|President Donald Trump at Washington, D.C.’s historic St. John’s Episcopal Church|
The Right Rev Mariann Budde, the Episcopal bishop of Washington, told the Washington Post: “I am the bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington and was not given even a courtesy call, that they would be clearing [the area] with tear gas so they could use one of our churches as a prop.”
Trump’s message is at odds with the values of love and tolerance espoused by the church, Budde said, before describing the president’s visit as an opportunity to use the church, and a Bible, as a “backdrop.”
“Let me be clear, the president just used a Bible, the most sacred text of the Judeo-Christian tradition, and one of the churches of my diocese, without permission, as a backdrop for a message antithetical to the teachings of Jesus,” she told CNN.
“We align ourselves with those seeking justice for the death of George Floyd and countless others. And I just can’t believe what my eyes have seen,” she added.
“I don’t want President Trump speaking for St John’s. We so dissociate ourselves from the messages of this president,” she told the Washington Post. “We hold the teachings of our sacred texts to be so, so grounding to our lives and everything we do, and it is about love of neighbor and sacrificial love and justice.”
Other religious leaders echoed her comments. Father Edward Beck, a Catholic priest, tweeted: ‘“Has the Bible ever been used in a more disingenuous and exploitative way?”
The Guardian, June 2, 2020
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