Donald Trump has raised some eyebrows these past few days after photos and video emerged of him signing Bibles for volunteers and victims of a recent tornado outbreak in Alabama. But it's not all that unusual for a president, or other politicians, to sign Bibles, says Slate writer Daniel Politi, nor is the event all that shocking when viewed within its context.
As you are probably aware by now, on Friday, Trump visited tornado-ravaged Alabama to visit with victims and rescue workers, and in the process got plenty of peoples' ire up by signing some of their Bibles. Even Jamie Aten, a professor at the evangelical Christian Wheaton College, called the signing "blasphemous."
"I've never seen anything like it."
For starters, says Politi, Trump didn't exactly come to Alabama intending to sign Bibles. Instead, he found himself at an Opelika church when a 12-year-old boy presented the president with his own Bible and asked him to sign in. Then a 10-year-old girl asked Trump to sign her pink camouflaged Bible.
"She just reached out there and said, 'Mr. President, would you sign this?'"
What's more, says Politi, when presidents are out among the general public, they often find things thrust in front of them to sign, and in general, they do so without giving it a second thought.