Not content with the perverse mockery of religiosity that President Donald Trump displayed last night at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Lafayette Square, Trump, Trump is preparing to visit a second Washington D.C. place of worship.
But after the appalling violence that immediately preceded Trump’s Bible-waving ceremony last night, he understandably is not welcome at the Saint John Paul II National Shrine.
Archbishop Wilton Gregory issued an unprecedented statement condemning the President’s visit, striking an understandably but surprisingly harsh tone with the shrine for allowing itself to be “egregiously misused and manipulated” and reminded us all that Pope John Paul II would not have condoned the use of teargas to silence and intimidate people for a “photo op.”
— DC Archdiocese (@WashArchdiocese) June 2, 2020
President Trump provoked widespread outrage last night when it became known that his goons had used tear gas and riot police to disperse a crowd of peaceful protesters and the clergy at the church so that the president could film himself a campaign ad.
Prominent religious figures, media commentators, and politicians all expressed their disgust with the wanton abuse of religious symbology for selfish political gain.
Let me be clear. This is revolting. The Bible is not a prop. A church is not a photo op. Religion is not a political tool. God is not your plaything. pic.twitter.com/RZwPeqrwoZ
— James Martin, SJ (@JamesMartinSJ) June 2, 2020
While the Archbishop’s warning is unlikely to deter the president from getting what he wants, it’s wonderful to see American civil society joining together to take a stand against the president and his appalling excesses.