He walked over to a church, after protesters in front of it had been tear-gassed, held up a Bible, and had his picture taken, after threatening to send out “thousands and thousands of troops” to stop the violence currently taking over America if the governors did not do it themselves.
If you look up a list of the Ten Commandments in the book of Exodus in the Old Testament, the Third Commandment reads, “Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain.” (King James Version). The New International Version reads, “You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.”
Last night, in using the Bible and a church for a photo op, the President of the United States took two symbols of Christian America and misused them for his own purposes.
There are people who have called him “brave” and said “well done”.
No. This is not well done.
Trump used St. John’s Episcopal Church as a backdrop for his photo op. The Right Reve. Mariann Buddy, who is the bishop of Washington, D.C.’s Episcopal Diocese, said she was “not given even a courtesy call that they would be clearing with tear gas so they could use one of our churches as a prop, holding a Bible, one that declares that God is love and when everything he has said and done is to enslave violence.”
Earlier, Trump told governors on a conference call that they had to “dominate”, and take back the streets, and called them “weak”.
We have a man who died at the hands of police a week ago. We have another man who died at the hands of two white men three months ago, and it took two months for video of that murder to emerge. We have a woman who died at the hands of police who “went to the wrong house.” (Oops.). In case you have forgotten, their names are George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor.
I know of two African-Americans — people I am personally acquainted with — who are afraid to go jogging in their neighborhoods, who are afraid to wear masks when they go out. Another African-American whom I know personally has said, I don’t want to die. I just want to go home to my wife.
And our President has the chutzpah to go to a church and hold up a Bible, after demanding that governors “take back the streets” and threatening to send out “thousands and thousands of troops”.
President Trump, do you want a second Civil War?
We Christians get very touchy at the use of certain language. We should. I find certain words offensive and I don’t like my ears and my brain being assaulted with them.
But something is terribly wrong when Christians are quick to scream about a particular word which takes the name of the Lord in vain, quick to demand prayer back in schools and the Ten Commandments posted on the walls, quick to demand that abortion be outlawed . . . and yet see nothing wrong when a President of the United States misuses the name of the Lord by using a church and a Bible to make himself look strong, tough, and Presidential.
We, indeed, have lost our compass.
Just my .04, adjusted for inflation.