Right-wing Reverend Mariann Budde, the Episcopal Bishop of Washington, DC, sentenced President Trump shortly after law enforcement officers used tear gas and rubber bullets to spread a peaceful protest – all so that Trump could take a picture in front of a church.
Sunday evening, when large groups of peaceful protesters and much smaller groups of less peaceful protesters filled the streets of DC, a fire was lit in the basement of St. John’s Church, an episcopal church near the White House. The fire was extinguished and the church would have disappeared only suffered minor damage.
Nevertheless, Trump decided to visit church on Monday night and stand outside with a Bible in hand. Shortly before this visit, he gave a short speech that quickly fell into authoritarian rhetoric. “If a city or state refuses to take the necessary measures to protect the lives and property of its residents,” Trump said, “I will deploy the US military and resolve the problem for them quickly.”
At the same time that Trump started this address, protesters were gathered peacefully in Lafayette Park near the White House. But they were cleared out of the park by federal law enforcement officers, who used tear gas and rubber bullets to clear the crowd.
Minutes later, Trump came out of the White House to take his photo for the nearby church.
In response to this incident, Budde told the Washington Post that she is “Outraged” at the President’s actions. “I am the bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington and did not even receive a courtesy call that they would clean up with tear gas so they could use one of our churches as support,” Budde told the Post.
She also criticized Trump for holding a Bible that “declares that God is love and that all he has said and done is to fuel violence.”