He is not the first president to sign the Bible, but many found the move offensive.
U.S. President Donald J. Trump flew to Alabama to make a personal survey of last week’s Tornado damage. Trump upset a lot of people when he signed Bibles presented to him by tornado survivors. A 12-year-old boy initiated the presidential signing spree when he gave the president his Bible and requested him to sign the Christian holy book. According to media footage, even Melania Trump, the first lady, signed Bibles.
Trump’s Bible signing activity has divided religious leaders on whether such an action is appropriate. A few are offended, while others said President Trump might have gone about his signing activity differently. One of the few who supported the president in this issue is Hershael York, Dean of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary School located in Louisville, Kentucky. He pointed out that the president signed the Bible as he was asked. He then said although the United States does not have a national faith, Americans have faith in their nation, and thus it is not surprising that people have asked politicians to sign their Bibles.
Reverend Donnie Anderson is one of the many clergy members offended by Trump’s signing spree. The executive minister of Rhode Island State Council of Churches said she was deeply offended by the manner the president scribbled his signature. He not only autographed Bibles but also many other products like hats. He also posed for many photographs. As per Rev. Anderson, Trump made a calculated political move to solidify his GOP voting base.
Critics made no effort to hide their distaste of this political action. A few said only a book’s author should sign the tome. Many termed the move offensive for a person to sign one’s name on the Bible. One evangelical and psychologist attached to Wheaton College, Jamie Aten, said many Christian conservatives would deem such actions as blasphemy and it was the first time in his life to see someone do it.
People don't understand the purpose of Trump signing bibles. Many people are without a way to prepare food after a disaster. When Trump signs a bible, it bursts into flame and people can cook over it. https://t.co/k8fkKyzZQB
— Bill Prady (@billprady) March 8, 2019
Trump’s Bible signing has precedence among past presidents. According to Peter Manseau of The Smithsonian, many past presidents have given their signatures to the Bible, including Trump’s immediate predecessor, President Barack Obama.