Bishop Mariann Edgar Budde Calls Trump’s Photo Op At St. John Church ‘Antithetical To The Teachings Of Jesus’
After President Donald Trump briefly appeared before St. John Episcopal Church brandishing a Bible, the bishop overseeing the diocese in Washington D.C. declared his actions “antithetical” to Christian values.
On Monday evening, Rev. Mariann Edgar Budde, who oversees the Church that the president briefly visited, harshly criticized Trump’s actions and words.
During an interview, Budde rebuked Trump for inciting gun violence against protesters in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The president had previously posted a tweet in which he threatened violent protesters, saying that “when the looting starts, the shooting starts.”
Law enforcement allowed him to safely reach the church in Washington D.C. by dispersing peaceful protesters with rubber bullets, “flashbangs” and tear gasses.
Budde criticized Trump’s use of the Bible, claiming that the president used it “as if it were spiritual validation and justification for a message that is antithetical to the teachings of Jesus and to the God of justice.”
The bishop then told ABC’s Good Morning America that Trump’s violent rhetoric must be vehemently opposed by faithful Christians. “I felt in no uncertain terms that I had to disassociate us from that symbolic gesture and to speak a word of justice and peace to the nation,” she said.
Budde clarified that the president would still be “welcome” as a citizen “to pray alongside fellow citizens, to kneel before God in humility and to rededicate [himself] to the task to which [he’s] been elected,” she concluded.
After the interview aired, White House adviser Kellyanne Conway released a statement defending the president’s good intentions.
“It’s very unfortunate that people of faith would call into question what is in anyone’s heart, including the president’s, [and] what compelled him to go over to St. John’s and hold up his Bible,” she said. “The politicization of that by people of faith is very unfortunate.”