July 31, 2019 12:48 am
Updated: July 31, 2019 12:50 am

Washington National Cathedral — where Trump goes to Xmas mass — slams his racial blasts

July 29: Trump insists he's not a racist, but as Jackson Proskow reports, racial rhetoric is clearly a big part of Trump's strategy.

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Washington National Cathedral — the venue where U.S. President Donald Trump attended Christmas Eve mass last year — has issued a statement denouncing his recent “racialized rhetoric” that targeted Maryland Rep. Elijah Cummings and his majority-black district in Baltimore.

In a series of tweets, the president of the United States referred to the district as a “disgusting, rat- and rodent-infested mess” where “no human being would want to live.”

WATCH: July 16 — McConnell says Trump is ‘not a racist’, says everyone must tone down rhetoric

Trump also denied those remarks were racist and said Cummings ought to “focus more of his energy on helping the good people of his district.”

“Have we no decency?” asked a lengthy statement that was signed by cathedral dean the Very Rev. Randolph Marshall Hollerith, canon theologian the Rev. Canon Kelly Brown Douglas, and the Right Rev. Mariann Edgar Budde, bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington.

“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?” the statement said.

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In denouncing Trump’s remarks, the faith leaders recalled U.S. Army attorney Joseph Welch, who in 1954 confronted Communist-hunting senator Joseph McCarthy with the question, “until this moment, senator, I think I never really gauged your cruelty or your recklessness. …You have done enough. Have you no sense of decency?”

“We have come to accept a level of insult and abuse in political discourse that violates each person’s sacred identity as a child of God,” the cathedral’s statement said.

“We have come to accept as normal a steady stream of language and accusations coming from the highest office in the land that plays to racist elements in society.”

WATCH: ‘I’m the least racist person’ — Trump responds to criticism, calls Al Sharpton a racist

The statement warned of the consequences of the president’s rhetoric.

“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 colour a sub-human ‘infestation’ in America,” it said.

“They serve as a call to action from those people to keep America great by ridding it of such infestation. Violent words lead to violent actions.”

READ MORE: Trump deflects criticism for Baltimore comments, calls Congressman ‘racist’

The cathedral added that the “time for silence is over.”

“We must boldly stand witness against the bigotry, hatred, intolerance and xenophobia that is hurled at us, especially when it comes from the highest offices of this nation. We must say that this will not be tolerated.

“To stay silent in the face of such rhetoric is for us to tacitly condone the violence of these words.”

WATCH: July 19 — Trump defends supporters behind racist chant as ‘incredible patriots’

This isn’t the first time that Trump’s remarks have invited blowback from the cathedral.

Two years ago, cathedral dean the Very Rev. Randy Hollerith issued a statement saying he was “deeply disappointed by the decision to exclude the transgender community from military service.”

“We are stronger as a nation when we respect the identities of all and allow people to serve their country based solely on their ability.”

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