Peaceful protesters were tear-gassed outside The White House so Trump could get a photo opportunity outside a church.
Despite dubbing himself an ‘ally of all peaceful protesters’, those doing so outside the president’s home had tear gas thrown at them so a path could be cleared for him.
The path was cleared so Trump could deliver a speech outside St. John’s Church, which had been set alight by protesters the night before.
Trump also sanctioned police in riot gear to tear gas people in the churchyard so he could get to it.
Holding a bible in his hand and discussing the ongoing protests, the president stated that America was a ‘great country’ and that it will be ‘greater than ever before’.
Following his speech and photoshoot outside the church, Episcopal Bishop Mariann Budde – the diocesan bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington – spoke out saying they do not support Trump’s ‘incendiary response to a wounded, grieving nation’.
The bishop’s tweets read:
Tonight President just used a Bible and a church 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.
The President did not come to pray; he did not lament the death of George Floyd or acknowledge the collective agony of people of color in our nation. He did not attempt to heal or bring calm to our troubled land.
Tonight President just used a Bible and a church 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. 1/1
— Mariann Budde (@Mebudde) June 2, 2020
Bishop Budde continued:
The Bible teaches us to love God and our neighbor; that all people are beloved children of God; that we are to do justice and love kindness. The President used our sacred text as a symbol of division.
We are followers of Jesus. In no way do we support the President’s incendiary response to a wounded, grieving nation. We stand with those seeking justice for the death of George Floyd through the sacred act of peaceful protest.
Prior to visiting the church, Trump gave a speech at The White House.
You can watch it here:
In the speech given yesterday, June 1, the president said he has advised governors to deploy the National Guard in a bid to end the violent protests.
Trump added that if anyone fails to deploy them, he will send the US military there instead.
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