Trump declassifies the Word of God, declares himself the Easter Bunny…

Vince Rizzo
5 min readApr 3, 2024

The Ron Popeil of the Pulpit has likely found his greatest scam yet. He has sold steaks and ties, wines and college degrees, sneakers, and eponymous superhero digital trading cards, But most of these efforts were, well, temporal. His latest foray propels him from superhero, never surrender, MAGA-whatchamacallits into the supernatural and everlasting- he has finally found the image he would like us to revere forever. The branding around his latest sale of Bibles includes self-proclaimed comparisons to Jesus as Trump jumps several sharks suggesting to his evangelical followers that he is their earthly savior. This week while speaking in Wisconsin he shifted from the sacred to the profane by comparing himself to Al Capone:

Here I am, I got indicted more than Alfonse Capone, Al Capone. Scarface. Do you know how bad he was? I know some of the guys in the front row. They are tough guys. If you ever looked at Alfonse Capone, you wouldn’t be tough at all. You’d be dead by the morning, most likely. I got indicted more than Alfonse. Alfonse was a tough guy. They made a movie about him called Scarface. Check it out. Even if it was half true, you don’t want to deal with him.”

- The Irish Times, “Trump compares his legal woes to Al Capone’s as he reruns 2020 defeat by Biden in Wisconsin,” by Keith Dugggan

He has a child-like ignorance about him allowing him to introduce common knowledge and well-known cultural factoids- like Al Capone Jeopardy answers- as one of his original observations. “I’ll take Al Capone for 100, Ken.” Listening to him explain simple things and parsing his gibberish it often sounds like a child’s invented language- cute but relatively meaningless.

Remembering religious hucksters of the past, it is easy to suppose that The Donald’s entrance into the celestial arena will turn out bad. Think Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker and PTL. TFG is tempting fate here. The guy now selling himself as something like the “second cousin-of-God,” doesn’t fear divine retribution. I doubt that Trump believes in an afterlife because he would avoid tweaking the reputed boss there if he did. He employs sacrilege and blasphemy to shock and awe his base because he thinks he can outrun earthly karma. It’s a devilish conceit but a dangerous one as well. The God that Trump hardly serves and whose house he rarely visits is watching. He has sent locusts and a variety of other pestilences to remedy lesser heresies in the past, just ask the Egyptians. Hell, ask Noah and his seven relatives what ticking off the Lord can rain down on those who thumb their noses at His wishes.

Trump tempts fate for shits and giggles. He doesn’t act like a believer, for him, religion is a burlesque. So, having found a rich vein of gullible evangelicals to mine, selling Bibles is simply an appetizer for his gross appetite for fraud. What next, indeed teases the imagination. What relic or holy artifact can he profane? How about a commandment charm bracelet, wear the ones you wish to observe; or a replica feather from the dove that flew alongside Noah’s Ark? Both have potential because they can be cross-merchandised with new Trump commandment earrings f or her- slabs of resin with the commandments etched as a paperweight for him. Every item could come with a signed self-imprinted signature that will surely appeal to the fawning collectors of all-things-destined for post-MAGA garage sales and bargain basement overrun stores.

As the Trump brand fades, the legacy that will endure is chaos and incompetence, inhumanity and disrespect, racism and violence. Left behind for others to explain will be our mindless dalliance with autocracy, our loss of political sanity that oversaw the implosion of a once vibrant political party, and its complete surrender to a gilded idol who promised power in exchange for its allegiance. The evil unleashed by Donald Trump while president still lingers. We can never forget the haunting images from January 6 or the sanctioning of white nationalism in Charlottesville. How can we forgive the grief we feel from the loss of faith in the hearts of his evangelical followers, the loss of friends, and the estrangement of family:

“For what is evil but good tortured by its own hunger and thirst?”
― Kahlil Gibran,
The Prophet

For those of us with a more secular worldview, Trump’s greatest sacrilege lies in his disregard for women, minorities, immigrants, and the poor, his indifference to suffering, and his deference for dictators. Judgment Day for us comes in November and occurs in our courts. Devils and angels, and gods have forever to work out their justice, we only have the time allotted to us here on Earth. History’s judgment comes too late to matter and has the added burden of revisionism and analysis. It is up to us to recreate America’s ongoing dream that Trumpism has interrupted.

I think there was a temporal miracle that occurred at our founding. One that, although imperfect, held a promise for “better angels” and emerging freedoms. Thomas Paine wrote about that at the beginning of the Revolutionary War- a time when freedom was threatened as it is being attacked today :

THESE are the times that try men’s souls…

Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as FREEDOM should not be highly rated.

- Thomas Paine, “American Crisis”

We are truly embattled today by forces that are as evil and dehumanizing as any devilish shadow from the pits of hell. Selling nor buying Bibles doesn’t make one a good Christian or a better human being. Reading one helps, but applying its principles in our daily lives helps even more. More importantly, our religion may or may not help make us better citizens, and it shouldn’t matter. Heaven has no business in the fight for our democracy, nor should it. No self-respecting deity would have it any other way.

Originally published at



Vince Rizzo

Former president of the International Association of Laboratory Schools (IALS) and a founder of a charter school based on MI theory.