A billboard installed near the city of Fort Oglethorpe in Georgia featuring a photo of former President Donald Trump and a Bible verse saying, “unto us a Son is given and the government shall be upon his shoulders,” has been taken down after backlash.
The Washington Post’s political reporter Eugene Scott drew attention to the billboard by posting a photo of it on Twitter.
“Unto us a son is given and the government shall be upon his shoulders,” read the text in capital letters on the billboard with a picture of Trump looking on alongside the “verse.”
The text appeared to be referring to Isaiah 9:6, which says, “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”
However, the billboard claimed it was Romans 8:17.
More than 2,000 users commented and retweeted it.
“Uh… this is the most blasphemous and sacrilegious thing yet. Not to mention, that is not what Romans 8:17 says, not even close. Somebody needs to buy the religious right some Bibles. Stat. Where are the Gideons when you need them?” reads one comment.
The billboard space is owned and operated by Reagan Outdoor Advertising-Chattanooga, whose General Manager, Scott Hibberts, told the Chattanooga Times Free Press that the ad had been removed.
Hibberts said the ad was placed by an employee at Impact Outdoor Media Group of Atlanta.
Trump is not the first president to be compared to Jesus.
At the televised 2012 Soul Train Awards, actor Jamie Foxx told the audience: “It’s like church over here. It’s like church in here. First of all, give an honor to God and our Lord and Savior Barack Obama. Barack Obama,” as reported by E! Online at the time.
The same year, New York-based artist Michael D’Antuono made a painting titled “The Truth,” featuring then-President Obama with a crown of thorns on his head with his hands stretched out, alluding to the crucifixion, HuffPost reported at the time.
However, he was quoted as saying, “The crucifixion of the president was meant metaphorically. My intent was not to compare him to Jesus.”
In 2009, actress Susan Sarandon compared Obama to Jesus.
“He is a community organizer like Jesus was,” Sarandon said, according to The Hill. “And now, we’re a community and he can organize us.”