Source: Episcopalian Church/Facebook
In order to pose for photographs, President Trump yesterday used federal troops, teargas and rubber bullets to clear a large crowd of peaceful demonstrators outside the Church of St John, across the road from the White House, where presidents have worshipped for more than 200 years.
Speaking quietly to interviewers, the Episcopal Bishop of Washington, Rt Rev Mariann Edgar Budde said: "The President just used a Bible and one of the churches of my diocese as a backdrop for a message antithetical to the teachings of Jesus and everything that our church stands for. To do so, he sanctioned the use of tear gas by police officers in riot gear to clear the church yard.
"I am outraged.
"The President did not pray when he came to St John's; nor did he acknowledge the agony and sacred worth of people of colour in our nation who rightfully demand an end to 400 years of systemic racism and white supremacy in our country.
"I want the world to know that we in the Diocese of Washington follow Jesus in His Way of Love. We aspire to be people of peace and advocates of justice. In no way do we support the President's incendiary response to a wounded, grieving nation. In faithfulness to our Saviour who lived a life of non-violence and sacrificial love, we align ourselves with those seeking justice for the death of George Floyd and countless others through the sacred act of peaceful protest."
In an official statement on 'President Donald Trump's use of a church building and the Holy Bible' presiding Bishop Michael B Curry said last night:
"This evening, the President of the United States stood in front of St John's Episcopal Church, lifted up a Bible, and had pictures of himself taken. In so doing, he used a church building and the Holy Bible for partisan political purposes. This was done in a time of deep hurt and pain in our country, and his action did nothing to help us or to heal us.
The Bible teaches us that "God is love." Jesus of Nazareth taught, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." The prophet Micah taught that the Lord requires us to "do justice, love mercy and walk humbly with our God."
The Bible the President held up and the church that he stood in front of represent the values of love, of justice, of compassion, and of a way to heal our hurts.
We need our President, and all who hold office, to be moral leaders who help us to be a people and nation living these values. For the sake of George Floyd, for all who have wrongly suffered, and for the sake of us all, we need leaders to help us to be "one nation, under God, with liberty and justice for all."
The Most Reverend Michael B Curry
Presiding Bishop and Primate
The Episcopal Church
Watch an interview with Bishop Budde - https://edition.cnn.com/videos/politics/2020/06/02/mariann-budde-bishop-st-johns-trump-bible-photo-ac360-vpx.cnn
St John's Church - https://stjohns-dc.org/
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