Trump, the Bible and Church Photo Ops

Trump, the Bible and Church Photo Ops June 2, 2020

Who the hell is advising Trump? Seriously, whose idea was yesterday’s fiasco?

Let’s lay out a few of the details. Trump gave a speech in the Rose Garden of the White House after cowering in a bunker and remaining silent over the last few days. In the speech, he proclaimed:

“The biggest victims of the rioting are peace-loving citizens in our poorest communities, and as their president, I will fight to keep them safe. I will fight to protect you. I am your president of law and order, and an ally of all peaceful protesters.”

As an ally of peaceful protestors, he then proceeded to clear away the many peaceful protestors outside the White House in an aggressive police clash involving flash-bangs and tear gas. Those protestors were shunted out of the way so that Trump could walk to a church and take one of the most bizarre photo ops outside of it, next to its sign. He did this without the permission of the church and the bishop was not happy. Not happy at all. This is an interview worth listening to:

The church, through the bishop (“I just can’t believe what my eyes have seen tonight”), absolutely excoriated Trump and his actions, inactions, and rhetoric, but primarily the “abuse of sacred symbols” to justify such behaviour.

Trump didn’t pray. He did nothing of religious meaning. He held up a Bible symbolically, whilst having just stated he would stamp the rule of law down upon the protestors in a heavy military response. Here is part of his Rose Garden speech:

That is why I am taking immediate presidential action to stop the violence and restore security and safety in America. I am immobilizing all federal resources, civilian and military to stop the rioting and looting, to end the destruction and arson, and to protect the rights of law-abiding Americans, including your second amendment rights. Therefore, the following measures are going into effect immediately.

First, we are entering the riots and lawlessness that has spread throughout our country. We will end it now. Today, I have strongly recommended to every governor to deploy the National Guard in sufficient numbers that we dominate the streets. Mayors and governors, both established and overwhelming law enforcement presence until the violence has been quelled. If the city or state refuses to take the actions that are necessary to defend the life and property of their residence, then I will deploy the United States military and quickly solve the problem for them.

I am also taking swift and decisive action to protect our great capital, Washington, DC. What happened in the city last night was a total disgrace. As we speak, I am dispatching thousands and thousands of heavily armed soldiers, military personnel, and law enforcement officers to stop the rioting, looting, vandalism, assaults, and the wanton destruction of property. We are putting everybody on warning on a 7:00 curfew that will be strictly enforced. Those who threaten innocent life and property will be arrested, detained, and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. I want the organizers of this terror to be on notice that you will face severe criminal penalties and lengthy sentences in jail. This includes Antifa and others who were leading instigators of this violence. One law and order, and that is what it is, one law.

We have one, beautiful law. And once that is restored and fully restored, we will help you, we will help your business, and we will help your family. America is founded on the rule of law. It is the foundation of our prosperity, our freedom and our very way of life, but where there is no law, there is no opportunity. Where there is no justice, there is no liberty, where there is no safety, there is no future. We must never give in to anger or hatred. If malice or violence rains, then none of us is free. I take these actions today with firm resolve and with a true and passionate love for our country. By far our greatest days lie ahead.

Thank you very much, and now I am going to pay my respects to a very, very special place.

This is the sort of thing Putin could have said, or any other militaristic dictator. I don’t know how this will play out over the next few days, and in terms of the upcoming election (there is evidence that Biden has seen a 5 point bump over Trump amid the protests). And “pay his respects”. Absolute bullish!t. That is an insult to churches, Christians and Christianity. He did nothing of the sort. He used the Bible, he used the church, he didn’t respect them. He would have stood on that Bible if it meant he could reach the painting of Lincoln to pull it off the wall.

As the WaPo opines:

He’s said he wants to punch protesters in the face. He’s said that he’d pay the legal bills of anyone in the audience who attacked a protester. He once said that perhaps an attack on a black protester at a rally in Alabama was justified. He’s dismissed protesters as losers and children, people who live with their parents. At a rally in New Hampshire last year, he mocked a protester’s weight — though the man he was mocking was actually a Trump supporter who had been confronting the protester. Trump recognizes that his supporters enjoy joining him in hating his opponents, so he elevates their hatred.

During the campaign, protesters were embraced only if they agreed with his politics. Protests centered on Colorado’s Republican delegate-allocation rules — protests Trump hoped would help him secure the party’s nomination — were praised. But protesters outside a Trump speech in California in April 2016 were “thugs and criminals.” Many, Trump said, were “professionals,” people paid to protest, since there obviously could be no legitimate opposition from legitimate Americans to Trump’s candidacy.

After Trump won the election, several days of protests emerged in various cities, including on the streets of New York outside Trump Tower. Frustrated, Trump again disparaged those in attendance as “professional.” (The irony, of course, was that his campaign had paid people to attend his campaign launch event in the same building.) After a broad outcry that the president-elect would describe opponents in that way, Trump backtracked, tweeting that he loved the protesters’ “passion for our great country.”

This much I do know: Everyone, deep down, knows that Trump is not religious, that his flirtations with religious types and the Bible and religion is nothing but a symbiotic relationship devoid of any meaningful content. I would be amazed if anyone, I mean anyone, actually bought this stunt. If anyone really felt that Trump was being genuine and not just cynically opportunistic. I suppose it just depends how much you want to believe his guff, how much you buy into everything Trump.

Meanwhile, during this time of division, The Lincoln Project has put out another ad:

Other conservatives are really having a problem with Trump, too. Mike Cernovich (social media personality, anti-feminist, men’s rights activist, political commentator, and conspiracy theorist, characterized as a part of the alt-right) stated on Twitter:

Does Trump have dementia or something? Because sitting on his fat ass right now isn’t the right move.

Lisa Marie Boothe (an American conservative political commentator working as a contributor for Fox News) stated:

“We are leaderless now! Where are our leaders? Where is Donald Trump? There is a leadership vacuum and we need him to fill it. He needs to lead.”

Add to that, and others, Ryan James Girdusky, a fellow conservative, pointed out:

“While America burned, Trump tweeted… that’s how history will remember the moment”

Let’s just remind ourselves of the key points again: Trump, an “ally of peaceful protestors”, had peaceful protestors tear-gassed so that he could have his picture taken with a Bible.

Still, I’m sure he’s the greatest president in your lifetime, cultist Trumpistas.

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