After a speech from the Rose Garden of the White House, the President walked to the Episcopal Church of San Juan, a house of worship used by American presidents for more than a century. Peaceful protesters outside the White House gates were dispersed with tear gas, grenades, and rubber bullets. Apparently, it was all so that Trump could visit the church.
“I couldn’t believe it,” the reverend Gini Gerbasi, who was among the authorized people at St. John’s Church, told CNN’s Jake Tapper on “The Lead” on Tuesday.
“When I realized that people had been hurt and terrified by a political trick, it offended me, it just started to describe how I feel. I feel it was sacrilege for all people of all religions, religions founded on peace and love , compassion, reconciliation, integrity, healing, forgiveness, peace, love, compassion. “
The move, he continued, “was sacrilege. Absolute sacrilege.”
In recounting how the authorities began secretly accusing the crowd, Gerbasi said he was “helping to wipe the tears from people’s eyes and trying to attend to them and help them on the ground and suddenly the police were pushing us.”
“And people fell to the ground, scared. And they were: when they heard those flashes, they thought they were being shot, and people were running towards us. And literally at some point, when I looked up and the police were so close that I had than grab some things and run. “
Bishop Mariann Edgar Budde of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington said Monday she was “outraged” by the move and called the president’s message “antithetical to the teachings of Jesus.”
But Gerbasi stressed on Tuesday that the cleanup of peaceful protesters should not be seen through a political lens.
“That man taking that witness of presence and peace and shooting tear gas or pepper spray or whatever those canisters were, and those little explosive things and rubber bullets and the show of force, was not the kind of faith I have.”