God Bless This Bible?

Patrick McCorkle
4 min readMar 31, 2024


This Easter Sunday has me thinking about organized religion. My relationship with them is complicated. I like a fair amount of ideas and values that Christianity, Islam, Hinduism and others represent and promote, but am leery about getting too close because of narrow-mindedness and intolerance. Usually, with more organization comes clearer, less accommodating doctrine, commandments and expectations.

As I stated in “The Stewardship Creed,” my Catholic/Christian upbringing still informs my values. I use the teachings of the Bible and Jesus to guide me. However, I haven’t attended church in years and I doubt that will change anytime soon. I’ve found that I’m able to get a sense of community and a toolkit of advice through studying a variety of religious texts with friends, learning about Christianity and different traditions through documentaries and other forms of media and by my own reflection that I impose a few times a week. While I do miss some aspects of my church going days, by and large I don’t feel attendance is necessary. At least at this moment.

Perhaps another large part of my avoidance to attending church is due to stunts like the ‘God Bless the USA Bible’, a collaboration between country music star Lee Greenwood and former President Donald Trump. For $60 plus shipping, handling and taxes, you can enjoy the Good News, a “handwritten” chorus to Lee’s famous anthem, the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, the Declaration of Independence and the Pledge of Allegiance. It’s worth noting that all of these documents can be found for free in an incredible amount of places.

Trump’s Bible peddling bothers me. It strikes me as wrong to commodify a text that many consider holy, especially during Holy Week. It’s the sort of calculus that a salesman, rather than a man of God, would make. Jesus did throw the money changers out of the temple, after all.

Trump would argue that he’s the one protecting traditional religion, so any proceeds going to him or his campaign will benefit and spread Christian values. Yet, the ultimate destination of Trump’s cut of the funds is unclear at this moment. If proceeds go to humanitarian endeavors or charities, I will retract my criticisms. But I suspect Trump will use the Bibles to line his own pockets or pay his legal bills, which I feel is not a legitimate use.

Trump has not lived a pious life by any stretch of the imagination. He has been divorced twice, accused of adultery and sexual assault many times, ran casinos and has ran a number of questionable business ventures, not to mention the legal cases he’s currently facing for his involvement with the January 6th insurrection.

Yet, one of the enduring messages of the Bible to me is the power of redemption. People like King David did awful, terrible things, but repented, and were able to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. In order for their redemption to be possible, they had to ‘do the time,’ as the saying goes. Redemption isn’t a snap of the fingers, presto and you’re done. It takes a lot of soul searching and behavior that reflects your changed attitude.

I don’t feel that Trump has ‘done the time.’ He may feel occasional remorse for his past words and behavior, but his current words and behavior seem like he’s using religion for political gain. Selling Bibles is the latest cherry on top. Redemption is still possible for Trump, of course, but I don’t think he thinks he needs it.

I want to be clear- I’m not Yahweh or any other deity. If they do exist, they might decide Trump’s morality. Regardless if there is a higher power or not, I’m allowed my reaction to Trump’s behaviors. Since he calls for the redemption of this country, I think it’s ok to turn his call back onto him.

This past Monday, Gallup revealed that church attendance continues to decline for most religious groups. 21% of Americans attend religious services every week, 9% almost every week, 11% once a month, 25% seldom and 31% never attend. I wonder if that’s because it’s easier than ever to receive spiritual guidance on your own and the image people have of religion is someone like Trump hawking Bibles.

Trump states that religion and Christianity need to come back to the USA. But what does he mean by those terms? How strict are we going to be? Will Trump and others like him have to answer for their sins?

When I can access almost every religious text ever written and discuss them with friends and colleagues at the click of a button, what does church offer me? Why join a group with hypocritical leaders who expect you to do things they won’t?

I don’t want a world in which a set of rules exist for the average person but don’t for those on top. Heretics were burned at the stake in medieval Europe. In some parts of the Islamic world, similar treatment happens today. For that reason, I keep organized religions at arm’s length.

Some people get a lot out of organized religion and I support that. I wish I could. Maybe someday I’ll get there.

But I won’t never purchase a ‘God Bless the USA’ Bible. I prefer my HarperCollins Study Bible.

I’d like to see Trump, Greenwood and his followers read that.



Patrick McCorkle

I am a young professional with keen interests in politics, history, foreign languages and the arts.