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Christian leaders react to Trump’s ‘God Bless the USA’ bibles: ‘More Trump than Bible?’

Former President Donald Trump raised eyebrows last month after announcing he was selling special edition “God Bless the USA” bibles. 

The holy books, themed after country music artist Lee Greenwood’s patriotic anthem, contain more than just Christian scriptures: The special edition bibles also contain the text of secular documents, including the U.S. Constitution, the Pledge of Allegiance and the chorus of the titular Greenwood song.

Fox News Digital reached out to Christian leaders and apologists of various denominations for reaction to the unorthodox bible sale.

DONALD TRUMP IS SELLING $60 ‘GOD BLESS THE USA’ BIBLES AHEAD OF EASTER

Former President Donald Trump is selling special-edition “God Bless the USA” Bibles as he campaigns for a return to the White House. (Truth Social/@realDonaldTrump)

The first question raised by critics when the bibles were announced was whether it was appropriate for a politician to be making such sales during a campaign season.

Daniel Darling, the director of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary’s Land Center for Cultural Engagement, had mixed feelings about the campaign.

“Many Christians, even those like me who are very conservative both politically and theologically, thought his approach was a bit crass,” he told Fox News Digital. “While many Christians are deeply patriotic and revere our nation’s documents, they are wary of mixing those things too closely inside the pages of a Bible.”

Darling said he doesn’t believe Trump was being malicious or intentionally irreverent to scripture, but didn’t understand the optics.

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Lee Greenwood

Trump has partnered with country musician Lee Greenwood for the customized bibles. “God Bless the U.S.A.” has become Trump’s signature entrance music during his rallies and played occasionally at the outset of White House events during the Trump administration. (Getty Images)

“Trump selling this Bible seems a bit commercial, though I doubt he intended to offend Christians. He likely thought he was doing a good thing,” said Darling. “But a Bible endorsed by any politician smacks of syncretism and an over-the-top civil religion that cheapens the Bible when it’s used as a political prop.”

Fr. Brian Graebe, a priest with the Archdiocese of New York who holds a doctorate in theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, similarly told Fox News Digital that while selling bibles and encouraging scriptural literacy is good, the Trump-centric advertising is off-putting.

“My concern is not so much that there are Bibles being offered and sold and purchased — that’s fine,” said Garebe. “The more bibles that are out there and the more people read it, the better. That’s an objective good. I think the troubling aspect here is […] the marketing of it, the Americanization of it, the Trump-ification of it.”

He added, “Is the Trump Bible more Trump than Bible? I think that’s a key question that we need to ask ourselves to see what the ultimate objective here is.”

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Priest holding a bible

A Christian priest holds a copy of the Holy Bible during a liturgical service. (iStock, courtesy of user Vasil Dimitrov)

The inclusion of secular documents in the “God Bless the USA” bibles was a controversial choice. While texts such as the Declaration of Independence and Pledge of Allegiance make passing reference to a “Creator” and “God,” they are not necessarily religiously centered documents.

The U.S. Constitution is also included within the bibles’ covers, which at no point acknowledges God at all.

Joe Heschmeyer, an apologist at Catholic Answers, told Fox News Digital that the Catholic Church is generally adverse to “patriotic appropriations of Christianity that seek to turn the Gospel into fodder for a political campaign or a social movement.”

To him, the insertion of civic documents into the same pages as the Christian canon was insufficiently reverent of scripture.

“The Hebrew word for ‘holy’ is qadosh, which means ‘separate’ or ‘set apart.’ The idea is that some places, times, and things belong to God, apart from ordinary worldly use,” Heschmeyer said. “We wouldn’t put soda in the Chalice from Mass, or use the church as a gymnasium, and it’s why we don’t want to do anything that blends the sacred and the secular in the Holy Bible.”

Video of new bible the former president is selling

Former President Trump pitched the “God Bless USA” Bibles last month ahead of Good Friday and Easter Sunday. (Truth Social/ @realDonaldTrump)

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Dr. Peter Kerr, dean and professor at Colorado Christian University’s School of Business and Leadership, proposed that critics are being obtuse, and sees nothing wrong with the inclusion of texts important to U.S. history.

“Inserting America’s founding documents into a Bible is not wrong. The men who wrote them were followers of God, and even said in the Declaration of Independence that God endowed us with certain rights the government cannot take away,” said Kerr. “As long as people can differentiate God’s words from human words, it doesn’t matter if they were published inside the same cover.”

The dean added one caveat — bibles of any kind are useless tokens without religious belief to give their words meaning.

“No man has a monopoly on God, but God requires a monopoly on the hearts of every Christian,” Kerr said. “Proclamations of faith, by politicians from either party, are worthless without heart change and actions.”

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