Alabama tornado: Trump signs Bibles at Lee County church

Credit: Carolyn Kaster/Associated Press

Credit: Carolyn Kaster/Associated Press

President Donald Trump toured the area devastated by a tornado and signed Bibles while greeting people at a church, reported Friday.

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Trump signed the Bibles at Providence Baptist Church in Smiths Station -- which has been a center for distributing aid and relief -- during a tour of the area where 23 people were killed during the EF-4 storm Sunday, the website reported.

"We saw things you wouldn't believe," Mr. Trump said while visiting the town of Beauregard, the site of the nation's deadliest tornado in six years, The New York Times reported.

According to a pool news report, local volunteer Ada Ingram said the president signed several hats and Bibles, including one for a 12-year-old boy, an action that drew applause.

“He signed his Bible,” Ingram told the pool reporter.

“I enjoyed (Trump) coming,” Ingram said. “I think it’s a godsend. I’m sorry. The situation is bad. And there are going to be people who will say ‘why did he come to my town?’ I don’t know why. I don’t why the hurricane happened (either). But there is a reason."

Trump signed an emergency disaster declaration this week authorizing federal aid for the area hit by the tornado, The Hill reported.

Volunteer Emily Pike said the president and first lady Melania Trump signed the Bible of her 10-year-old daughter, Meredith Pike, according to The Associated Press.

"She just reached out there and said, 'Mr. President, would you sign this?' " the AP reported.

Others were not happy with Trump signing Bibles, calling it similar to blasphemy.

"I'd never sign someone else's Bible," Southern historian Wayne Flynt, a Baptist deacon and professor emeritus at Auburn University, told "That's right next to sacrilege. That's a holy book.

“There is nothing that shames the president.”

Flynt said it did not surprise him that Trump received applause from supporters.

"He is for many a messianic figure, which is unbelievable -- 'No need for Jesus, we have Donald,'" Flynt told

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