mariann budde democratic convention

DC Riots and Bishop Mariann Budde’s Selective Episcopal Outrage

on June 2, 2020

Episcopal Diocese of Washington Bishop Mariann Budde has worked her way into a froth over a photo opportunity by President Trump.

Lafayette Square across from the White House was cleared Monday evening of Black Lives Matter protesters (with the use of either tear gas or smoke canisters, depending on which report you read) seemingly for the purpose of facilitating Trump’s walk to St. John’s Episcopal Church for the photo op. Reports from the Washington Post describe Trump briefly standing in front of the church with Bible in hand, but neither entering the building nor speaking with anyone nor opening the Bible, which apparently signaled something at merely being raised like a talisman.

Workers install temporary plywood to protect windows from damage at the parish house of St. John’s Episcopal Church in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday, June 2, 2020 (Photo: Jeff Walton/IRD)

“I am outraged,” Budde told the Post about Trump’s posturing in an interview a short time later, pausing between words to emphasize her anger as her voice slightly trembled. She had nothing critical to say about the burning of one of her churches, which according to the parish vestry incurred about $20,000 in damages, mostly to the church nursery.

“This evening, the President of the United States stood in front of St. John’s Episcopal Church, lifted up a bible, and had pictures of himself taken. In so doing, he used a church building and the Holy Bible for partisan political purposes,” Tweeted Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop Michael Curry. “This was done in a time of deep hurt and pain in our country, and his action did nothing to help us or to heal us.”

The prominent St. John’s Parish House located on Lafayette Square had been briefly set afire the night before, after peaceful protesters headed home for a District of Columbia curfew.

Some who remained in defiance of the curfew threw rocks at windows in the adjacent U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs building and spray painted a nearby statue of Revolutionary War hero Tadeusz Kościuszko with profanity. Most of the damage appeared directed at a small building that houses park bathrooms. A number of storefronts in the downtown, Georgetown and Tenleytown neighborhoods were also vandalized, including a hair salon and a looted sandwich shop owned by Pakistani immigrants directly below IRD’s downtown offices.

A brief walk around the St. John’s building this afternoon showed graffiti had largely been removed and windows were proactively boarded up to prevent any further damage. A pole with an American flag had been yanked off the building and thrown into a fire by protesters, but little else was noticeably amiss.

Would Budde have given a similar pass if right-wing protesters had done the same? the bishop of Washington doesn’t shrink from activism. Budde herself is engaged in advocacy for firearms restrictions and even weighed in on changing the name of the city’s floundering NFL franchise. Within the Diocese of Washington, Budde defended a push for “gender-inclusive” language “to avoid the use of gendered pronouns for God.”

The Post report noted both Budde and Curry “are among the pantheon of progressive religious leaders who have long been critical of Trump’s political agenda.” I was last present in the now-damaged St. John’s parish house as it hosted a press conference for the Religious Coalition on Reproductive Choice, a progressive lobby that voices approval from religious officials for unrestricted abortion-on-demand, and which counts the Episcopal Church as a member.

Post religion reporters Michelle Boorstein and Sarah Pulliam Bailey cite data from the Pew Research Center showing 49 percent of Episcopalians are Democrats or lean Democratic, compared with 39 percent of church members who are Republican or lean Republican.

Episcopalians have increasingly found themselves in roles difficult to maintain. Church officials simultaneously embrace leftist causes, while also serving as a boutique chaplaincy to the affluent and as presiders over American civil religion in events of national importance including state funerals.

For his part, President Trump is in close proximity to the Episcopal Church: his youngest son was baptized at an Episcopal parish and attends a private Episcopal high school (Trump himself is Presbyterian and his wife Melania is Roman Catholic). The Trump family typically attends services at Bethesda-by-the-sea Episcopal Church when in Palm Beach, Florida, minutes from Mar-a-Lago.

Budde draws a distinction between those engaged in peaceful protest, opportunistic looters and violent organized provocateurs like Antifa. Would she do the same if the partisan affiliations were flipped?

The danger of selective outrage is in exposing one’s self as another partisan instead of acting like a senior shepherd.

  1. Comment by Loren J Golden on June 2, 2020 at 5:34 pm

    “Trump himself is Presbyterian.”
     
    Really?  Since when?  Decades ago he attended NYC’s Marble Collegiate Church, which is affiliated with both the Reformed Church in America and the United Church of Christ (both Theologically Liberal denominations), while Norman Vincent Peale (author of The Power of Positive Thinking) was pastor there (1932-1984).  However, neither the RCA nor the UCC is classified as a Presbyterian denomination.  Which Presbyterian congregation claims Donald Trump as a member?  When was the last time he even attended a Presbyterian church?  What Presbyterian pastor has influenced his thinking or his actions?  (Peale was ordained in the RCA, not a Presbyterian denomination, and therefore does not count, and his influential self-help/proto-prosperity gospel book has no theological basis and cannot even be considered Christian, much less Reformed or Presbyterian.)
     
    That Donald Trump claimed on the campaign trail to be a Presbyterian does not make that claim true.  Please do not perpetuate it.

  2. Comment by Jeffrey Walton on June 3, 2020 at 10:08 am

    Hello Loren, Trump identifies as Presbyterian. According to the New York Times, he went to Sunday school and was confirmed in 1959 at the First Presbyterian Church in Jamaica, Queens. We are in agreement that his ongoing links to the Presbyterian tradition are not strong, which is why I note that his engagement with the Episcopal Church is more regular.

  3. Comment by Myron Simmons on June 2, 2020 at 6:15 pm

    Mr. Trump reminds me of King David who did not live a holy life as I understand it yet Scripture called David a man after God’s own heart. Trumps big mistake was taking a Bible to an ECA facility. Clearly, God’s word is not welcome there.

  4. Comment by Bill on June 5, 2020 at 6:56 pm

    I am a priest in The Episcopal Church (correct acronym is TEC, not ECA). The selective outrage that Jeffrey Walton refers to should extend to the accusation leveled on President Trump by Bishops Curry and Budde that the President was using the Bible as a “prop.” Sadly in TEC most clergy and congregations have been using the Bible as a prop, selectively reading Scripture to support a liberal agenda—rather than embracing the Scriptures as the Word of God. Ironically, when we are ordained as priests we affirm that we believe the Scriptures to be the Word of God and to “contain all things necessary to salvation.” For most, in my experience, those are just words on a page and nothing more. The Bible is a prop in many Episcopal churches.

  5. Comment by Tim on June 9, 2020 at 8:08 pm

    Late to comment, but Bill it is nice to know that some priests in the Episcopal Church are like yourself, who still believe in the Word of God, the Bible. The Bible is to be lived, not searched to prove something.

  6. Comment by Loren J Golden on June 6, 2020 at 2:11 am

    I think, sir, that you malign King David.  He was not without sin—no one is (Rom. 3.9-18,23), save Christ alone (Heb. 4.15, I Pet 2.22)—and some of David’s sins were egregious (I Sam. 25.9-17, II Sam. 11, 24.1-9), giving “great occasion to the enemies of the LORD to blaspheme” (II Sam. 12.14, Masoretic Text).  Yet when he was confronted with his sin, he did not lash out at those who confronted him, as did other kings (I Kg. 13.4, 18.17, 19.1-2, 22.26-27, II Kg. 6.11-14, II Chron. 18.25-26, 24.21, 25.16, 26.19, Jer. 37.11-38.6, Mk. 6.17-28, Acts 12.1-5, Heb. 11.36-38); rather, he humbled himself and repented (I Sam. 25.32-35, II Sam. 12.13, 24.10).  Moreover, the many Psalms that David wrote attest to the love he bore for God and the unwavering trust he had in Him.
     
    Donald Trump, not so much.  Humility and repentance are simply not to be found in his character.  He says good things about those who say good things about him and pettily excoriates anyone who says anything negative.  He has no bridle on his tongue, is incredibly self-aggrandizing, and shows no evidence of basic Christlikeness.  To compare him favorably to King David is a terrible disservice to the one of whom God testified was “a man after my heart, who will do all my will.” (Acts 13.22)

  7. Comment by Wayne on June 2, 2020 at 6:37 pm

    Typical Jeffrey Walton, who’s well paid to work himself into a froth over Bishop Budde’s repudiation of Donald Trump’s photo op in front of the ‘Church of Presidents.’ Instead of addressing her critique of Trump’s outrageous behavior, Jeffrey slings political mud at the Bishop. So typical of the IRD!

  8. Comment by None so blind, a shame on June 2, 2020 at 6:52 pm

    Wayne,

    Pot meet kettle, good to meet you.

    Your blindess and TDS makes only see what you want to see through your political blinkers. More than likely you thought it was great when Mr. Clinton, and later Mrs. Clinton spoke to glowing reviews in front of UMC General Conference sessions, attended a rather-left wing UMC church in DC, and many Democrats (including Vice-Presdient Biden) regularly make blatant political speeches and photo ops in churches.

    President Trump made a statement by doing what he did. If you wish to disagree with his act, okay. But don’t reveal your blatant hypocrisy and attack the author for his opinion of it.

  9. Comment by Loren J Golden on June 2, 2020 at 8:15 pm

    There is no shortage of criticism against Donald Trump, and much of it is justified.  However, Jeffrey Walton’s critique of Episcopal Church Bishop Mariann Budde is not that she merely criticized the sitting President for using one of the churches in her diocese for a photo op, but that she did so in a very public, nationally televised way, while having “nothing critical to say about the burning of” that same church, which damage cost the church $20,000.
     
    The office of the President of the United States is an undeniably political office, and the current occupant is in a political campaign to win enough electoral votes to get elected to a second term.  While I think it was done in bad taste, there are worse things that he could have done (and likely has done) than use a church and a Bible as props for a photo op.
     
    The office of Bishop in the Church of Jesus Christ, on the other hand, is not supposed to be a political office, for his primary responsibility is to “care for God’s church.” (I Tim. 3.5)  The fact that this one aired a public grievance against a ruler of the people, who ought to have been honored for the sake of his office (I Pet. 2.17), over something as petty as using a church and a Bible for a photo op, when doing so caused the church no harm, while having “nothing critical to say about the” arsonists responsible for damaging the church’s building, strongly suggests that she was using her spiritual, non-political office for political purposes and ought, therefore, to have removed the log from her own eye before presuming to remove the speck in the President’s.
     
    Moreover, the IRD’s mission is to “reaffirm the church’s biblical and historical teachings, strengthen and reform its role in public life, protect religious freedom, and renew democracy at home and abroad.”  It typically does not criticize public officials or criticize Church officials’ criticism of public officials, except as they conflict with the purview of its stated mission.  Mr. Walton’s criticism of Bishop Budde was fully in-line with the IRD’s “historic ties with renewal efforts in the mainline denominations,” in calling mainline Protestant leaders to task for engaging in political rhetoric, while neglecting their larger duty assigned to them by God in His Holy Word.

  10. Comment by Douglas E Ehrhardt on June 2, 2020 at 9:01 pm

    Leftism destroys everything …including churches

  11. Comment by Brian Golberg on June 5, 2020 at 4:22 pm

    So true! Education: failing. Religion: dropping like a rock (other than conservative churches). Blacks: mired in poverty in cities run by liberals in states run by liberals whose family structure was destroyed by liberal policies of LBJ.

    What positive result has liberalism accomplished?

  12. Comment by Lawrence Kreh on June 5, 2020 at 9:09 pm

    Well said! As an orthodox Christian my faith is not based on which side uses the Bible and church as political props

  13. Comment by Reynolds on June 2, 2020 at 7:29 pm

    This is the women who does not believe Christ rose from the dead. I will shed a tear for her.

  14. Comment by Dr. Lee Cary (ret. UM Clergy) on June 3, 2020 at 10:27 am

    Sadly for the Episcopal Church today, the only way for a Bishop to grasp for relevance and credibility is to engage in partisan politics against the POTUS.

    In so doing, she shames not Trump, but herself.

    (Well written and compelling article, Mr. Walton)

  15. Comment by Diane on June 3, 2020 at 3:42 pm

    My mom was a native Washingtonian and several generations of my ancestors are buried in the shadow of the Capitol. The use of bullets, armored law enforcement physically shoving peaceful protestors away, and detonating chemicals to make a path to St. John’s Episcopal for a presidential photo-op using religious symbols is despicable.

    There is no defense, so stop trying. Blathering on about property destruction and graffiti is a distraction. I am not an Episcopalian. But I’m exceedingly grateful for their witness.

  16. Comment by L. Cary on June 3, 2020 at 4:18 pm

    “peaceful protestors”? Blathering on about peaceful protestors and using bullets is a fake exaggeration. It wasn’t the Boy Scouts of America that defaced several DC national monuments.

    And, BTW, I’ll see your ancestors buried in the shadow of the Capital, and raise my great uncle Archibald Cary who chaired the Virginia Committee of Correspondence that sponsored the first draft of the Declaration of Independence. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Archibald_Cary

  17. Comment by C on June 4, 2020 at 4:18 am

    A few things from someone who lives in the DC area:

    The fact that Trump decided to do that photo-op has nothing to do with the fact the area by St. John’s got cleared in the first place, but the timing of it makes it appear it did.

    The protestors were being moved because of a previous decision to expand the security perimeter around the White House because of the fact that not all the protestors are “peaceful”. See what Jeffrey wrote above. This decision was made by the Attorney General. It was done just before the 7 p.m. curfew that day took effect. Trump showing up later that evening to stand in front of the church automatically made people assume it was his doing, when it wasn’t. But by expanding the perimeter St. John’s is more protected now than it was before.

    Also, tear gas was not used. The only reason people think it was is because people tweeted that it was. Neither were bullets used. And law enforcement was armored because once again, not all of the protestors are “peaceful.”

  18. Comment by Reynolds on June 4, 2020 at 6:34 pm

    Really what witness. This is a church that throws Christians out of their churches because they have gall to accept Christ as their savior. They sold a church to non Christians just to spite their own members. This woman believe Christ should not be followed because he is a man.

  19. Comment by Diane on June 4, 2020 at 10:54 am

    Whoa, tear gas has a broad definition and refers to chemical agents that irritate eyes, skin, etc. CDC identified tear gas. Curfew was not in effect. Photo opt was not necessary. Earlier directive to clear the area had not been carried out -display of incompetence! The evangelical folks defending and/or praising this obscene event are showing their true colors and politics, not religion. Hypocrites!!! Trump held up an RSV bible, not KJV and used a church with beliefs evangelicals attack as heretical.

  20. Comment by L. Cary on June 4, 2020 at 4:28 pm

    “Whoa, tear gas has a broad definition and refers to chemical agents that irritate eyes, skin, etc.”

    WRONG: Smoke irritates eyes. Tear gas, once experienced, is like nothing else. (Went thru military training once that included being subjected to it.)

  21. Comment by Diane on June 4, 2020 at 10:58 am

    Rubber bullets were used. They hurt. The only violence perpetrated in this particular event was not from protestors. Defining moment in Trump’s presidency and right-wing evangelical support for it.

  22. Comment by L. Cary on June 4, 2020 at 4:29 pm

    You imply there were used against all.

    WRONG: Just those unwilling to obey the stated curfew.

  23. Comment by Diane on June 4, 2020 at 11:15 am

    As to destruction of property….yes, sad and unfortunate. America is the country that has consistently used violence to get the public’s attention. Destruction to churches? Bombing of a church that killed children in Alabama? Progressive churches in DC suburbs have been vandalized by conservatives repeatedly in recent years. In NC, progressive churches have received bomb threats for same-sex unions. In today’s dollars, a million bucks worth of private property was destroyed in the colonists’ Boston Tea Party to make a point. Those white folks are now referred to as patriots. Most of us don’t like violence, myself included, but when directing attention to the current violence associated with the protests, it should always be responsibly noted that violence in relationship to American protests goes hand-in-hand and is not limited to any one racial or ethnic group. It’s very convenient for white conservatives to omit that point. Civil War was white-led and violent. The current president used the racially-charged term “thugs” as code for the “n” word in reference to current perpetrators of violence. I live in the south now – this coded language is well known. Ever heard anyone use “thugs” to describe those white folks who recently defied government stay at home orders, used weapons to insist on their right to congregate during the pandemic? Opened their churches, businesses and caused further COVID infection?

  24. Comment by L. Cary on June 4, 2020 at 4:40 pm

    “America is the country that has consistently used violence to get the public’s attention.” Constantly?

    WRONG:

    “Progressive churches in DC suburbs have been vandalized by conservatives repeatedly in recent years.”‘

    HISTORICAL CITATIONS PLEASE

    “In today’s dollars, a million bucks worth of private property was destroyed in the colonists’ Boston Tea Party to make a point. Those white folks are now referred to as patriots.”

    YOUR JOKING BY BRINGING UP THE BTP, RIGHT? (By the way there were about nine other “tea parties” in the Colonies.)

    “Civil War was white-led and violent.”

    YOU’RE GRASPING FOR STRAWS, DIANE, AND MISSING

    “The current president used the racially-charged term “thugs” as code for the “n” word in reference to current perpetrators of violence”

    GUESS YOU DIDN’T NOTICE DIVERSITY AMONG LOOTERS

    “I live in the south now – this coded language is well known”

    I LIVE IN THE SOUTH, TOO, & THINK YOU’RE MAKING THAT UP.

    “…folks who recently defied government stay at home orders, used weapons to insist on their right to congregate during the pandemic?”

    DOCUMENTATION OF SUCH EVENTS, PLEASE, DIANE.

  25. Comment by Diane on June 4, 2020 at 5:03 pm

    We live on looted property, violently stolen from Native people. We are profiting from that theft. It was white people who did the looting, white people who kidnapped Natives, bound and trafficked them across the Atlantic for the purpose of enslavement. Our kids learn about Squanto every year. He taught the Indians how to plant corn. No mention of his earlier capture by white explorers, their manipulative kidnapping of him,.

    We enjoy the profits of original white man’s violence in this land. We need to talk about violence. But when white people want to dominate the conversation and hard work re racism – and do so in this moment by talking about the violence we’re witnessing, at least one Black Lives Matter leader has pointed the finger back at white folks. This country is built on white looting, white violence. That fact must be re-iterated in any conversation about violence. White people, especially white Christians who are still profiting from the Doctrine of Discovery, must own up to it. It’s the white man’s original sin on this land: white-led looting and violence to the pecking order beneath white men.

  26. Comment by Reynolds on June 4, 2020 at 6:36 pm

    If your guilt is so great please leave the country and go to one you think is best for you

  27. Comment by Steve on June 4, 2020 at 11:17 pm

    Your life may be based on theft, but I worked hard for what I got. If you want to talk about stolen property and hypocrisy, how about the Episcopal Church, who owns property going back to slavery days, like Trinity Wall Street, now worth $6 billion, tax free, who lectures others about reparations but for its own part pays no significant reparations; in fact has spent tens of millions in recent years trying to steal properties from the congregations that paid for them. They recently lost such a suit in Ft Worth.

  28. Comment by Reynolds on June 4, 2020 at 11:42 pm

    Steve

    Curry talk about love love love. He loves money especially other people’s money. He is the worst hypocrite. These people do not care about anything. There motto is do as I say not as I do

  29. Comment by L. Cary on June 5, 2020 at 12:36 pm

    Diane, I was deeply moved by your statements. Including, but not limited to: “We enjoy the profits of original white man’s violence in this land.”

    We have heard your cry for justice, and compensation to the victims, Diane. You are uniquely quipped to show us the way out of this injustice.
    If you own property – research its origin and search out the people from whom it was stolen. If you drive a vehicle, sell it, Diane, it pollutes the environment, and walk where you must go. If you visit a grocery store, only buy what you need to stay alive, and use any remaining food to donate to the foodbank in you city. If there isn’t one, start one. If you own more than one pair of shoes, donate the rest to a charitable clothing store.

    Don’t just signal virtue, live it, Diane. You can be a light in the darkness where the rest of us live in pride, plenty and thoughtless ease (the actual biblically designated sin of Sodom and Gomorrah).

    And then, when you’ve done all that, adopt as many unwanted children of color (not white) and accept no financial aid from the government. Show us the way.

  30. Comment by Tim Haynes on June 5, 2020 at 7:16 am

    I have long enjoyed this blog and while I don’t always agree with its writings, I appreciate its insights, which are challenging and have allowed me to think differently on a host of issues. However, I don’t necessarily understand the thesis of this article. Taken literally, the gist seems to be that Bishop Budde wasn’t outraged over $20,000 in damage to St. John’s but was outraged that President Trump used St. John’s as a backdrop for a photo. As a senior shepherd, the Bishop was selective in her outrage which is evidence that she’s a partisan. Senior shepherds, one should surmise, should not be selective with their outrage but rather rage against everything so as not to be partisan.

    Here, the photo op was deeply divisive. Regardless of your politics, it stoked passions of folks on the left and folks on the right. St. John’s was the backdrop for a photo that went globally viral. I can respect that the Bishop is pissed that St. John’s is the backdrop for just such a photo. I get that. I can also respect that an almost-certainly insured loss of $20,000 didn’t provoke the same amount of outrage. They just aren’t the same. Wouldn’t we all be selective in that instance?

    Look, this is a thoughful blog and I know the issue isn’t really that clergy are shrugging off property damage claims. The issue is that Bishop Budde took a position that you feel is “woke.” I get it. It’s the stock and trade of this blog much of the time and one that’s appreciated.

    The bigger issue here that isn’t addressed is that the Bible was used as a prop. As an evangelical, I also take Matthew 6 very seriously. I’m worried that this Blog missed that entirely.

  31. Comment by Steve on June 5, 2020 at 11:10 am

    The fact that the building did not in fact burn down was not due to the riolers lack of trying, but to the authorities taking control of the situation. So yes, I think the arsonists deserve more outrage than the representative of the government that saved the facility getting a picture outside. You’d think they might condemn the arsonists and thank the government that saved them, but no.

  32. Comment by Tim Haynes on June 5, 2020 at 11:29 am

    Hi, Steve. You could be right. I wasn’t there but I think the outrage should be that the President is using the Bible for purely political, worldly aims and, in an ironic twist, caused far more division in the process. To anticipate your response that all politicians do that, I agree and they should stop. But, that doesn’t make it less wrong or more right.

  33. Comment by Steve on June 5, 2020 at 1:30 pm

    Forget politicians generally, Nancy Pelosi did it the very next day. Crickets.

  34. Comment by Jim on June 5, 2020 at 2:51 pm

    Tim you sound so certain that the President used the Bible for political purposes. The fact is, you do not know this with ANY certainty. Nothing this President does that is positive is EVER acknowledged. So Tim you’re reflecting the never ceasing onslaught of the mainstream media and the never Trump crowd when you give no acknowledgement that the President’s intentions may have been well meaning.

  35. Comment by Jeffrey Walton on June 5, 2020 at 5:15 pm

    Thanks so much for your comment, Tim. We agree that using the Bible as some sort of transactional prop is not consistent with the message within. I was reminded of 1 Samuel when the Israelites brought out the Ark of the Covenant in hope of victory in war with the Philistines, only to suffer a significant defeat and lose the Ark. The Ark is then brought to the temple of Dagon, bringing plagues to the Philistines and knocking over the statue of their god. The Philistines make a guilt offering placed with the Ark on a cart drawn by cows, who head straight for Israel. One lesson is that God can take care of himself, but isn’t interested in being a prop. My concern with Bishop Budde’s witness is that it is too narrow: as my colleague John Lomperis writes, “Those of us in any sort of teaching role must avoid selectively focusing only certain problems depending on what seems convenient at the moment or what we think our own ‘tribe’ will tolerate from us. Riots, vandalism, and looting are inexcusable.” We do not need to join in pointless woker-than-thou shaming or the false dichotomies.

  36. Comment by Jim on June 5, 2020 at 2:54 pm

    Typical liberal outrage from a false teacher in an apostate church. Does anyone know if the apostate bishop is a lesbian?

  37. Comment by Bob Ford on June 5, 2020 at 7:49 pm

    The RCA (Reformed Church in America) is renamed from its earlier name of Dutch Reformed Church. This IS a Presbyterian-Related Church. At the time John Calvin’s reforms reached The Netherlands, it was called the Reformed Church and that’s the wording used for their Dutch Church. Presbyterian is the name chosen near the same time for their Scottish church. Their descendant churches in the US tend to use the Presbyterian name. They share, for example, hymnbooks, seminaries and missionaries to some degree.

    They are thus related to presbyterian churches definitely, though they use the earlier name.

  38. Comment by Lawrence Kreh on June 5, 2020 at 9:03 pm

    President Trump’s use of the Bible and the church as political props was morally and biblically wrong.
    This is true regardless of Trump’s religious affiliation, or the Episcopal Church’s unorthodox theology, or the political leanings of the Episcopal Church. It is true regardless of how the same clergy would have reacted if it had been right-wing protests or a left-wing President. Eould some conservative readers here also reverse their positions if it had been President Obama?

    It was simply wrong and highly inappropriate. Period.

  39. Comment by Steve on June 5, 2020 at 9:55 pm

    So why didn’t they complain when Nancy Pelosi used a Bible as a prop on a teleconference the very next day? Why aren’t you? Nobody said using the Bible this way wasn’t wrong; its being pointed out that people are engaging in selective outrage (a fancy way of saying being hypocritical). And you know how Jesus felt about hypocrisy. He had nothing to say about a Bible (there weren’t any yet).

  40. Comment by Jim on June 9, 2020 at 8:37 am

    Touche!

  41. Comment by Sejanus on June 6, 2020 at 1:44 pm

    One should neither expect fairness nor inclusion of facts which do not support a quite regressive agenda in the Episcopal Church, esp. the Diocese of Washington. Using the Bible to call people to peaceful unity and to reject violence – that is wrong? Whosoever believes that, does not know that book. Get off your high horse and read the text which our President was right to recommend to the people.

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