Donald Trump was in Alabama this afternoon to meet with people impacted by the recent tornado. Nearly two dozen lives have already been lost and the devastation will be felt for a long time to come.
But then, just as we remember his 2017 visit to Puerto Rico by his callously tossing out rolls of paper towels, he did something today that was equally jaw-dropping: He signed Bibles.
It’s arguably the most on-brand thing he could do, taking a book that Christians around the world deem sacred and putting his name on it.
President Trump is signing bibles for volunteers and survivors at a Baptist church in Alabama. pic.twitter.com/9b8VfyZiKF
— Josh Dawsey (@jdawsey1) March 8, 2019
President Trump signs a Bible as he greets people at Providence Baptist Church in Alabama on Friday during a tour of the area where a tornado killed 23 people. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster) pic.twitter.com/g6HvlGca6N
— Dylan Stableford (@stableford) March 8, 2019
He could’ve at least signed “Two Corinthians” or the section with the Apocalypse… Instead, he went right for the cover. Nothing describes this moment in White Evangelical History better than a Bible signed by a thrice-married president who paid hush money to cover up his affairs so that he could use his power to tear brown children away from their families, all with the support of his Christian base.
Just to be clear, what he’s doing isn’t blasphemous. There’s nothing special about the Bible outside of whatever importance individual people give their copies of the book. If they wanted him to sign it, so be it. Plenty of other famous Christians have done the same. But imagine for a moment what the conservative reaction would have been if President Obama ever did the same thing, much less in the wake of a tragedy. FOX News wouldn’t talk about anything else for a week.
Obama sang “Amazing Grace.” Trump is splashing his name over a Bible. Guess which president has more support from white evangelicals?
It’s not even the first time Trump has signed a Bible. Putting his name on other people’s property is what he does.
Notice, though, how few conservative Christians get outraged over this in the days to come. They will bend over backwards to defend this guy, even if it comes at the cost of their holy book being defaced in any way. It’s not that it’s a big deal; it’s that they would treat it as a big deal if anyone but Trump did it. That’s what Christian hypocrisy looks like.
In Trump’s mind, signing a Bible is the only way that book has any value.
And conservative Christians are undoubtedly going to let him get away with it.