Skip To Content

Support the Forward

Funded by readers like you DonateSubscribe

The obvious biblical beef with the Golden Trump

Thursday at the Conservative Political Action Conference, two men were seen hauling a gold statue of Donald Trump through the Hyatt Regency Orlando lobby. Clergy, coreligionists and people with eyes for easy metaphors all asked: Where’s the beef?

It doesn’t take a doctorate of divinity to see the parallel to this ludicrous idol worship and the episode of the golden calf, in which a faction of the Israelites, left alone by Moses for roughly the period Trump’s been out of office, melted down their rings into a “molten calf” and made offerings to it.

This made God (a Jealous God) angry, and Moses, too. I mean, our guy shattered the Ten Commandments when he saw what was going down. It’s pretty clear to see why.

On those tablets, notarized by divine fire, one finds the line item, “Thou shalt not make unto thee a graven image, nor any manner of likeness, of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.”

It’s kinda baffling how often the people who insist on having oversized Ten Commandments outside government buildings forget this one. (Remember that the Israelites didn’t worship the Commandments themselves, just kept them in a portable litter they brought to all their battles — and that may or may not be able to melt Nazi faces.)

So, I guess I have no real drash here. The people who go hard for Trump really do revere him as a kind of kitschy deity. Here he has star-spangled swim shorts, flip-flops and some sort of paper (The Constitution?) and a magic wand in his hands. This kind of blind devotion is hardly a revelation at this late stage.

It is perhaps notable in one sense. Like the Golden Calf — believed by some to be a representation of the Egyptian bull god, Apis — the Golden Trump is an avatar of a defeated party and a rejection of a decisive victor now in leadership.

Those kowtowing to their gold-plated Trump are paying fealty to the losing side.

PJ Grisar is the Forward’s culture reporter. He can be reached at [email protected]


  • Events

    Haart to Haart


    Dec 7, 2022

    7 pm ET · 

    A conversation with Julia Haart and her son Shlomo, stars of Netflix's 'My Unorthodox Life,' about the new season and much more.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.