The Church Stunt

Wednesday, June 3rd, 2020

By now, you’ve likely seen photographs or even video of Donald Trump’s Monday night church stunt. In short, the world’s least likely Christian, a twice-divorced admitted sexual assailant who states that he has never asked God for forgiveness, wasted government resources in an attempt to wash away the fact that he’d spent part of the previous weekend hiding in a secure bunker, by having his picture taken in front of St. John’s Church. I won’t bother to reproduce one of the photographs here, because even that is giving them what they want, but it is exactly as stupid and empty as it sounds.

I found this publicity stunt to be deeply offensive, though not because I am at all religious. Instead, I am offended at how goddamned incompetently it was executed. After nearly four years of the hellish Trump administration, I certainly don’t expect any better. Still, the myriad ways in which this was bungled are remarkable. It is at least slightly uplifting to spell them out, though, so let’s do that!

Many of the details below come from the Washington Post’s timeline, but corroborating sources are abundantly available.

Minimal Traveling

Despite the fact that the President can go pretty much anywhere he wants in America, these lazy monsters opted to go the minimal distance possible, to the absolute nearest church to the White House. Yes, this church was damaged during Sunday night’s protests, but that fact wasn’t even acknowledged. The only way they could have exerted less effort to get their staged photograph is if they’d printed a picture of a church and taped it to a wall in the White House.

Maximal Tear Gas

Despite its proximity to the White House, to get access to this church, the administration decided they needed to order authorities to clear out peaceful protestors from Lafayette Square. Seemingly under noxious bullfrog Bill Barr’s direction, flash-bangs were set off and tear gas was deployed against both protestors and church officials. Apparently, no one considered the optics on that.

Too Early For The Curfew

Washington, D.C. had a curfew in effect Monday night, beginning at 7 PM. At that point, authorities would have had at least a paper-thin justification to clear people out. And yet, the clearing out instead began just after 6:30 PM, well ahead of the curfew. Not content with being merely incompetent, the team had to be impatient as well.

A Lack of Substance

As he finished his short speech in the White House’s Rose Garden, Trump declared “I’m going to pay my respects to a very, very special place”. At that point, Trump and his toadies toddled over to St. John’s. However, the president didn’t permit a few pictures to be captured as he went inside to pray, because he did not go inside to pray. Nor did photographers capture him as he conferred with church leaders, as he didn’t do that either.

Instead, he simply stood in front of the church as pictures were taken. It should be expressly stated, this was not an event which happened to offer a photo op. Instead, it was nothing but the nakedly opportunistic photo op itself. There was no event, and there certainly was no respect to the church, which served solely as a backdrop.

Oh For The Love Of God, Just Lie!

As Trump stood awkwardly in front of his sacrilegious backdrop, he answered a few questions. That led to this hilarious exchange:

“Is that your Bible?”

“It’s a Bible.”.

The president has been a liar his entire life, and he hasn’t slowed the pace of lies during his time in office. Why was this the time he opted to make a truthful statement? Just lie! And did no one think that question might come up? Did they not spend even just a few minutes rehearsing Q&A? Apparently not.

An Awkward Prop

In addition to not rehearsing for possible questions, it’s clear Trump didn’t even practice holding a Bible. Frankly, it like he’s never held a book before. The entire event was about getting a picture holding a Bible in front of a church. Wouldn’t it have made sense to spend just 90 seconds determining how he’d pose?

How did they let this happen?

It would not be unreasonable for you to wonder about how Trump’s team let all this happen. How did no one stop to think about any of the above? While Trump has shown himself to be a fool of limitless vacuity, surely others could have foreseen the backlash this event would cause, if they possessed even a modicum of foresight. And yet, they do not, so they did not.

That’s a natural result of Trump’s stated M.O, which is literally to surround himself with people less intelligent than he is. That would be a bad idea for even a genius, and it’s an irredeemable disaster for this witless dunderhead. It’s also a disaster for America, and the world. This stunt is simply the latest sad example of that.


Voting Information: There are many things we can do to end the Trump presidency, but it all starts with voting. Visit https://vote.org to register to vote, or to check your registration status. Then, get your friends and family registered.


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