The Episcopalian bishop in Washington, D.C., who came out forcefully against President Trump’s visit to St. John’s Church a day after George Floyd rioters set it on fire, should not try and judge the president’s faith, Kellyanne Conway, the counselor to the White House said.
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Mariann Edgar Budde, the bishop, told CNN that she was outraged that the president would dare visit a church in her diocese without her explicit permission and his attempt to essentially use the Bible as a prop for the cameras. She called Trump’s message “antithetical to the teachings of Jesus.”
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Conway said that Trump has been a fierce advocate for churches and places of worship and recently demanded that states consider them “essential businesses” amid the coronavirus shutdown. Conway blasted Budde for attempting to judge the president’s heart.
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“That is not ‘her church,’” Conway told Fox News. “That is not ‘her Bible.’ We don’t look into other people’s hearts and souls and discern and judge what their faith is.”
“Why the president felt compelled to walk there? Why he held that bible up? That is a symbol to everyone that we will not allow arsonists and anarchists who set that fire ablaze, who really, I think, demean the memory of those who have lost their lives in the name of their respective faith and religions,” she said. “We won’t allow them to dissuade us from practicing our religion.”
Todd Starnes, the host of the “Todd Starnes Radio Show” said Tuesday that he’d be “surprised if the bishop actually owned a Bible seeing how this The Episcopal Church has abandoned the teachings of the Good Book and embraced the leftist ideology.”
Democrats and their allies in the media did their best to come down on Trump’s decision to move “peaceful protesters” from nearby the White House in order to walk to the church while holding a Bible. The media was not as quick to criticize the rioters who vandalized the church building.
Sen. Marco Rubio took to Twitter Monday to set the record straight after Democrats like House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer tried to call out the president from forcefully moving the protesters.
“Many in the media fell for the calculated & deliberate tactics of professional agitators,” he tweeted. “They knew the street needed to be cleared before 7pm curfew. But they deliberately stayed to trigger police action & get the story they wanted, that “police attacked peaceful protestors.”