el Tooley, lead pastor at First Church Of The Nazarene in Melbourne, said that both he and his daughter were traumatized after attending President Donald Trump’s rally in Florida over the weekend.
In a lengthy Facebook post written after Trump’s Saturday rally, Tooley explains that he had not supported the Republican presidential candidate but he felt that attending a presidential speech would be a good civics lesson for his daughter.
Tooley writes that he was disturbed by the “almost church-like” way Trump supporters sang Lee Greenwood’s God Bless the USA.
“People were being ushered into a deeply religious experience…and it made me completely uncomfortable,” the pastor recalls. “I felt like people were here to worship an ideology along with the man who was leading it. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t the song per se – it was this inexplicable movement that was happening in the room. It was a religious zeal.”
Tooley describes First Lady Melania Trump’s reading of the Lord’s Prayer as “theatrical and manipulative.”
“I can’t explain it, but I felt sick,” he notes. “People across the room were reciting it as if it were a pep squad cheer. At the close of the prayer, the room erupted in cheering. It was so uncomfortable.”