Donald Trump does not have the support of Right Reverend Mariann Budde.
The Episcopal Bishop of Washington shunned the U.S. President for using St. John’s Episcopal Church as a photo op. The issue is not that Trump used the space, per se, but what was done to make the space available. Government forces cleared the area across Lafayette Park in Washington of protesters on Monday prior to Trump’s speech.
“I am outraged,” Budde told the Washington Post. “I am the bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington and was not given even a courtesy call, that they would be clearing [the area] with tear gas so they could use one of our churches as a prop, holding a Bible, one that declares that God is love and when everything he has said and done is to inflame violence.”
“I am beyond,” Budde 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.”
The church is the same one that all newly elected presidents attend right after their inauguration.
Budde made it clear Trump is not welcomed to use the church for political gain.
“I don’t want President Trump speaking for St. John’s,” she said. “We so dissociate ourselves from the messages of this president. We hold the teachings of our sacred texts to be so, so grounding to our lives and everything we do, and it is about love of neighbour and sacrificial love and justice.”