While anger, pain, suffering and sadness continues to emanate from protests in the US and other parts of the world following the death of George Floyd, Donald Trump is posing for photoshoots at churches, and now he’s asked his wife Melania to join in. Hear all the details below:
Footage has emerged from Trump’s recent visit to the Saint John Paul II National Shrine in which he and wife Melania pose for photographers. During the video, Trump appears to look over at his wife and seemingly ask her to smile. She does so – albeit reluctantly – before the couple walk away.
It’s painful to watch, and only made worse by Trump’s photo op outside St John’s Episcopal Church yesterday. In order for him to visit the church, crowds of protesters were dispersed with tear-gas, rubber bullets and military personnel.
According to The Independent, dozens of bishops and volunteers – who were giving out snacks and refreshments to protesters – were told to leave the church so Trump could have his photo taken while holding a Bible.
“The president just used a Bible and one of the churches of my diocese as a backdrop for a message antithetical to the teachings of Jesus and everything that our church stands for,” The Right Reverend Mariann Budde said in a statement. “To do so, he sanctioned the use of tear gas by police officers in riot gear to clear the churchyard.”
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Trump’s visits to these religious sites have outraged the public and religious leaders alike. In a statement via The Independent, Archbishop Wilton Gregory said “I find it baffling and reprehensible that any Catholic facility would allow itself to be so egregiously misused and manipulated in a fashion that violates our religious principles, which calls us to defend the rights of all people even those with whom we might disagree.”
The President’s tone-deaf photoshoots were complemented by daughter Ivanka Trump’s response to the protests. After she recently tweeted the scripture verse, “This is what the Lord said: I have heard your prayer and seen your tears. I will heal you,” social media users were quick to clap back.
One user responded to Ivanka’s tweet, “Hey, remember how your dad incited mass murder of civilians for exercising their right to protest yesterday?” while others quoted Proverbs, “a ruler who lacks understanding is a cruel oppressor, but he who hates unjust gain will prolong his days.”
Speaking to Religious News Service about Trump’s photo op, Reverend Gini Gerbasi said, “They turned holy ground into a battleground.”
Considering this, is it really that surprising Melania doesn’t feel like grinning for the cameras?
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