Commentary: Paying respects

Judie Holcomb-Pack

Commentary: Paying respects
December 13
00:35 2018

By Judie Holcomb-Pack

On Sept. 1, my husband’s funeral was held at St. Anne’s Episcopal Church. Since I was sitting on the front row with our children and grandchildren, I don’t know if everyone who was seated behind me repeated the Nicene Creed or the Lord’s Prayer. My husband’s friends are diverse – black, white, protestant, Catholic, Jewish, gay and straight – and there may even be some who does not hold any religious beliefs. But I feel certain that they all read the program and followed the readings, whether or not they reflected their particular faith traditions.

When I read about the funeral of former President George H. W. Bush, which took place at the National Cathedral, an Episcopal church, and saw where President Donald Trump, sitting with all the former living presidents, did not repeat the Creed or even glance at the words in the program, I was appalled. I have read that he went to a Presbyterian church, so he would have been familiar with the Creed, but he made no attempt to repeat it. To me, this is a glaring disrespect for the President Bushes – both the one who passed away and to his son. Even if he didn’t want to recite it, he could have at least LOOKED at the program while others were repeating it.

I have thought about this a lot and have determined there are several reasons why he chose not to participate in the reciting of the Apostle’s Creed.

Perhaps he thought he was attending an event where he was to be entertained; perhaps he is illiterate or has a learning disability such as dyslexia, which makes it difficult for him to read words. (That would explain his lack of attention during briefings where he has his aides explain material to him.) Perhaps he isn’t comfortable in a church setting due to lack of religious training, which would account for his quoting from “Two Corinthians” during a speech at Liberty University when he was a candidate for the Republication nomination for president. Or perhaps he just didn’t care.

I don’t know what the reason for his behavior was, but I do know it was disrespectful and not in keeping with the reverence one should show, not only in church, but particularly at a funeral.

I have to wonder if it’s too late for President Trump to learn good manners.

Judie Holcomb-Pack is editor and writer, For Seniors Only, a Chronicle Media Group publication.

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