Billboard Comparing Trump to Jesus Causes Blasphemy Controversy

In early September, a photo of a controversial billboard appeared on Twitter. The sign pictured former President Donald Trump next to prophetic words partially quoted from Isaiah 9:6, which compared him to Jesus. The scripture referenced by the sign, however, is inaccurate.

Critics quickly identified the bible misquotes in the sign after the photo made its way to Twitter. The verse quoted is from Isaiah 9:6 rather than Romans 8:17. The words are easily recognized as prophesizing the return of Jesus.

The billboard printed words from only the first half of Isaiah 9:6. The entire scripture reads, For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulders: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” Oddly, the sign only references “Joint Heirs, Romans 8:17” in the lower right corner.

The quotation “Joint Heirs” referenced next to Romans 8:17 is associated with being co-heirs with Jesus Christ. But the way the words are arranged on the sign implies that Romans 8:17 is somehow linked to the Isaiah quote. It’s also a strange verse that alludes to Trump as the second coming of Christ.

The Times Free Press in Chattanooga noted that the billboard, which towered over Highway 27 in Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia, was quickly removed a few days later on September 13. This confusing information regarding the sign’s content and sudden removal caused outrage and clamor among Christians and non-religious Americans alike. 

Some accused the author of blasphemy. Others recognized the sign as a violation of church and state.

In nearby Dade Couty, Georgia, an educator named Dr. Jeffrey L. Scott tweeted, “As a Christian and proud American, I find this very disturbing; I would be troubled no matter the president.”

Bill Bond, a hospital chaplain, and retired Chattanooga pastor, tweeted,People just over the border in Georgia seeking to redefine blasphemy. And doing an excellent job at it.” Bond was the first to post the billboard photo on Twitter. 

The sponsor of this billboard message is still a mystery. Reagan Outdoor Advertising owns the actual sign, but reportedly they are not responsible for the billboard.

The general manager of Reagan’s Outdoor Advertising’s vendor in Chattanooga, Scott Hibberts, confirmed that the sign was removed on Monday. He acknowledged thatImpact Outdoor Media placed the sign’s order for a client of theirs.

Hibberts maintains that Reagan’s Outdoor Advertising“supports our advertiser’s First Amendment rights and the use of our displays to promote legal products and services, as well as other messages that may be editorial in nature. We provide companies and citizens alike with a powerful medium to reach the public as long as those messages are not offensive to the moral standards of the community, do not provide misleading or false statements, and are legal. The views expressed on our displays belong to our advertisers.”

Additionally, the Chattanooga Times Free Press noted that even though they previously supported some of Trump’s policies in the past, they are repulsed by how Trump’s current defenders are holding Trump as an equal to Jesus.

The Times Free Press advised that elevating the former president above the mere mortal he is — flawed like everyone else, heretical, and unintelligent — is potentially dangerous.

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