Politics

Did This Clergy Member Snub Trump? (Video)

| by Lauren Briggs

A new video (below) of a church leader who does not shake hands with President Donald Trump at a religious service is making the rounds online.

In the video, Trump, first lady Melania Trump, Vice President Mike Pence and his wife, Karen, stand in the pews during the National Prayer Service at the Washington National Cathedral on Jan. 21, the day after Trump's inauguration. As each member of the clergy passes by in the aisle, Trump reaches out and shakes his or her hand.

When one religious leader in the procession approaches Trump, he moves his scepter to his right hand, stares straight ahead and does not acknowledge the president, who also ignores him.

The video has incited debate, with some criticizing the pastor, who is black, for making a political or racially motivated statement by snubbing the president.

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"Says more about the [black] clergyman than it does about Trump," one Daily Mail commenter wrote "[The] clergyman is obviously a very rude man."

Another said that the man's action was "disrespectful and not very Christian."

Others placed the blame squarely on the president.

"Trump never even tried to shake that man's hand but he sure extended his hand out to every other person," another person wrote, while somebody else thought "it looked like The Donald snubbed the clergyman" by ignoring him.

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The church responded to the controversy, telling the Daily Mail the man, a member of the laity, was not ignoring the president but instead sticking to his "ceremonial MC" duties.

"His job is to make sure whatever event he is working or assisting with happens," a Washington National Cathedral spokesman told the Daily Mail. "He is focused on getting people in and out."

The post-inauguration National Prayer Service is a longstanding tradition that dates back to President George Washington. The cathedral is an episcopal one that strives to be inclusive.

"Washington National Cathedral is a house of prayer for all people called to serve as a spiritual home for the nation," the house of worship said in the press release for the event. "It seeks to be a catalyst for spiritual harmony in our nation, reconciliation among faiths, and compassion in our world."

Sources: Daily Mail, YouTube, Washington National Cathedral / Photo credit: President Trump/Twitter

Did the pastor intentionally snub the president?
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