Trump’s Photo-Op of Faith

Trump's Photo-Op of Faith

On Monday, federal police forces used tear gas and rubber bullets to remove peaceful protesters from Washington’s Lafayette Square, across the street from the White House. What was the protest about? Police brutality.

The police, from a variety of federal agencies, used force and munitions against a nonviolent 1st Amendent protest so that President Donald Trump could pose for photographs in front of historic St. John’s Episcopal Church, holding a Bible.

Update: In an attempt to prove himself an equal-opportunity hypocrite, President Trump also posed outside a Catholic Shrine, to the outrage of Catholic clergy. The shrine is run by The Knights of Columbus, and White House Counsel Pat Cipollone is a former K of C lawyer. The president’s pilgrimage has yet to visit Washington’s Adas Israel Synagogue, the Islamic Center of Washington, or Metropolitan AME Church.


“Peaceful Protesters Tear-Gassed To Clear Way For Trump Church Photo-Op,” Tom Gjelten, NPR News

“Ahead of Trump Bible photo op, police forcibly expel priest from St. John’s church near White House,” Jack Jenkins, Religion News Service

“Priest Kicked Off Church Property For Trump Photo: ‘They Turned Holy Ground Into A Battleground,’” Cristina Cabrera, TalkingPointsMemo

“D.C. Christians Lash Out Against Trump’s Church Visits, Saying ‘God Is Not A Photo Opportunity,’” Mikaela Lefrak, DCist

“Episcopal bishop on President Trump: ‘Everything he has said and done is to inflame violence,’”  Michelle Boorstein and Sarah Pulliam Bailey, Washington Post

“‘He Did Not Pray’: Fallout Grows From Trump’s Photo-Op At St. John’s Church,” Bill Chappell, NPR News

“George Floyd death: Trump’s church visit shocks religious leaders,” Martin Bashir, BBC News

“’An Abuse of Sacred Symbols’: Trump, a Bible, and a Sanctuary,” Evan Osnos, The New Yorker

“The White House’s explanation for a tear gas attack on peaceful protesters doesn’t add up,” Alex Ward, Vox

“Inside the push to tear-gas protesters ahead of a Trump photo op,” Ashley Parker, Josh Dawsey and Rebecca Tan, Washington Post


“Timeline: The clearing of Lafayette Square,” Philip Bump, Washington Post

“U.S. Park Police said they didn’t fire tear gas Monday, but tear gas cannisters were found at the scene,” Nick Boykin and Nathan Baca, WUSA-9 News

“D.C. has been an occupied territory this week. Here’s who’s been doing the occupying.” Philip Bump and Matt Zapotosky, Washington Post

“Civil Rights Groups Sue Trump and Barr Over Assault on Lafayette Square Protesters,” Andrew Beaujon, Washingtonian

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht,

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

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