Washington National Cathedral leaders urge fellow Americans to call out Trump’s blatant racism: 'When will Americans have enough?'
Although President Donald Trump is popular among far-right Christian fundamentalist theocrats like Liberty University’s Jerry Falwell, Jr., former Focus on the Family leader James Dobson and the Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins, not all Christians are adoring Trump sycophants. There are many people of faith, in fact, who are outspoken Trump critics. And the faith leaders at the Washington National Cathedral, following Trump’s recent series of racist attacks, call the president out in a blistering editorial published online this week.
“As faith leaders who serve at Washington National Cathedral — the sacred space where America gathers at moments of national significance — we feel compelled to ask: after two years of President Trump’s words and actions, when will Americans have enough?,” they assert in the piece, which looks back on Joseph Welch’s famous June 9, 1954 denunciation of Sen. Joseph McCarthy of Wisconsin.
That day, Welch (a U.S. Army attorney) could take no more of McCarthy’s demagoguery and declared, before a live television audience, “Have you have no sense of decency?” Similarly, the faith leaders stress in their editorial, Americans need to stand up to Trump’s flat-out racism.
Trump recently came under fire when he told four Democratic congresswomen of color — Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York City, Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Rep. Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Rep. Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts — that they should leave the United States and return to “the places from which they came” (three of the House Democrats were born and raised in the U.S., while Omar was born in Somalia but has been a U.S. citizen since 2000). And this week, Trump is drawing additional criticism for insulting Maryland Rep. Elijah E. Cummings (who is African-American and heads the House Oversight Committee) and the residents of Baltimore, a city that is predominantly black.
“This week,” the editorial stresses, “President Trump crossed another threshold. Not only did he insult a leader in the fight for racial justice and equality for all persons. Not only did he savage the nations from which immigrants to this country have come, but now, he has condemned the residents of an entire American city. Where will he go from here? Make no mistake about it, words matter. And Mr. Trump’s words are dangerous.”
The contributors to the editorial include the Rev. Mariann Edgar Budde (bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington), the Rev. Randolph Marshall Hollerith (dean of Washington National Cathedral) and the Rev. Kelly Brown Douglas — all of whom emphasize that “violent words lead to violent action” and that remaining silent about Trump’s racism amounts to “complicity.”
“What will it take for us all to say, with one voice, that we have had enough?,” the faith leaders assert in their editorial. “The question is less about the president’s sense of decency, but of ours.”