Massive outrage as Trump autographs copies of the Bible for Alabama tornado victims
President Donald Trump on Friday held a meeting with those who had been affected by the tornado in Alabama after it claimed 23 lives in the region. However, the commander-in-chief caused an uproar on social media after he appeared to sign some copies of the Bible. While Trump was blasted online for his unusual gesture, it wasn't out of the blue.
According to Slate, it was a 12-year-old boy was first approached Trump and asked him to sign his Bible at a Southern Baptist church in Opelika. Following suit, a 10-year-old girl also asked him to sign her copy, thereby getting the ball rolling. What's more? Footage from the gathering posted online shows First Lady Melania Trump also being asked to sign Bibles.
You guys... He...he signed *the covers* pic.twitter.com/bLQzVN9vcB— Sarah Cooper (@sarahcpr) March 8, 2019
Nonetheless, it was perfect fodder for anti-Trump critics to pounce on, with some arguing that the person who usually signs a book is the author, and others deeming the move offensive. Speaking to the Washington Post, Jamie Aten, an evangelical and psychologist at Wheaton College, said, “Growing up in a religious home, it would’ve been seen as blasphemous as having someone signing your own name. Maybe you penned your own name so people knew it was yours." He added, “I’ve never seen anything like 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
On the other hand, Peter Manseau, the Smithsonian’s curator of religion, told The Post that the move isn't as shocking as one might think, considering many past presidents have signed copies of the Bible, including former President Barack Obama. In fact, he was doing what people asked of him. “Presidents seem to sign a lot of random things put in front of them,” Manseau added, defending Trump.
Here’s President Trump signing Bibles for Alabama tornado survivors pic.twitter.com/cOYghebZtV— NowThis (@nowthisnews) March 8, 2019
The New York Times described the move as "very on-brand", considering the US leader's long-standing appeal with evangelical Christians. According to a pastor who supports Trump, people asked him to sign their Bibles "all the time" and said that it was "very appropriate." However, many critics said that beyond the act itself, what they found problematic was that he chose to add his enormous signature to the book covers.
That said, Twitter users naturally had a lot to comment about the president scribbling his name on the holy book. You can check out some of the hilarious reactions below.
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
That Trump is such an narcissist that he would sign his name to a bible is not nearly as disheartening as so-called Christians ASKING him to sign their bibles. https://t.co/ZqEJhreN91— Matt G. Metcalf (@MattMetcalf) March 8, 2019
If you asked Donald Trump to name two people who appear in the Bible he would say "Jesus," pause for eleven minutes, and then say "...Frodo?" https://t.co/28oPqTkbTE— Ken Tremendous (@KenTremendous) March 9, 2019