On August 27, 2018, evangelical leaders from across the country gifted U.S. President Donald Trump and Mrs. Trump with a Bible signed by some 100 Evangelicals. The occasion was a state dinner that the Trumps held for evangelical leaders.
A note here: The Trumps can very well still have this Bible that fundamentalists gave them since it was given privately by American citizens. Public officers are forbidden by the Constitution to receive gifts from foreign citizens only. So what have the Trumps done with this Bible?
A couple of months ago, I addressed a letter to the White House asking where the Trumps keep this Bible and whether they had a photo of this Bible.
My interest is that when Trump went out to Lafayette Square for a photo op with him carrying a Bible, it almost certainly was not this Bible. (Let’s clear the air. Photos show that Trump was not carrying the Bible upside down.)
On June 1, 2020, Trump had the square north of the White House cleared of peaceful demonstrators so that he could stand with “a Bible” (Trump’s own words) in front of the vintage St. John’s Episcopal Church which faces the White House from across Lafayette Park.
And how can I say that this was not the gifted Bible? It was clearly seen in the photos to have been a Revised Standard Version. Fundamentalists generally won’t use this version since it is a translation by liberal Christians.
Fundamentalists would be expected to use the Authorized Version only. This version is commonly known as the King James Version, commissioned by the seventeenth century British monarch.
Regardless, take a look at the Bible that Trump holds in his hands. It does
not look like a gift. It looks as though it was lifted from a pew at a liberal church. Who had to grab this Bible when the Trump’s have their own? In fact, Trump’s spiritual advisor, Paula White, gave him a Bible for his 60th birthday in 2006 that was signed by the late minister Billy Graham. Where is that Bible? Again, not the one that Trump held up for cameras. Fundamentalist Billy Graham was not likely to have signed a Revised Standard Version of the Bible.
I’m still waiting for an answer from the White House about where Donald Trump keeps his gift Bibles. I’ll try to keep you posted.
With a photo: Molly Schwartz, “Oops—Trump Brought the Wrong Bible to His Church Stunt,” Mother Jones, Politics, June 3, 2020, retrieved September 29, 2020.
Stephanie Mencimer,”How Do You Get From the Trailer Park to a White House Job? Give Money to Trump’s Spiritual Adviser,” Mother Jones, Politics, February 17, 2020, retrieved September 29, 2020.
“Remarks by President Trump at Dinner with Evangelical Leaders,” White House, Remarks, August 27, 2018, retrieved July 6, 2020.