Many feared outbursts from Trump supporters if he lost the election. Armed uprisings were threats common on social media.
It turns out that vandalism at churches may also be the reaction to Trump’s Nov. 8 victory at the polls.
Among the more recent examples are a pair of Episcopal parishes that were vandalized over the weekend with racist and pro-Trump slogans.
Someone spray painted “Trump nation whites only” in black letters on a brick wall around the memorial garden at Church of Our Saviour in Hillandale, Md., according to the Episcopal Café magazine and website. The same message was spray painted on the back side of a banner — also found slashed — advertising the congregation’s Spanish-language services.
The other congregation targeted is St. David’s Episcopal Church in Bean Blossom, Ind. It was spray-painted with the phrases “fag church,” “heil Trump” and a swastika, Episcopal Café reported.
“I would call especially upon the president-elect and those who voted for him to separate themselves from acts of violence and hate that are being perpetrated in his name,” Bishop Mariann Edgar Budde said in remarks posted on the Episcopal Diocese of Washington’s Facebook page. Edgar Budde oversees the diocese, in which the Church of Our Saviour is located.
“We believe that the majority of Americans want a nation of peace and of unity across a spectrum of our glorious people, and we do not want our friends of color and our immigrants and other people who feel vulnerable to imagine that this is who we are as a nation,” she said.
“We are better than this as a country, and we will overcome hatred with love, with peace and with justice,” she said.
At St. David’s, the vandalism was allowed to stand as a way to inspire dialogue, Episcopal Café reported. On Facebook, the parish said it would pray for the perpetrators.
“We are disappointed that our safe haven has been vandalized but will not let the actions of a few dampen our love of Christ and the world,” the social media statement said. “We will continue to live out our beliefs and acceptance of all people and respecting the dignity of every human being.”
These are not the only acts of intimidation conducted in Trump’s name since his election victory. In a story published by Yahoo News, vandals struck an abandoned clothing store with swastikas, the message “Sieg Heil” and Trump’s name. The Anti-Defamation League condemned the act.
Vandals struck a Minneapolis high school, with the words “Trump train,” “whites only” and a slogan using the N-word,” Yahoo News reported.
“BLACK LIVES DON’T MATTER AND NEITHER DOES YOUR VOTES” was spray painted in white on a red wall in Durham, N.C.
Similar acts have been reported in Chicago, Los Angeles and other cities.
Attacks on churches — especially black ones — are nothing new in the United States. They date back for decades.
The 16th Street Church in Birmingham, Ala., is one of the most famous. It was bombed by Klu Klux Klan members in 1963, killing four girls.
Arson attacks on African-American churches, especially in rural areas, have been widely reported in the South.