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What would George think? Washington's church abuzz with Trump/Clinton concerns

Friday, September 02, 2016 - 02:12

At Alexandria's Christ Church where George Washington worshipped, many Episcopalians say they think America's first president would be ''appalled'' by the divisive rhetoric that's marked the 2016 presidential election campaign. Jillian Kitchener reports.

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--RESENDING WITH UPDATED RESTRICTIONS-- GILLESPIE READING SERMON: "AS THE RHETORIC HEATS UP IN THIS VITRIOLIC PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN AND NOVEMBER EIGHTH FEELS VERY FAR AWAY, I AM ESPECIALLY CONCERNED ABOUT US AS CHRISTIANS. (OVERLAID) HOW ARE WE COMPORTING OURSELVES? That's what congregants at Christ Church in Alexandria are asking themselves... Some, sitting in the pew that George Washington himself worshipped at hundreds of years ago. Senior Associate Rector Ann Gillespie says nasty politics were around then, but are it's certainly heating up now. (SOUNDBITE) (English) SENIOR ASSOCIATE RECTOR ANN GILLESPIE, SAYING: "I think a lot of scary stuff is out there. Things that people weren't able to voice because it was politically incorrect, are now voicing it and that is a shame I think. We've lost a sense of civility." A common concern, they say, is the divisiveness they're seeing unleashed in this campaign. Many see Donald Trump's call to temporarily ban Muslims, and keep out Mexicans, as hateful. (SOUNDBITE) (English) ALEXANDRIA RESIDENT, PARISHIONER AT CHRIST CHURCH FOR 30 YEARS, VIRGINIA AMOS, SAYING: "Hatred is not what Jesus preached. He preached love." (SOUNDBITE) (English) EPISCOPALIAN FOR OVER 20 YEARS, GENERAL JOHN DOUGLASS, SAYING: "I think George Washington would be appalled by some of the rhetoric of immigration today." According to the Pew Research Center, the Episcopal Church leans more Democrat than Republican. But many here say, it's not so clear-cut this time around. (SOUNDBITE) (English) PARISHIONER AT CHRIST CHURCH FOR 36 YEARS, JACK HUTCHESON, SAYING: "Social justice is always important to me. I don't see that definitely coming from Donald Trump and I sometimes wonder about Mrs. Clinton and how truly she cares about those who don't have." They're asking themselves, "what would Jesus do?" As a historic church that has welcomed a long list of past presidents, church-goers say they will do the same for the next. Whoever that may be.

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What would George think? Washington's church abuzz with Trump/Clinton concerns

Friday, September 02, 2016 - 02:12