Following an act of arson at the historic St. John’s Episcopal Church in Washington, D.C. over the weekend, President Donald Trump made a point of visiting the building together with other members of his administration on Monday.
However, judging by what he had to say during an interview on Tuesday, it seems that former South Carolina Congressman Trey Gowdy may not have been entirely comfortable with the gesture’s invocation of religion.
Gowdy: Follow the teachings
“I think we’d all be better off if we follow the teachings of Christ and did not involve him in partisan politics,” Gowdy told Fox News personality Martha MacCallum, according to a report from the network. “I’m almost positive he wasn’t in America.”
The former Republican lawmaker went on: “So if you want to do something that honors the Bible and honors church, follow the teachings of Christ.
“I’m just talking about our country in general,” Gowdy went on to explain, as Fox reported. “I am really reluctant to talk to you to pick a verse here or there and yonder to try to support a political position.
“If you’re going to follow the teachings of Christ, follow all of them. Don’t pick and choose the ones that are most helpful to you on that particular occasion,” he admonished.
“By any means necessary”
However, Gowdy didn’t mince words when it came to the manner in which he feels rioters should be dealt, first explaining the essential role of liberty in our society and the requirement that it be protected against those who attempt to undermine it.
“You can have all the liberty in the world theoretically. But if you’re afraid to leave your house, if you’re afraid to go to public places because of a small subset of our fellow citizens who are lawless, then what good is any liberty?” he asked.
The former congressman proceeded to cite the words of a rather unexpected historical figure. “I’m going to quote Malcolm X, which I usually don’t get a chance to do very often, ‘by any means necessary.’ That’s how you keep the public safety,” Gowdy insisted.
Pelosi cites scripture
One person who didn’t seem reluctant to inject religion into the current discussion was House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), who read from a Bible during a Tuesday press conference in which she blasted the president’s strong stance on restoring law and order amid riots and looting in America’s cities.
“There’s an appointed time for everything,” the California Democrat declared, according to a separate report from Fox. “A time for every event under heaven… A time to heal, a time to embrace and a time to shun embracing’ – how about that?
“Let’s focus on a time to heal,” she insisted, arguing that as the nation’s leader, President Trump has “a responsibility to heal.” (Whatever you say, Nancy.)