"We align ourselves with those seeking justice for the death of George Floyd and countless others through the sacred act of peaceful protest, and I -- I just can't believe what my eyes have seen tonight," said Bishop Mariann Edgar Budde.
June 2, 2020

Anderson Cooper spoke to Mariann Edgar Budde, the bishop of the District of Columbia, who oversees the church Trump used for his photo op yesterday.

"Bishop, thank you for being here. What are your thoughts as you saw what happened and you look at the images now of so many Americans crying out in the streets for law and order, law and order that is applied equally to all of us, regardless of color, regardless of economic status?" he asked.

"Let me be clear. The president just used a Bible and the sacred text of the Judeo-Christian," she said.

"One of the churches of my diocese without permission as a backdrop for a message antithetical to the teachings of Jesus and everything our churches stand for. And to do so, as you just said, he sanctioned the use of tear gas by police officers in riot gear to clear the church yard.

"I am outraged. The president did not pray when he came to Saint 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 worth, 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 do not -- 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 through the sacred act of peaceful protest, and i -- i just can't believe what my eyes have seen tonight," the bishop said.

She said she had no idea this was going to happen.

"I was watching the news with everyone else, and as you might imagine, I have been fielding out phone calls and emails and texts of outrage from my people and from people across the country wondering what on earth did we just witness. I hear everything else that has been said tonight. I was allowed to eavesdrop on your conversation, which is equally symbolic of our civic institutions.

"What I am here to talk about is the abuse of sacred symbols for the people of faith in this country to, to justify language, rhetoric, an approach to this crisis that is antithetical to everything we stand for. Everything that this faith stands for."

I'll just note that as someone who was raised Catholic, as I watched him pose with his prop Bible like a game show model, I kept waiting for the book to burst into flames.

Just sayin.'

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