President Trump went to tornado-ravaged Lee County, Alabama this week and autographed a handful of Bibles that people brought just for that purpose. His critics proceeded to lose their minds over the gesture. MSNBC could not wait to pounce on Trump for it. Other media outlets followed suit. But Trump was not the first president to sign a Bible and many religious leaders saw nothing wrong with it.
Hershael York, dean of theology at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, told the AP that Trump probably signed the Bibles because their owners believed his signature was meaningful. “Though we don’t have a national faith, there is faith in our nation, and so it’s not at all surprising that people would have politicians sign their Bibles,” he said. “Those Bibles are meaningful to them and apparently these politicians are, too.”
Joe Watkins, who is a pastor and a former White House aide to President George H.W. Bush, stated he would “not be inclined to sign someone’s holy book.” He did, however, note that the people asking Trump to sign their Bibles did not appear to be bothered by it. That’s how I see it as well. This is a personal issue and President Trump is known for autographing things such as Bibles.
Former Obama White House aide Will Jawando added, “I’m of the opinion that only Jesus should be signing a Bible.” That’s funny because Jesus would never have done such a thing even if he had been present when the Bible was put together. And he’s not here currently – not even in the form of Obama (that’s sarcasm). That statement shows an ignorance of the Christian faith and history.
You guys… He…he signed *the covers* pic.twitter.com/bLQzVN9vcB
— Sarah Cooper (@sarahcpr) March 8, 2019
According to The Daily Caller, “MoveOn.org senior advisor Karine Jean-Pierre argued that the move was unprecedented and even “bizarre,” saying, “I’ve never seen that. I don’t think any of us has ever heard of a president signing a Bible.”’ Then you don’t know history and the fact that several presidents have signed Bibles in the past.
Politico called the move “an unusual gesture.” But it wasn’t. Michelle Malkin noted that Truman, Clinton, Gore, Carter, and Mondale are among the presidents, vice presidents, and candidates who have signed Bibles or Psalms books. And there are pictures.
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
Bill Leonard, who is the founding dean and professor of divinity emeritus at Wake Forest’s School of Divinity, pointed to the fact that Trump signed the Bibles in a church, not at a political rally.
“It would’ve been worse if he had said no because it would’ve seemed unkind, and this was at least one way he could show his concern along with his visit,” he told the AP. “In this setting, where tragedy has occurred and where he comes for this brief visit, we need to have some grace about that for these folks.”
Here’s President Trump signing Bibles for Alabama tornado survivors pic.twitter.com/cOYghebZtV
— NowThis (@nowthisnews) March 8, 2019
From Hot Air:
“President Donald Trump signed Bibles for survivors of the Alabama tornado that killed 23 people during a visit of the disaster area on Friday.
“During his visit five days after the storm hit, Trump met with state and leaders and assessed the damage for himself in Beauregard. He also met with the families of tornado victims, including Marshall Lynn Grimes, who died alongside his fiance.
“Prior to being on the ground, Trump took an aerial tour of the devastation after landing at Fort Benning.
“I saw this and it’s hard to believe,” Trump said. “You saw things that you wouldn’t believe.”’
Trump extended an unusual gesture as he sought to comfort Alabama residents devastated by a tornado there last weekend — he signed Bibles https://t.co/5HmOzUGXSp
— POLITICO (@politico) March 8, 2019
President Trump and the First Lady went to Alabama to comfort those impacted by tornadoes there. It was a gesture of kindness. Leave it to leftists to spin it as evil incarnate. 23 people died there and it meant the world to those people for President Trump to visit them in their hour of need and grief.
I personally wouldn’t ask the president to sign my Bible. But if I had just lost everything I had and the people that I loved, I might rethink that. It was a kind gesture by Trump and Melania. And more importantly, it’s what those people needed after tragedy hit. Who cares what the media and the left think about it.
1) Truman's signed note in an admirer's Book of Psalms https://t.co/XoWv9LHJ9T
2-3) Autographs of Clintons, Gore, Carters, Mondale in bible of collector Stephen Koschal https://t.co/LieTXZHftk
4) Heads exploding over Trump signing Bibles for Alabama tornado survivors pic.twitter.com/mWWMUS4ELM
— Michelle Malkin (@michellemalkin) March 9, 2019
The Bible signing thing is a non-issue. A few people put Bibles in front of Trump to sign, so he did. Other presidents have done the same. If anyone should be criticized, it's the people who bring their Bibles to be signed in the first place. I don't really expect Trump to refuse
— Matt Walsh (@MattWalshBlog) March 9, 2019
A few points: 1) I'm not going to rip Trump on this bible signing issue; 2) I would never have a politician sign my bible but I won't judge those folks down in Alabama; 3) But Betty, you are correct, if Obama had signed a bunch of bibles, conservative media would have gone crazy. https://t.co/tQFR02CbM0
— Joe Walsh (@WalshFreedom) March 9, 2019
The people who support abortion and mock prayer are now expressing disgust over Trump signing bibles in Alabama.
Until they understand the Bible, they can spare me the faux anger. What was he to do…tell them no? That’s not the type of man he is under such tragic circumstances. https://t.co/c7YSoPAKat
— Kyle Morris (@RealKyleMorris) March 9, 2019
Truman signs a Bible: *crickets*
Carter signs a Bible: *crickets*
Clinton signs a Bible: *crickets*
Gore signs a Bible: *crickets*
Trump signs a Bible: *HYSTERIA*
— Students For Trump (@TrumpStudents) March 9, 2019
Keeping the people of Alabama in our thoughts & prayers. We are with you. 🇺🇸❤️ pic.twitter.com/9elFure9m1
— Melania Trump (@FLOTUS) March 9, 2019