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It’s Easter, and Trump spent Holy Week comparing himself to Christ, and shamelessly hawking a Bible

Author: John Casey,Christopher Wiggins,Ryan Adamczeski,Trudy Ring,Alex Cooper

Just when you think former President Donald Trump can’t do anything more ridiculous, news hit earlier this month that Trump was selling a “God Bless the USA”-themed Christian Bible.

Trump took to social media on Tuesday to make the announcement. “As we lead into Good Friday and Easter, I encourage you to get a copy of the God Bless The USA Bible,” he said on X, formerly Twitter.

It runs for $59.99 and was originally published in 2021.

The Advocate team obviously had thoughts. Below, you’ll find an edited version of a conversation from the team.

John Casey: So folks, Trump began Holy Week but putting himself up on the cross so to speak. He shared a Tweet or whatever you call what they do on Truth Social from one of his acolytes about the coincidence between Trump taking a hit for the MAGA base and Jesus’ persecution. Then the next day came the cringeworthy sales pitch for the “Make America Pray again” Bible. Any thoughts?

Christopher Wiggins: I, for one, as somebody who is not religious at all, want to know who would actually give Trump money for one of these Bibles. Are there people who don’t see the obvious grift that’s afoot?

Just the use of “Make America pray again” as the tagline alone gives me what the Germans call Fremdscham, or that thing when your shoulders reach your ears with shame as you feel vicarious embarrassment for somebody else. I ask all of these things rhetorically, of course, because there is a fool born every day, and if we have learned anything in recent years, it’s that there are millions upon millions of fools in America. Trump has the magic ability to make people suspend reality and let go of their long and closely-held beliefs when anything challenges his power, so you have folks who will go around spreading “blessings” and going to church religiously and judging people for their perceived immorality while also willingly and eagerly giving money to a twice-impeached, multiply-indicted man who’s been found liable for sexual abuse and is about to be on trial for paying off a woman with whom he had sex while his wife was at home with their infant son.

Ryan Adamczeski: Anyone who would buy a bible from Trump probably didn’t care what the bible says anyway. It’s not that they’re abandoning their long-held beliefs — they didn’t hold them in the first place. They only care about the bible as a means to an end, not about its content. Piety looks good in certain communities and it can get them far politically, but they don’t actually follow its doctrine themselves even if they claim to. If they did, they’d have to make a lot of life changes.

John: You’re right about that Ryan. And Christopher, count me in on Fremdscham, and count moderates and independents in on that too. I’m somewhat religious, and anyone who might be like me, with respect for belief, had to be aghast at seeing that. I remember being mortified when he gassed the George Floyd protestors, so he could walk across the street to St. John’s and hold a bible upside down. He literally attacked mankind and tried to hide behind an upside-down Bible.

Moderates are looking for excuses not to vote for him. Religion is so personal, so this crosses a line, but he’s done that before with St. John’s. And this week wasn’t the first time he compared himself to Jesus. And, he’s lying by holding that Bible. He said in that hideous video that he has “several’ and it’s his favorite book. He needs to go to confession just for that.

I keep going back to that 2016 statement when he said he could shoot someone of 5th Avenue, and his base would still support him. I also think the Democrats will never recover from Hillary Clinton calling the MAGA base “deplorables.”

We know they are, and they know we think they are, and to Ryan’s point, they probably don’t own Bibles, so they use Trump’s faux religion as their own.

Christopher: We shouldn’t forget that the current ultra-conservative Republican Speaker of the House, Mike Johnson, is at Trump’s beck and call. Ironically, Johnson once said that if people were wanting to know his point of view about a matter, they should open up their Bible and be confident that Johnson believed what was written within its pages. I’d be curious to know how he feels about the commoditization of the good book in this way, but then again, he’s potentially getting voted out soon, so maybe that doesn’t matter.

Trudy Ring: I regularly look at right-wing websites — I’m a glutton for punishment, I know, but it’s important to know what they’re saying. So far I haven’t seen one article defending Trump on this. It’s like they’re so embarrassed they want to pretend it isn’t happening. I found a straight news article on Fox, but that’s it so far.

This move by Trump is not only shameless and hypocritical, but it ignores the principles of religious pluralism and separation of church and state. He refers to “our” religion, but the U.S. doesn’t have a state religion — thank God, I say unironically — and not all Americans practice the same religion, and some don’t practice any. They don’t all have the same holy book. There are many, many versions of the Christian Bible alone. The orange atrocity, as I call him, is hawking the King James Version, but the Catholic Church has historically not recognized the KJV, as it was commissioned by a Protestant monarch. (Fun fact: It’s widely believed that he was gay.) The Hebrew Bible is what Christians know as the Old Testament. Muslims have the Quran. Et cetera, et cetera, et cetera, to quote Yul Brynner in The King and I.

Anyway, this is perhaps Trump’s lowest stunt yet. Every time you can’t think he can go any lower, he does. Sickening. By the way, I will defend Hillary on the deplorables comment. I agree with her!

John: Trudy, leave it to you to provide the sound history and also being a glutton for punishment. I think you’re right. And, I also think Trump felt embarrassed about it too. He seemed less than thrilled making that video. He can be so easy to read. And, I agree with the adjective of deplorables, but I think it lit an unnecessary fire. I was in Florida last weekend, and one of the flags I saw flying on a truck that passed me while I was running said, “I’m a deplorable.” And I thought, “You know what, you are deplorable if you are flying a big flag from your truck that says you are!” It was fresh in my mind. I think they still carry that around – that animosity and the flag, obviously.

We will never know if that Bible sells. The gold sneakers were a flop – that’s what I’ve heard, so maybe this will flop too? If he can’t sell the Bible to Christian extremists, there’s nothing else left for him to hawk and fund his fines and lawyers. Maybe locks of his hair? Or splinters of wood from the cross that he’s bearing for the deplorables?

Trudy: I must add that including government documents — the U.S. Constitution and the Declaration of Independence — in a Bible is deeply inappropriate. I won’t say it’s unconstitutional — the publisher is free to include those, although it would be unconstitutional if the government forced us to buy that Bible! But it is, like I said, way inappropriate — implies that the U.S. is somehow favored by God or that religion governs our nation.

Alex Cooper: I don’t think it’s surprising that Trump would try to profit off of his religious base — again. The Christian MAGA crowd has money, and that’s money that Trump needs (both for his campaign and for his legal fees and fines). I would be surprised if it doesn’t do decently. There’s a whole industry around Bibles and religious objects, so Trump saw a way in. While the sneakers might be a dud, these supporters can support two beliefs in one: Trump and their religion. Specifically with Evangelicals — there are a ton of financial services for Christians, book series hawked by religious leaders, Christian vacation rentals, you name it. It’s just the latest example of Trump using his base to make a buck.

Views expressed in The Advocate’s opinion articles are those of the writers and do not necessarily represent the views of The Advocate or our parent company, equalpride.

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Original Article on The Advocate
Author: John Casey,Christopher Wiggins,Ryan Adamczeski,Trudy Ring,Alex Cooper

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