After cowering in the presidential bunker over the weekend as protests against police brutality sprang up in cities across the country, President Trump decided to reassert some of his manufactured “tough guy” image yesterday by staging a walk from the White House to St. John’s Episcopal Church.
In order to feel safe during his short walk, our cowardly leader had the police disperse peaceful protestors with tear gas and flash-bang grenades. It was a grim, perfect distillation of his abominable presidency: entirely focused on PR and actively detrimental to the American people.
Once at the church, Trump didn’t lead a prayer or even read from Scripture. Instead, he bizarrely held a Bible aloft, making it painfully clear that the entire event was nothing more than a glorified photo-op for his Evangelical supporters. The entire stunt was rendered all the more absurd by the fact that we all know that our serial philandering, sexual predator, proudly racist president never reads the Bible and indeed never reads at all.
MOMENTS AGO: President Trump stands in front of St. John's Church holding a Bible.
Trump: "We have a great country. That's my thoughts. Greatest country in the world… It's coming back. It's coming back strong." pic.twitter.com/SeDH3pX7AV
— The Hill (@thehill) June 1, 2020
It soon emerged that Church officials were not informed of the St. John’s event in advance and when they learned that protestors were violently removed to facilitate it they were understandably incensed. Mariann E. Budde, the Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington had some harsh words about the president’s actions.
“He did not pray. He did not mention George Floyd, he did not mention the agony of people who have been subjected to this kind of horrific expression of racism and white supremacy for hundreds of years,” said Budde. “We need a president who can unify and heal. He has done the opposite of that, and we are left to pick up the pieces.”
The bishop also drew issue with the manner in which Trump waved the Bible around like a prop.
“The Bible is not an American document. It’s not an expression of our country. It’s an expression of the human struggle to serve and love and know God,” she said.
So how did the Trump administration respond to the news that Bishop Budde had denounced their behavior? If you answered “by apologizing” then you haven’t been paying attention the past four years.
Jenna Ellis, the Senior Legal Advisor to the Trump campaign and the president’s personal attorney, took to Twitter to slam the bishop and accuse her of “distracting” from the “powerful image” of Trump holding up a Bible.
As shameless as her monstrous employer, Ellis went on to denounce Bishop Budde as a “pawn of the leftist media that thrives on destruction of all that is moral and just.” Once again, we see that Trump and his cronies have no real respect for people of faith and are only interested in exploiting them to get votes. It’s as if they never tire of insulting our collective intelligence.
Distracting from the powerful image and statement of our United States President holding up a Bible in front of an historic American Church.
This bishop is unfortunately a pawn of the leftist media that thrives on destruction of all that is moral and just. https://t.co/Yv5ALN6iWT
— Jenna Ellis (@JennaEllisEsq) June 2, 2020
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Rob Haffey is a writer, filmmaker, and winner of the ScreenCraft Writing Fellowship. He is a graduate of Drexel University.