Tuesday on Fox News Channel, White House counselor Kellyanne Conway said President Donald Trump held the Bible up during his visit to St. John’s Church on Monday as a “symbol” that worship will not be deterred by arson.
FNC anchor Harris Faulkner asked about Episcopalian Bishop Mariann Edgar Budde criticism of Trump’s visit, Conway said, “How ironic, because just moments ago in the Oval Office, I was there, and the president, with the first lady and the vice president on either side of him, signed an executive order furthering his policies with respect to religious liberty here in this great country and worldwide. That follows, Harris, on the president addressing the United Nations General Assembly last September on the matter of religious liberty, saying please stop persecuting people based on their faith, that we will not support nations that do so. This is a continuum by this president. Ten short days ago, eleven days ago, he said, reopen our places of worship, we need more prayer not less, stop treating them like they’re not essential. Stop discriminating against these places of worship.
She continued, “That followed closely with praying for the souls of George Floyd and the African-American police officer in Oakland who also lost his life. Then the president was over at St. John’s today. We went to the St. John Paul II Shrine, where the president and the first lady laid a wreath commemorating, I think, the 41st anniversary of the former pontiff in Poland and also his 100th birthday that just passed.”
She added, “Why do I say all that? Because that is the best answer to the question, you asked about the Episcopal minister. That is not ‘her church.’ That is not ‘her bible.’ We don’t look into other people’s hearts and souls and discern and judge what their faith is. Why the president felt compelled to walk there? Why he held that Bible up? That is a symbol to everyone that we will not allow arsonists and anarchists who set that fire ablaze, who really I think demean the memory of those who have lost their lives in the name of their respective faith and religions. We won’t allow them to dissuade us from practicing our religion.”
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