By the Nashville Voice Editorial Board
Yesterday we witnessed President Donald Trump hold a Bible at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Washington D.C. steps from the White House. What made this image disturbing was the fact law enforcement had cleared the area of peaceful protestors with tear gas and rubber bullets only moments earlier.
The idea that our President would use force for a photo-op is extremely dangerous. The fact he did it to pose in front of a church is blasphemy.
According to the Washington Post the Episcopal bishop for D.C. Rev. Mariann Budde had this to say, “holding a bible, one that declares that God is love and when everything he has said and done is to enflame violence.” She continued. “We need moral leadership and he’s done everything to divide us and has just used one of the most sacred symbols of the Judeo-Christian tradition.”
While America has been founded on the idea of separation of State and Church there has always been an unwritten agreement between our citizens and our government that our leaders would do their best to make decisions based off of morality and respectability. What we continue to see in this administration is the lack of any honor or decency.
Before Trump decided to take his stroll of power to St. John’s he delivered his first words, outside of Twitter, in the Rose Garden about the recent events throughout United States. After a week of protests, many that led to violence and looting, the nation was waiting for its leader to say something, anything to help bring the country together. Instead we got a speech that threatened to bring “heavily-armed military forces” into our cities.
The President also recommended every governor to deploy the National Guard to “dominate the streets” to have an “overwhelming presence” to quell the violence.
To use such language of divisiveness and then use symbols of love such as a Bible is the height of hypocrisy. What also must be noted is that Trump is not a member of St. John’s. Rev. Budde has stated the only time he’s entered the church was on the morning of his inauguration. Not a surprise it was another photo-op.
The Nashville Voice editorial board believe that in a time of social unrest and a national pandemic we need a leader who can use his power to unite not divide us. What we have instead is an empty suit who would rather take a photo holding a book than actually living by the moral code that book suggests.