President Donald Trump signed copies of the Holy Bible at an Alabama church last week while visiting an area that was ravaged by tornadoes that led to the deaths of more than 20 people.
While meeting with people affected by the twisters, President Trump was asked to sign a few Bibles and did so, prompting debates and outrage on social media and elsewhere.
Some wondered why a person would want Trump’s signature on their Bible, given that the same signature was recently revealed on checks allegedly for hush money payments to a porn star; and, as Family Research Council President Tony Perkins once said, Trump is “not familiar with the Bible.” Others wondered whether it was appropriate for Trump to fulfill the request.
Past presidents including Ronald Reagan and Franklin Delano Roosevelt have signed Bibles, according to the Associated Press, though some have argued that the circumstances are different in Trump’s case as typically presidents sign Bibles for close acquaintances.
Additionally, in August, 2018, a group of evangelical leaders gave Trump a Bible as a gift that they all signed.
Here are nine reactions to the president’s signing of the Bibles in Alabama. Some defend Trump as doing something commonplace, while others argue that there is an important difference between signing and autographing.
Prominent conservative intellectual Erick Erickson spoke of concern about President Donald Trump autographing the Bible, noting a difference in signing a Bible and autographing one.
“If you give someone a Bible as a gift, write a note, sign it, whatever,” tweeted Ericksonon Saturday, getting more than 1,600 likes.
“But getting people to autograph books they didn’t write strikes me as poor form. And autographing a Bible strikes me as assigning it an importance that distracts from it being the word of God.”
The Reverend Donnie Anderson, executive minister of the Rhode Island State Council of Churches, took issue with President Donald Trump signing the Bibles, calling it a “calculated political move.”
“For me, the Bible is a very important part of my faith, and I don’t think it should be used as a political ploy,” said Rev. Anderson to the Associated Press.
“I saw it being used just as something out there to symbolize his support for the evangelical community, and it shouldn’t be used in that way. People should have more respect for Scripture.”
Former Arkansas governor and Republican presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee took to Twitter to defend President Donald Trump’s signing of the Bibles.
Huckabee argued that the majority of people critical of President Trump’s actions “don’t read one or believe in it,” adding that he himself had signed his share of Bibles.
“I’ve been asked to sign thousands of Bibles over the yrs-because person asked. I never claimed to be the author! Get a grip!” tweeted Huckabee on Sunday, getting over 34,000 likes and more than 9,000 retweets.
Amy Sullivan, journalist and author of The Party Faithful: How and Why Democrats Are Closing the God Gap, responded to an Associated Press story that noted the history of past presidents signing Bibles.
“What the piece actually finds is that Trumpvangelicals don’t have a problem with it & that people inscribe Bibles all the time. Which isn’t what Trump did,” tweeted Sullivan.
“My grandparents gave me my first Bible. They wrote their names inside, [with] an inscription. They didn’t autograph the cover.”
Sullivan also took issue with the claim of some that the autographing of the Bible was requested, adding that “if my five-year-old ever meets Amy Grant, he might ask her to autograph his forehead. You’re the adult—if it’s not right, it’s not right.”
Click here to read more.
SOURCE: Christian Post, Michael Gryboski