Army Green Beret Rep. Mike Waltz (R-FL) on Monday condemned the burning of a historic church in Washington, DC, as “truly sick, sad, and heartbreaking,” in a video statement in front of the church.
“This is my church in D.C. I’ve been coming here for years. My daughter was baptized here. We used to make sandwiches for homeless people in the very basement that was set on fire last night,” he said, visibly upset.
“This just breaks my heart, makes me angry. This is nothing to do with George Floyd, who brought ministry into the inner city. This certainly does not honor the memory of Martin Luther King, who pressed his entire life for change peacefully,” he added.
“This is just truly sick, sad, and heartbreaking, and we can do better, America. And these thugs, these idiots who are destroying rather than building up, need to be brought to justice as well.”
This morning, I went over to my church in DC, St. Johns Episcopal Church, which was lit on fire by rioters and anarchists last night. Enough is enough. This dishonors the memory of #GeorgeFloyd and MLK pic.twitter.com/9SGZTR7U3O
— Michael Waltz (@michaelgwaltz) June 1, 2020
St. John’s Church is located near the White House, the epicenter of protests in Washington, DC, and has been visited by every president since James Madison has attended services there, according to the White House Historical Association.
Before the church’s basement was set on fire, it was covered in graffiti, including the words “F*ck 12” — a slang reference to the police.
— Mark Irons (@MarkIronsMedia) June 1, 2020
After the church was set on fire, rioters took down the church’s American flag and burned it in a bonfire to cheers of “burn that sh*t.”
After setting the historic St. John's Episcopal Church on fire, these rioters tore down the church's flag and tossed it into a bonfire nearby.
After destroying so much history, it's only fitting that they would desecrate the symbol that binds it all together. pic.twitter.com/Iheir89AwO
— Bucky Pop (@BuckskinPop) June 1, 2020