Je me souviens

“Je me souviens.” — I remember.

It’s on the Quebec parliament building and license plates. To me, it always sounded slightly romantic. “I remember.” Lost loves? Dreams? To Quebecois, the meaning may be a more somber allusion to the loss of French Canadian sovereignty to England.

I was reminded of the phrase when I viewed the recently released documentary “Superspreader” about the challenges and struggles of evangelical Christians, especially a musician composer and religious leader named Sean Feucht and his family, during the COVID epidemic.

Feucht and his supporters attempted to respond to the crisis by continuing their “Let Us Worship” rallies. They were demonized (even by some fellow Christians) and threatened. He was called “dangerous” and Christianity was called a “colonizing region”. Rolling Stone magazine published an article about him titled “Jesus Christ Superspreader?”.  (“Few masks, face coverings or even Shrouds of Turin were seen to help minimize the spread of the virus,” the author snidely wrote.)

The Christian evangelical movement soon faced the heavy hand of a number of  state governments, especially that of California, where Governor Gavin Newsom permitted the opening of “big box” stores but banned meetings of religious organizations. Anyone see an equal protection argument here? You would be right.

The actions of some political leaders during the COVID virus, both at the time and in retrospect, were clear violations of the civil liberties guaranteed by the United States constitution and two centuries of judicial decisions, all done in the name of a “science” unsupported by data.

“Superspreader” is a powerful, well written and well produced documentary. 

It profiles worship leaders of diverse (real diversity, not the sloganeering kind), backgrounds, including some who had escaped or were the descendants of people who had escaped totalitarian regimes in places such as the Soviet Union and North Korea. These people immediately recognized that the threats America were facing were political ones, not microbiological ones. Sean Feucht, too, came to understand that the fight was not only against the virus but was against the loss of our civil liberties. He also saw, through his travels from city to city,  that Americans were suffering from profound mental distress due to fear and isolation and that shutting down places of gatherings and spiritual comfort were dangerous to individuals as well as to community and national health.

“Je me souvien”  is a  precept that Americans should look upon with favor.

Many of the people profiled in ‘Superspreader” spoke of America as the “beacon on the hill” and were proud of America’s history in fighting for individual freedom. They remember that this nation was founded on the principles of self-determination and the belief that there is no God but God and that government governs by the consent of the governed. So, they took sued Governor Newsom.

it took a year but in 2021, the United States Supreme Court granted an injunction (Harvest Park Church et al v. Newsom, Gov. CA) sending the case back to the Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit following which a settlement was reached and $1.3 million dollars in attorney’s fees and costs were  paid to the plaintiffs’ counsel.

There was a written message at the end of “Superspreader”.

“After 150 cities across America, contact tracing  tests were performed and found that no COVID outbreak tie to worship exists.”

About the Author
Elaine Rosenberg Miller writes fiction and non-fiction. Her work has appeared in numerous print publications and online sites, domestically and abroad, including JUDISCHE RUNDSCHAU, THE BANGALORE REVIEW, THE FORWARD, THE HUFFINGTON POST and THE JEWISH PRESS. Her books,, FISHING IN THE INTERCOASTAL AND OTHER SHORT STORIES, THE CHINESE JEW. THE TRUST and PALMBEACHTOWN are available on Amazon and Kindle.