floyds murder. They are about 50 from his memorial playing music over all the local DJs doing alter calls. GTFO pic.twitter.com/G3wfX9RuoL
— Em � (@emmalouiseri) June 14, 2020
We know that Floyd was a Christian. But he wasn’t a member of this church and there’s no reason to think this is what he or his family wanted. It’s not like the band was invited to be there.
There’s something very self-serving about hosting altar calls (and presumably offers of membership to Bethel Church) at a site that’s central to current protests. Given Bethel Church’s history of only focusing on Black lives when they don’t exist, it’s even more damning and selfish.
Many Twitter users called out the group for poor judgment:
This is how disrespectful evangelicals are. To center yourself and your religion on what has nothing to do w/you is gross. Bethel and Sean don’t even support BLM!
This is how little they respect boundaries and consent. They are the center of the universe and we all must bow � https://t.co/w1Y6JXF7az
— Jo Luehmann (@JoLuehmann) June 15, 2020
This has had me feeling off all day! The disrespect is so unsettling to me. They were totally drowning out and over shadowing the locals who were doing the work and making it about what THEY were doing, it was so “hey look at us we co opted a memorial for Jesus” pic.twitter.com/2Yvxa7IyWW
— KB misses outside (@koubritt) June 15, 2020
This saddens me. There are so many ways a church could bear witness to the love of Christ which would be more respectful (and not turn people off like this). Financially support the work of Black organizers. Hand out masks and water to demonstrators. Even just hang a BLM banner.
— Erin Leiserson (@LeisersonErin) June 15, 2020
OMGWTFBBQ…nobody needed this right now, nobody. Especially not Bethel, where their leadership is very open about the fact that they're behind Donald Trump and they're anti-LGBTQIA.
— Dee "Time to punch Nazis" Holmes (@mmmirele) June 15, 2020
As for Feucht, who recently ran in and lost a primary as a Republican challenger to Democratic Rep. John Garamendi, he’s still making this all about himself, oblivious to the larger reasons for the protests.