“Guys, with American Judeo-Christian values under attack, there can be no better time than to re-up our commitment to America and to the Christian values that this country was founded on,” Mr Trump Jr said in a video posted to Twitter shortly before the New Year. “Go check out the We The People Bible, made in America, printed in America, assembled in America — you’re going to love it, and I think the people in your life probably need it to.”
The video was set to swelling music, and featured Mr Trump Jr making a range of hand gestures similar to those his father uses. A single Bible costs $69.99 on the We The People website, and can be purchased alongside a range of other items in a “Liberty” or “Save America” bundle.
Mr Kinzinger, who riled Republicans by agreeing to serve on the House Select Committee investigating the insurrection last year, was not impressed.
“Oh the irony,” Mr Kinzinger tweeted. “The fact that some Christians dont see the problem here is more affirmation that it’s not the GOP that has failed Christians, it’s the church. Good Pastors and Priests rise up and call this out.”
The debate over Mr Trump’s relationship with Christianity and Christians has been playing out for years, with some observers questioning why Mr Trump has retained a passionate base of support from white evangelical Christians despite his repeated dishonesty, adultery, numerous allegations of sexual assault, and seeming lack of interest in or knowledge of genuine Christian faith.
That support has been critical to Mr Trump’s political fortunes. The AP VoteCast survey of the 2020 presidential election found that 81 per cent of white evangelical voters that year supported Mr Trump for president compared to just 18 percent for Mr Biden — a margin that kept Mr Trump in the race even as he lost Catholic voters by a narrow margin and non-Christian voters by an overwhelming margin.
Mr Trump has cultivated relationships with evangelical leaders during his time in office and pursued policies in both the domestic and foreign arenas that appeared to match their aims.
But Mr Trump himself was not a longstanding part of any church community during his life, and his son was accused by Mr Kinzinger and many others of grifting when he posted his video trying to sell Bibles last week.
The House committee Mr Kinzinger served on recommended that Mr Trump face charges for multiple breaches of the law in its final report released in December. Mr Kinzinger is leaving Congress after declining to run for re-election last year.