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Christianity in D.C.

We were amazed recently by the remarks of the Episcopal Bishop of Washington, the Rev. Mariann Budde, regarding President Trump’s visit to St. John’s Church during the recent rioting. First, she was outraged that Trump had gone to the fire-bombed, boarded-up church without an appointment. We’ve never heard that God requires a bishop’s appointment to visit his own house. As we understand Christianity, God is always available, even for the humblest visitant, and that includes the POTUS. Second, we were then amazed by the bishop’s hateful claim that Trump didn’t pray while he was at St. John’s. The good bishop has undoubtedly been busily distracted while career-building in the religion of love. All true Christians know what Jesus said about prayer — don’t pray in public like the hypocrites so as to be heard, but pray secretly (Matthew 6: 5-8). Perhaps the bishop wanted to know if President Trump was praying for things she approves of. If Trump was praying, we’re confident that he was praying for America. Her false and hateful words display neither truth nor love. Let’s pray she could be more like the Rev. Franklin Graham who said: “It is unbelievable that clergy would condemn the President for holding up a Bible” and that they should be “thanking the President for sending a positive message.” As for Trump having a photo taken, not every photo is a photo op.

Ironically, Trump’s photo was taken in front of St. John’s bulletin board that reads, “All are welcome.” This would presumably include everyone, especially sinners. Thus Bill Clinton’s photo op with a Bible in his tarnished hands in front of a D.C. Methodist church was well-praised by media and clergy. And this after Clinton went about in lying denial more times than St. Peter.

Completely forgotten has been Trump’s visit the next day to St. John Paul II National Shrine and his signing “Executive Order on Advancing Internal Religious Freedom.” This and other activities celebrating religious freedom were timed to coincide with Pope John Paul’s visit to Poland in 1979, a great moment in the history of freedom. Many of the clergy denounced Trump’s actions with partisan attacks. Catholic Archbishop Wilton Gregory of D.C. said his visit “violates our religious principles.”

We believe our President rather deserves praise for acting to protect those in Africa, the Middle East, and elsewhere that “woke” leftist clergy choose to ignore. As for the separation of church and state, the Constitution obviously doesn’t ban politicians from the free exercise of their civic and civil religion, but only the state from any command mandate of intolerant beliefs. The Left should consider that, given their belligerent insistence on the riotous religion of their centrist socialist intolerance.

ROBERT JACQUES

JAMES STUCHELL

Williamsport

Submitted via email

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