- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Leadership at the Washington National Cathedral released a statement Tuesday criticizing President Trump’s rhetoric after he attacked House Oversight and Reform Committee Chairman Rep. Elijah E. Cummings and the “Squad” of four congresswomen of color.

In a rare political statement from the church, leaders said Mr. Trump’s “dangerous” diction is being seen as a white supremacist “call to action,” adding that “violent words lead to violent actions.”

“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 said.

Mr. Trump sparked a feud over the weekend with Mr. Cummings, accusing him of stealing funds from Baltimore in his congressional district, which he called a “disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess.”

He also received criticism earlier this month for telling Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota and Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts to “go back” to their “crime infested” countries for their criticisms of America.

“These words are more than a ‘dog-whistle,’ ” the leaders said. “When such violent dehumanizing words come from the President of the United States, they are a clarion call, and give cover, to white supremacists who consider people of color a sub-human ‘infestation’ in America.”

The statement didn’t cite either incident by name and was signed by Mariann Edgar Budde, bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington; Randolph Marshall Hollerith, dean of Washington National Cathedral; and Kelly Brown Douglas, the cathedral’s canon theologian.

• Bailey Vogt can be reached at bvogt@washingtontimes.com.

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