The bishop who oversees St. John’s Episcopal Church, which President Donald Trump visited on Monday evening shortly after police used tear gas and flash-bang grenades to a clear a path for him, was “outraged” that the president would use that place of worship for a photo-op on Monday night.
Speaking with Washington Post reporter Michelle Boorstein, Episcopal Bishop Mariann Budde, the diocese of Washington, D.C., said that neither she nor the rector in charge of the church—which suffered fire damage during Sunday evening’s protests—were informed in advance of the visit, nor were they told “that they would be clearing with tear gas so they could use one of our churches as a prop.”
Budde continued: “Holding a bible, one that declares that God is love and when everything he has said and done is to enflame violence. I am beyond. 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.”
In a tweet, later in the evening, Budde added: “We are followers of Jesus. In no way do we support the President's incendiary response to a wounded, grieving nation. We stand with those seeking justice for the death of George Floyd through the sacred act of peaceful protest.”