- The Washington Times - Sunday, July 19, 2020

President Trump said Sunday that Democrats are to blame for the violence in major cities across the nation, and he warned if the presumptive Democratic nominee, former Vice President Joseph R. Biden, wins the election in November, then religion could be at stake.

“Religion will be gone,” the president told Fox News Sunday.

He pointed to Democratic politicians keeping churches closed during the coronavirus pandemic, not even allowing churches to meet outside, while social distancing.

Those types of policies against churches, though, were also initially in so-called red states, too. Many resulted in lawsuits being filed in courts across the country. Some states have relaxed restrictions against churches, while others — like California — still have strict shutdown orders.

Mr. Trump said violence erupting in cities like Seattle, Portland and Chicago is largely due to Democratic leadership.

“They are stupidly run,” he said, arguing that Seattle officials finally dismantled the “CHOP” autonomous zone after they heard the federal agents were coming in to disband it following two deaths from the chaos.

Federal agents are currently in Portland combating protesters there who have taken to the streets in Black Lives Matter protests.

“It’s gotten totally out of control,” Mr. Trump said. “They want to defund the police.”

Black Lives Matter protests have turned violent at times following the death of George Floyd, a Black man, at the hands of a White police officer in Minneapolis over Memorial Day weekend. But many cities have seen a decrease in the BLM protests since the police officer — and his colleagues — were charged last month, but there’s still been some unrest in certain areas.

The president also blamed Democrats for the “cancel culture” where many progressives are moving to tear down Confederate monuments and change the “Star-Spangled Banner,” among other alterations to the nation’s founding.

“We can’t cancel our whole history,” the president said, referencing the Civil War. “Otherwise, we will end up fighting again.”

“We can’t let them change the whole meaning of what we are all about,” he added. “It’s not going to happen on my watch.”

• Alex Swoyer can be reached at aswoyer@washingtontimes.com.

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