Baltimore Trump Tweet Causes Backlash from Archbishop
Most Reverend William Lori, Archbishop of Baltimore, has entered the ongoing debate regarding the state of the region.
The discourse started last week after President Trump commented on the living conditions in Baltimore despite their receiving federal aid.
The Baltimore Discussion
According to President Trump, Baltimore is “rat infested” and the people there are “living in hell,” despite federal aid. On Tuesday he recommended that Cummings “take his oversight committee, bring it down to Baltimore, and really study the billions and billions of dollars that have been wasted, stolen.”
Democrats have called the comments racist, as most of the citizens in Cummings’ 7th district are African American. Further, President Trump has referred to the living conditions in Baltimore as “worse than Honduras” and “Worse than the Southern Border.”
How the Discussion Started
The president’s ongoing criticism of Baltimore started over the weekend when he accused Representative Elijah Cummings (D) of being guilty of or complicit in fraud.
Many also believe that the president’s comments are really personal attacks on Cummings. As senior member of the House Oversight Committee, Cummings has been involved in investigations of the President and of conditions of immigrant facilities on the Southern Border.
The president’s initial tweets followed shortly after a hearing in which Cummings shouted at immigration officials over the conditions of immigrant facilities. More specifically, Cummings was apparently outraged at the conditions of youth facilities.
The President commented via tweet that conditions at the border are not bad, “just very crowded.”
Religious Leaders Speak Out
As the president’s criticisms of Baltimore have continued, they have met from opposition – including from the Church.
Lori was one of eleven religious leaders in Baltimore who signed a letter to President Trump condemning his comments, calling his language “demeaning and beneath the dignity of a political leader.”
“Mr. President, as religious leaders, we implore you: in the name of all that is good, healthy, and decent, stop putting people down,” the letter concludes. “Enough of the harmful rhetoric that angers and discourages the communities that you are called to serve – more than you know.”
Among leaders of other Christian churches, most reverend Denis Madden, auxiliary bishop of Baltimore was also a signatory.
Lori also criticized President Trump’s comments over the Archdiocese of Baltimore Twitter account.
“It saddens me to see Balitmore severely denigrated by President Trump,” read one tweet.
“Baltimore has its tragedies and challenges but also its strengths and opportunities. Many good people are working together to address Baltimore’s challenges and to build on its strengths,” read another. “They deserve the support of its elected officials and their fellow citizens.”
What Happens Next?
As a conservative politician seeking re-election, President Trump certainly values the opinions of his religious constituents. As a result, we have yet to see whether the response of the Ecumenical Council of Baltimore will lead to an end to his comments.
However, the President has said that his comments are intended to bring attention to the conditions in Baltimore and subsequently improve them. Comments on the tweets posted by the Archdiocese suggest that many people support this sentiment, potentially encouraging his remarks.
Article written by Johnathan Jaehnig with Christian Catholic Media News
Jon Jaehnig is a professional freelance writer and journalist, specializing in technology and health. He is a practicing Catholic and active Knight of Columbus living in upper Michigan, USA.