In President Donald Trump’s America, xenophobia is getting more popular day by day.
As if the world hasn’t seen enough displays of religious intolerance, a priest of a largely immigrant Catholic church in New York City, Phillip J. Pizzo, is the latest harbinger of the commander-in-chief’s message of racism and bigotry.
In fact, he has a suggestion for people who are against Trump: just commit suicide.
“Show your hate for Trump. Do it for social justice. #JumpAgainstTrump,” read the post accompanied by a meme.
As evident from the hate-mongering post that was later removed, he wanted anti-Trump parishioners to take a flying leap off the nearest building.
Pizzo’s meme naturally caused concern among his followers.
“Suicide is not funny, plain and simple,” said Carlos Coburn, a congregant who once sought counseling from Pizzo because he was struggling with suicidal thoughts.
“It’s disturbing for someone in my situation, I know this man, he baptized me, and I don’t want to go back to his church,” he added.
The priest "normally posts about supporting Trump, but this was just taking it too far," said another parishioner.
“The parish he is supposed to be serving is mainly Latin American and Caribbean. It’s not a good look for him,” said Alex Leston, who attended services at St. Benedict till three years ago. He suggests that the priest probably doesn’t have any idea about the kind of negative impact his so-called satirical meme made.
But the 67-year-old believes his post was just in good fun. “I do not promote suicide. I've helped many people over the years, and it does not promote suicide. It was funny,” he said.
However earlier, the not-so-funny priest had been actively participating in social media politicking with racial slurs and memes on his personal Facebook profile. He previously posted a photo of former President Barack Obama with the words “He’s not my President” and another snapshot of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton titled “Ugly Face.”
And this naturally raises the question: What exactly does such a priest preach to his followers?
Banner/Spotlight Credits: Reuters