LGBTQ Magazine

Bible as Weapon (Upholding Straight White Male Supremacy): Commentary on Yesterday's White House Stunt

Posted on the 02 June 2020 by William Lindsey @wdlindsy
We've reached the 'mad emperor' stage, and it's terrifying to behold | Richard Wolffe— The Guardian (@guardian) June 2, 2020

Heather Cox Richardson, "Letters from an American: June 1, 2020":
Trump began the day with a call to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The Episcopal bishop of DC – who oversees the DC church Trump just stopped at – tells the @washingtonpost she is "outraged" and that neither she nor the rector was asked or told… “that they would be clearing with tear gas so they could use one of our churches as a prop.." 1/3— Michelle Boorstein (@mboorstein) June 2, 2020

Steve Benen, "With heavy-handed tactics, Trump's church photo-op backfires":
Yesterday, there was a group of peaceful protestors in Lafayette Square. There was no violence or unrest, and those assembled in the park had every right to be there. (There was a curfew in Washington, D.C., last night, but it had not yet taken effect.) 
Nevertheless, shortly after Trump touted himself as "an ally of all peaceful protesters," law enforcement launched a rather extraordinary offensive against the demonstrators, which included, among other things, firing tear gas and flash-bang shells at those who had peaceably assembled. 
Once Lafayette Square had been cleared by force, Trump walked across the park -- the length of a city block -- stood in front of St. John's, held up a Bible, posed for the cameras, and then walked back. The Republican did not go inside the church; he did not read from the Bible; he did not pray or engage in any form of worship; he didn't even visit with a pastor. 
'Is that your Bible?' a reporter asked. 'It's a Bible,' Trump replied. 
It was quite possibly the most ridiculous presidential photo-op in the history of presidential photo-ops.

Church leader speaking about Trump's photo-op after peaceful protesters were tear gassed and pushed back: "What on earth did we just witness?"— Josh Campbell (@joshscampbell) June 2, 2020

Jack Jenkins, "Ahead of Trump Bible photo op, police forcibly expel priest from St. John's church near White House":
[L[ess than an hour before Trump's arrival, armored police used tear gas to clear hundreds of peaceful demonstrators from Lafayette Square park, which is across the street from the church. 
Authorities also expelled at least one Episcopal priest and a seminarian from the church's patio.
"They turned holy ground into a battleground," said the Rev. Gini Gerbasi.

The President did not come to pray; he did not lament the death of George Floyd or acknowledge the collective agony of people of color in our nation. He did not attempt to heal or bring calm to our troubled land.— Mariann Budde (@Mebudde) June 2, 2020

“This was a made for television moment,” CNN's Don Lemon said after tear gas was fired at protesters as President Trump addressed the nation from the Rose Garden. “Open your eyes, America. Open your eyes. We are teetering on a dictatorship. This is chaos.”— The Daily Beast (@thedailybeast) June 1, 2020

The Bible teaches us to love God and our neighbor; that all people are beloved children of God; that we are to do justice and love kindness. The President used our sacred text as a symbol of division.— Mariann Budde (@Mebudde) June 2, 2020

Josh Marshall, "Crisis":
Protestors have been in Lafayette Park all day but entirely peaceful. Police and military personnel from various agencies just about exactly at 6:30 started pressing a confrontation with what had been for the day an entirely peaceful crowd. They then started firing tear gas and flash bangs. It is impossible to believe that this overlapping timing was not intentional and intended to create a law and order tableau for President Trump to enter into. 
Tear gas, flash bangs, apparently rubber bullets and mounted police heading into the crowd. This all looks not just one way but made for TV. By design.

Has the Bible ever been used in a more disingenuous and exploitative way?— Father Edward Beck (@FrEdwardBeck) June 1, 2020

I’m wondering what Cardinal Dolan will have to say about Trump’s Bible photo op?— John Gehring (@gehringdc) June 2, 2020

About the possibility of Cardinal Dolan speaking out about the moral monstrosity's abuse of Christian symbols:
It's hard to be heard when your head is far inside the innards of the very person you're expected to criticize.— 𝕎𝕚𝕝𝕝𝕚𝕒𝕞 𝔻. 𝕃𝕚𝕟𝕕𝕤𝕖𝕪 🌈 (@wdlindsy) June 2, 2020

Michelle Boorstein, Episcopal bishop on President Trump: 'Everything he has said and done is to inflame violence'":
"Everything he has said and done is to inflame violence," Budde [said] of the president. "We need moral leadership, and he's done everything to divide us."

Trump’s stunt with the Bible seems bizarre for everyone who didn’t grow up in white identity Christianity.
Please. Please. Read up on the Cult of the Shining City. He is messaging them that we’re in a holy war. You can’t afford not to know this right now.— Jared Yates Sexton (@JYSexton) June 2, 2020

This serious moment is about using the military against American citizens protesting racial injustice.— Jason Stanley (@jasonintrator) June 2, 2020

We have now watched an armed attack, instigated by the president of the United States, on peaceful, law-abiding demonstrators exercising their Constitutional rights. All of Trump’s actions and words have etched today as a grim moment in American history.— Carl Bernstein (@carlbernstein) June 1, 2020

Today, the president* of the US ordered violence against peaceful protesters by police and military, because he wanted to pose for photos holding a bible.— Charles Johnson (@Green_Footballs) June 2, 2020

Please see this subsequent posting which is a footnote to the preceding one.

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