Shea's Christian Nationalism
The Hard Right Turn of the local GOP--and who’s signing on
Last Sunday, August 20, was not Christian Nationalist Sean Feucht’s first concert in Spokane. In fact, Mr. Feucht brought his brand of far right wing religio-politics to the Spokane Pavilion on August 21, 2022, almost exactly one year ago. Then Feucht’s event was advertised on Redoubt News. Organizers included local “Pastor” Matt Shea’s “On Fire Ministries” as well as Charlie Kirk’s “Turning Point USA”. I noted the coming event in my August 15, 2022, post, “Another Trumpist Christian Grifter Comes to Spokane” and wondered which local Republican officials or candidates would join Feucht and Shea on stage. If any did so, it did not make news.
Of course that concert was just prior to the 2022 midterm general election. That was before Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich finished out his term and left for Wyoming. Knezovich was a rabid critic of Matt Shea over Shea’s ties to militant white supremacy, Shea’s “Biblical Basis for War” document, and his years of lobbying for a new theocratically based 51st State, the “State of Liberty”. Even before Knezovich stepped down at the end of December 2022, the SpokaneGOP took another hard right turn. Local allies of Matt Shea and Caleb Collier used Steve Bannon’s “precinct strategy” to elect Shea ally “Pastor” Brian Noble as chair of the SpokaneGOP. Predictably, “Pastor” Noble appeared on stage at the opening of this last Sunday’s Feucht/Shea rally. He appears with other “pastors” and leaders in the photo below on the far left in the light blue shirt, symbolizing the shift of the local Republican Party rightward in alliance with Shea and Feucht’s toxic Christian Nationalism. (Noble’s “Christianity” was on display in his Facebook interview with Rod Higgins. See Can Brian Noble Hear Himself?)
Surely City of Spokane Mayor Nadine Woodward took note that the SpokaneGOP endorsed candidate for mayor in the primary election was Tim Archer, not Nadine. (This is the Tim Archer who insisted repeatedly in a pre-primary debate that “Spokane doesn’t have a homelessness problem, it has a government [law enforcement] problem”. Since Shea and his allies now control the Spokane County Republican Party (SpokaneGOP), Woodward likely imagined that hitching her Christianity to the Christian Nationalism of the Feucht/Shea/Noble “Let Us Worship” event would attract support from the far right. Without Ozzie Knezovich around to stiffen her spine, Nadine found herself literally embracing Matt Shea, hoping to garner little notice from the wider City of Spokane community.
In the unlikely event that she did not grasp what these people stand for, then she is clueless and has no business continuing as mayor. Even the title of the Feucht tour, “Let Us Worship”, was born of mis-information-based protests against Covid-19 restrictions. Feucht’s history of far right agitation should make him politically radioactive.
And then, from Joseph Peterson’s coverage of the event:
Given the hard right turn of the local SpokaneGOP it should come as no surprise that Earline “Earl” Moore, Republican candidate for City of Spokane City Council (District 3, NW Spokane), would appear on stage along with Nadine. If you live in northwest Spokane, take the opportunity this November to reject Christian Nationalism. Vote for Kitty Klitzke for City of Spokane City Council, the candidate with actual experience in local government.
Even less surprising was the appearance of Jessica Yaeger, the chairwoman of the Spokane County chapter of Moms For Liberty and candidate for the City of Spokane Valley City Council Position 2. (Take note that in the Voter’s Guide for the general election this November Ms. Yaeger conveniently leaves out her leadership of the local Moms for Liberty chapter.) If you live in Spokane Valley reject extremism and vote for Rachel Briscoe this November.
Keep to the high ground,
P.S. If you spend time on social media you will read comments by Republicans indignant that the Feucht/Shea/Noble “concert/worship” event was widely criticized. The criticism is characterized as a “cheap shot” at their freedom to worship. Of course they ignore christo-fascist overtones of the Feucht/Shea/Noble faction of Christianity. We need to understand that Christianity never was, and is not now, a monolithic belief system and that the “Christianity” of the Feucht/Shea/Noble brand is a thin veil barely concealing naked far-right politics. This is not the Christianity in which I was brought up. (See RANGE Media’s “Faith leaders call on Woodward to formally support separation of church and state”, published late yesterday.)
I thought the following Facebook snippet by MJ Bolt, Vice Chair of the SpokaneGOP, was particularly telling—and inane. Absolutely no one is proposing to curtail her freedom to worship. Ms. Clausen’s “BTW - God’s in charge of climate change” is emblematic of Republican Dominion Theology. For Ms. Clausen God gave us dominion over the world and God’s in charge—so there can’t be anything wrong with “Drill, baby, drill!”.