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‘California belongs to Jesus’: Christian rally in Sacramento draws thousands during Pride

In World
June 09, 2024

While much of downtown was decorated in rainbow flags to celebrate Sacramento Pride, close to 2,000 people gathered Saturday evening for a march and concert led by Christian worship leader and former California congressional candidate Sean Feucht.

Several hundred people, including Feucht, congregated at Ali Youssefi Square on K Street around 4 p.m. and began marching toward the state Capitol around 5:10 p.m., where the rest of the crowd awaited the show.

The event was one of Feucht’s Let Us Worship capital tour stops, which he launched in 2020 in defiance of COVID-19 public health measures. He has held Let Us Worship events each year since. Sacramento was the 36th stop this year; Feucht will visit each state for a Let Us Worship event in 2024. He was in Nevada on Friday, and was expected to visit Yakima, Washington, on Sunday.

Demonstrators carried signs that read “Jesus Revolution” and wore shirts that read “Worship is our war cry.” Patriotic decor mixed in with the evangelistic signage. A few Trump 2024 campaign flags and “Jesus 2024 — Our Only Hope” in the fashion of a Trump flag were also scattered among the crowd.

The rally and march were peaceful, and organizers said they did not purposefully schedule the events to coincide with the Pride destival.

However, one car passed Ali Youssefi Square, and the driver yelled, “Fuck Fascism” as attendees carrying American flags gathered for live music without responding to the taunts.

Sermon on K Street

Around 45 bikers with the Soldiers of the Cross Motorcycle Ministry from Modesto attended at the invitation of Feucht.

“We’re Soldiers of the Cross because we fight for the Lord,” said Rafael Galvin, a member from Modesto.

“Our goal (today) is to at least talk to one person, and if they can give their life to the Lord, then that’s our accomplishment.”

Feucht introduced them as “security” and they led the march to the west steps of the Capitol on their bikes.

Rocklin Destiny Church Pastor Greg Fairrington, who also recently took over Capital Christian Church, briefly visited the K Street rally with wife and co-pastor Kathy Fairrington before they left for the Capitol.

Before the march began, Ross Johnston, a revivalist who travels with the Let Us Worship movement stepped in front of the crowd to share a story about his childhood. Johnston grew up with two lesbian moms and had never stepped foot in a church until he was 16. Now he’s actively involved with Let Us Worship and preaches his story across the nation.

“Buddha is dead,” Johnston said as attendees prepared to march. “Muhammad is dead, but Jesus is alive.”

Jesus flags wave during the Let Us Worship rally at the state Capitol on Saturday.

Jesus flags wave during the Let Us Worship rally at the state Capitol on Saturday.

On their trek to the Capitol, the marchers stopped at the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament. The worship band quickly moved to the top of the steps at the church’s entrance, and continued to lead the crowd in song. Attendees of the church’s reconciliation service had to be escorted from the cathedral’s entrance as the crowd’s size blocked the way.

After a few minutes, the marchers continued their path to the Capitol. Some strayed from the group to pray for homeless people they encountered on their way.

Rainbow flags: A symbol for LGBTQ people or Christianity?

While event organizers maintained that the event was not related to Sacramento’s Pride festival, it was also an undeniable overlap.

One attendee who drove from Lodi waved a rainbow flag — the symbol of the LGBTQ movement — at the K Street rally, and was asked by another attendee to stop doing so.

“The rainbow first comes up in the Book of Genesis,” said Josie Saenz. “A rainbow symbolizes God’s promises over our life, to protect us as Christians. It represents my walk with God.”

Saenz said she “completely understands” that it caused confusion, and stopped waving it.

But she also thinks Christians should “take back” the symbol of the rainbow.

“At what point do we as Christians take back a symbol that was meant to represent Christianity and that now, in the world, represents sin?”

“The LGBT lifestyle, we love them, but it’s a sin.”

Hundreds of people march on Saturday from Ali Youssefi Square on K Street to the California Capitol for the Let Us Worship tour of state capitals led by Christian faith leader Sean Feucht, a former worship leader of Redding’s Bethel megachurch.

Hundreds of people march on Saturday from Ali Youssefi Square on K Street to the California Capitol for the Let Us Worship tour of state capitals led by Christian faith leader Sean Feucht, a former worship leader of Redding’s Bethel megachurch.

Some Pride festival attendees made their way through the Let Us Worship event at the Capitol in a spirit of protest.

One such Pride attendee was C.J., who was walking home through Capitol park with two friends after enjoying the day’s festivities, and asked not to share his last name for fear of reprisal.

He strutted past worshiping attendees in a shiny, red Speedo, body glitter, devil horns and a red pitchfork. One elderly attendee held his hand up, as if to ward C.J. off.

“We’ve been here for as long as the Bible has been here, even longer,” C.J. said.

“Queer people have been around for a long, long time. We’ll be here for as long as they’re trying to destroy us.”

‘California belongs to Jesus’

Feucht came on stage at the Capitol’s promptly at 6 p.m, where he brought on several pastors from across the state, including Fairrington. Each pastor took the microphone to deliver impassioned prayers to the audience.

“This is the day the Lord has made and we’re going to rejoice and be glad in it,” Fairrington yelled into the microphone, quoting from Psalm.

Feucht led the crowd through two hours of worship music with short speeches throughout to pray for the crowd, city and state.

During one of those pauses, Feucht said, “We are declaring June the month of family and covenant,” in response to June being LGBTQ Pride month.

Christian faith leader and musician Sean Feucht speaks to the attendees of his Let Us Worship rally in Sacramento on Saturday.

Christian faith leader and musician Sean Feucht speaks to the attendees of his Let Us Worship rally in Sacramento on Saturday.

“California belongs to Jesus,” he said.

The event remained peaceful, with three California Highway Patrol officers on horseback and another dozen on foot and bikes. The event was a family affair, with attendees dancing, waving flags, singing along, cheering and sitting in lawn chairs and picnic blankets.

Around 7:30 p.m., Feucht invited Fairrington on stage, where he delivered a short speech similar to his other sermons, tinged with his signature conservative platitudes.

Greg Fairrington, the pastor of Destiny Church in Rocklin who recently took over Capitol Christian Church in Sacramento, speaks to the crowd at the state Capitol during the Let Us Worship rally on Saturday.

Greg Fairrington, the pastor of Destiny Church in Rocklin who recently took over Capitol Christian Church in Sacramento, speaks to the crowd at the state Capitol during the Let Us Worship rally on Saturday.

“The past four years have shown us that government can’t save us,” he said. “A vaccine can’t save us. The school system can’t save our kids. Social media can’t save us … There’s only one that can save us. Jesus is the answer for the world today.”

As a self-described patriot, Fairrington said he “can’t redeem this country.”

Only one can.

“Only Jesus can do that. Jesus is our answer. Not some woke Jesus, not some modern Jesus. But the old-fashioned Jesus. Jesus is your answer in your life. Jesus is the answer for the state of California, for Sacramento, for this reason, for our nation.”

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