I don’t normally write blogs on two consecutive days unless I have to, driven by a change in circumstances or unforeseen events. I wrote yesterday of my misgivings about President Tweet and of the moral vacuum at his heart. I wrote of his intellectual inadequacy. Like Colonel Kurtz, this is truly a heart of darkness. He has brought shame to the office of President, embarrassment to his country and disbelief from the rest of the world.
I thought we had reached absolute rock bottom with him, that he could sink no lower. After all, as an ethical and moral cesspit, there comes a point when you can sink no lower.
Or so I thought.
Last night on the news, we were treated to the sight of armed police using rubber bullets and tear gas to break up a peaceful demonstration outside the White House to allow President Tweet to walk to church, Messiah like, Bible held aloft.
“Is that your Bible?” asked one voice.
“It’s a Bible” was the response.
Leaving aside the shocking symbolism and fanning the flames of a religious war, this was the most cynical photo shoot ever. Did the president go to church that day? Does the president normally attend church there? Does he attend church in the Washington dioceses? The answer is no to each of those questions. As Bishop Marianne said, he’s not a church attendee.
That in itself is not an issue. The issue is claiming to be something you are not, wrapping yourself in the flag of your country or with the trappings of religious faith. In one moment, against the backdrop of tear gas and guns, President Tweet redefined the word hypocrisy for the world to see.
“When you pray, you shall not be as the hypocrites, for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men”.