Trump's Bible endorsement draws mixed reactions from Christians: 'Syncretistic expression'

Former President Donald Trump rolled out a new leather-bound 'God Bless the USA' Bible in a video posted to Truth Social on Tuesday.
Former President Donald Trump rolled out a new leather-bound "God Bless the USA" Bible in a video posted to Truth Social on Tuesday. | Truth Social

Former President Donald Trump's promotion during Holy Week of the leather-bound "God Bless the USA" Bible has prompted mixed reactions from Christian scholars and activists, drawing accusations he is inappropriately mixing politics and religion.

In a statement posted to Truth Social on Tuesday, Trump displayed the Bible he's promoting with musician Lee Greenwood, whose song "God Bless the USA" often features during Trump's rallies.

The Bible, which costs $59.99, features the King James Version and contains the U.S. Constitution, the Bill of Rights, the Declaration of Independence, the Pledge of Allegiance and the handwritten chorus to Greenwood's song.

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While the former president's endorsement of the Bible has drawn the ire of progressive Christian leaders, it has caused differing reactions among social conservatives. 

Tony Perkins, president of the Washington-based Christian conservative advocacy organization Family Research Council, told The Christian Post that he supports Trump's promotion of the Bible if it encourages someone to read it.

"That is great news!" Perkins said. "The truths of the Bible transform lives. A daily dose of the Bible is the best anti-anxiety medicine you will find. For those getting into the Word, I'd recommend checking out Family Research Council's daily Bible reading plan, which will take you through the Bible in two years."

Andrew T. Walker, an ethics and public theology professor at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, stated in an op-ed for World Magazine that "fusing America's founding documents with the Word of God is a syncretistic expression of civil religion that goes farther than what those who love their country — and, more importantly, for those who love their Bibles — should ever allow."

"To put matters bluntly, a Bible like this should never have been made," Walker wrote. "That is not because I'm anti-Bible or anti-Constitution. Actually, I am very much in favor of both. They fuel both my heavenly citizenship and my earthly citizenship. But fusing the two in the name of religious-civic identity can quickly become a form of identity politics for the political right."

Walker, who also serves as a fellow in Christian political thought at the Washington-based think tank Ethics and Public Policy Center, stresses that "the Bible is not a symbol of American identity even while we proudly herald the Bible-influenced shape of American life and values."

"There is an ever-present temptation to allow one's theology to bend to one's politics when it is our politics that should bend to our theology," Walker stressed. "President Donald J. Trump lacks all the authority — and sincerity — to stand up and advertise a Bible for $59.99. Really, no one does, because Bibles of this sort should never have been made in the first place."

Multiple progressive Christian pastors, activists and theologians who spoke to CNN decried the "God Bless the USA" Bible, suggesting Trump's endorsement stepped over a line.

"There's a very long tradition of what is included and what is not included in the Bible," historian and author Jemar Tisby, who holds a master of divinity from Reformed Theological Seminary in Jackson, Mississippi, said.

"What has caused outrage with this Bible is that it includes the Declaration of Independence, U.S. Constitution and even the lyrics to a Lee Greenwood song," Tisby said. "So it's adding to the Bible, and it's adding specific political documents to the Bible that completely erase the separation of church and state."

Tisby believes the Trump-endorsed Bible is "[playing] on people's devotion to God and their love of country, either of which by themselves could be innocuous or even good." However, he believes that this Bible is perniciously "blending the two."

Longtime progressive civil rights activist Rev. Al Sharpton accused Trump of "blasphemy" and said the move was effectively "a spit in the face of people that really believe."

"People [should] realize how offensive this is to those of us that really believe in the Bible," the former Democratic presidential candidate said on MSNBC's "Morning Joe."

Conservative Christian radio and Newsmax host Todd Starnes criticized the opposition to Trump's Bible endorsement from what he called "wokevangelicals." 

"President Trump urged Americans to pray, read the Bible, and familiarize themselves with the U.S. Constitution and the Declaration of Independence," he wrote on X. "The triggered response from the heathens and wokevangelicals is pitiful and sad."

Carol M. Swain, a conservative Christian retired political science and law professor at Vanderbilt University, echoed Starnes' comment. 

"Why should anyone get bent out of shape because Trump endorses Lee Greenwood's USA Bible?" she asked on X. "America would be better off if more people read the Bible and the founding documents. Putting them together in one volume makes it easier for people to be educated about our nation and its roots."

According to its website, the Trump campaign is not making money from the Bible. It is "not owned, managed or controlled by Donald J. Trump, The Trump Organization, CIC Ventures LLC or any of their respective principals or affiliates."

" uses Donald J Trump's name, likeness and image under paid license from CIC Ventures LLC, which license may be terminated or revoked according to its terms," the site states.

Greenwood himself pushed back against the criticism during a Friday interview on "Real America's Voice."

"I have my own deal with the company that produces the Bible and so does he," he said. "We have no correlation. There was no reason for him to do that. He could have held up any Bible."

Noting how Trump placed his hand on a Bible to take his oath of office, Greenwood suggested "this is just more of the same, except for now he's actually telling the world and telling our country and all of its citizens, 'I will protect you, and I will make sure you know that I believe in the same thing you believe in, and that this country was founded on faith.'"

"Even on the left, I don't believe people are faithless," Greenwood also said. "They only are condemning me and the president, Donald Trump, for broadcasting faith through advertising a Bible."

He added that Trump signed his copy of the "God Bless the USA" Bible and implored "even the people on the left" to go to church and celebrate Easter this weekend.

Trump's promotion of the "God Bless the USA" Bible comes as he has increasingly made growing anti-Christian sentiment in the United States one of the cornerstones of his 2024 campaign.

During a speech last month at the National Religious Broadcasters 2024 International Christian Media Convention in Nashville, Tennessee, Trump said that the government under the Biden administration has grown hostile to Christians, and he pledged to address the issue with a special task force if he takes back the White House in November.

"This time, the greatest threat is not from the outside of our country, I really believe this," he said. "It's from within. It's the people from within our country that are more dangerous than the people outside. We can handle China, we can handle Russia, we can handle all of them if you have a smart leader, but the inside people are very dangerous. They're very sick people, in my opinion; in many cases, they're sick."

Jon Brown is a reporter for The Christian Post. Send news tips to

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