The week long protests in the United States of America, agitating against George Floyd‘s murder, reached the doorstep of the White House which forced US President Donald Trump to briefly retreat to a bunker beneath it. Reportedly urged by daughter Ivanka Trump, the president decided to pose with a bible before St. John’s Church to mark defining moment in his presidency.Also Read - Here's How US is Planning to Share 55 Million Covid Vaccine Doses With The World
However, the defining moment turned out to be the tear-gas attack on the protestors who refused to budge before Trump stepped out in cleared Lafayette Square for the photo op with a bible in hand. Leaving several religious leaders enraged, the church patio was reportedly witnessed smoke, flash grenades and some form of chemical sprayed by forces. Also Read - Donald Trump Seen Singing & Selling Ice-Cream in Pakistan; Oh Wait, That's His Doppelganger | Watch
Taking to his Twitter handle, Jesuit priest James Martin tweeted a picture of Trump posing with the bible and lashed, “Let me be clear. This is revolting. The Bible is not a prop. A church is not a photo op. Religion is not a political tool. God is not your plaything (sic).” Also Read - Good News For H1-B Visa Seekers: US Drops Barriers To Legal Immigration
He latter tweeted another picture of Trump, this time with his daughter and mocked, “Today at the Shrine of St. John Paul II, the President stood before the statue of the pope who condemned racism as a sin, who warned against “self-exaltation” of nations and who actively supported protesters during the Solidarity movement in Poland in their fight for justice (sic).”
Aghast at the violence meted out to the Americans who were protesting peacefully outside the White House, Bishop Mariann Edgar Budde of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington told CNN, “”I am outraged. The President did not pray when he came to St. John’s, nor as you just articulated, did he acknowledge the agony of our country right now. And in particular, that of the people of color in our nation, who wonder if anyone ever – anyone in public power will ever acknowledge their sacred words. And who are rightfully demanding an end to 400 years of systemic racism and white supremacy in our country. And I just want the world to know, that we in the diocese of Washington, following Jesus and his way of love … we distance ourselves from the incendiary language of this President. We follow someone who lived a life of nonviolence and sacrificial love. We align ourselves with those seeking justice for the death of George Floyd and countless others. And I just can’t believe what my eyes have seen.”
She added, “Let me be clear: The President just used a Bible, the most sacred text of the Judeo-Christian tradition, and one of the churches of my diocese, without permission, as a backdrop for a message antithetical to the teachings of Jesus.”
Ivanka Trump too was criticised by the netizens for carrying the bible casually in her $1,540 MaxMara bag before she handed it to the president.