Transcript for Bishop overseeing St. John Episcopal Church reacts to Trump's visit
We are joined by the bishop of the episcopal diocese. Reverend Mariann Budde. I heard you last night as the situation was unfolding and your anger and anguish were so visceral, explain why this is so painful for you. Well, first of all, this is an excruciating moment, a crisis moment in our country where we need healing, where we need reconciliation and justice and the president after speaking the remarks that you summarized and clearing with tear gas and riot gear police the park and the courtyard of our church stood in front of St. John's and held up a bible as if -- as if it were spiritual validation and justification for a message that is antithetical to the teachings of Jesus and to the god of justice and so I felt in no uncertain terms that I had to disassociate us from that symbolic gesture and to speak a word of justice and peace to the nation. Did you have any notice that the president was going to be doing this? No. No. I was sitting watching the news with my mother when I saw what everyone else saw. And we all know the church was damaged on Sunday night, I believe. Yeah. How badly? Not -- someone broke a window of a basement and threw in a fire lighter and so one room was burned and then thanks to the first responders quickly extinguished. Cecilia said St. John's is the church of presidents. Every president since James Madison has gone there. Is president trump still welcome there? He's welcome as anyone is welcome to pray. The presidents are welcome as citizens of this country to pray alongside fellow citizens to kneel before god in humility and rededicate themselves to the task to which they've been ee elected. He is not entitled to use the spiritual symbolism of our sacred spaces and our sacred texts to promote or to justify a completely entire -- an entirely different message. If president trump did come to that church and you had the chance to preach to him from the pulpit, what message would you give him about this crisis in America? I would give him the same message I would give to awful us, that we have to look deep, we have to go to the root causes of the pain that we are witnessing. We have to keep our focus on the sacredness of every human life and the outrage and anguish that we are hearing from so many of our nation's young people and people of color and we need to align ourselves, all of us, with the god of unconditional love and justice. Bishop Budde, thank you for your time this morning. Thank you so much.
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