Newscasts

PNS Daily Newscast - July 2, 2020 


The White House says no response is planned to reported Russian bounties on U.S. troops; House Democrats unveil an ambitious plan to curb climate change.

2020Talks - July 1, 2020 


Colorado, Utah and Oklahoma all finished up their elections Tuesday, and Medicaid expansion in OK appears to have passed. And, a Supreme Court ruling could open the door for more public money to religious institutions.

Maine's Episcopal Bishop Decries Trump D.C. Church Appearance

Young congregants of the Maine Episcopal Church. (Bishop Thomas Brown/Instagram)
Young congregants of the Maine Episcopal Church. (Bishop Thomas Brown/Instagram)
June 3, 2020

PORTLAND, Maine -- New England's Episcopal bishops unanimously are calling out President Donald Trump's appearance in front of St. John's Episcopal Church in Washington, D.C., on Monday as "disgraceful and morally repugnant."

In an unprecedented move, they released a statement on Tuesday, also condemning law enforcement use of force and tear gas to clear a path for the president through peaceful demonstrators.

New England bishops wrote that the real injustice is the continued oppression of and violence against people of color in the United States.

Bishop Thomas Brown of the Maine Episcopal Church echoed the need for healing.

"The real concern here is addressing the inequality and the pain that people throughout this land have been trying to say and have been wanting us to address," he said. "So, we who are white, we who have authority and privilege -- we need to be listening, and we need to be bringing people together."

The protest was in response to the police killing of George Floyd, a 46-year-old black man, by a white police officer in Minneapolis. The Episcopal bishops of New Hampshire, Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Vermont signed the letter. Trump's display of the Bible in front of the church, without quoting Scripture, also disturbed them.

Bishop Rob Hirschfeld of the New Hampshire Episcopal Church, who drafted the statement, said he feels the church was trespassed upon.

"The blatant use of religious symbols merely to exploit the backdrop and the symbols of our faith -- a Bible, a religious setting - in order to say, 'I have the church behind me,' and he certainly does not have the Episcopal Church behind him in this," Hirschfeld said.

Hirschfeld stressed that the Episcopal Church has congregants from all political backgrounds. He described church leaders in New England and around the country as "united" in objecting to the presidential photo opportunity at St. John's.

More information is online at episcopalnewsservice.org.

Laura Rosbrow-Telem/Dallas Heltzell, Public News Service - ME