“Sounds Like A Joke … But It’s Also Very Real”

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Saturday Night Live went with Donald Trump’s hawking of Bibles for its cold open, with James Austin Johnson returning as the former president to make the pitch.

It was another case of the show trying to satirize something that hardly needs rewriting.

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“That’s right, it’s Easter. The time of year when I compare myself to Jesus Christ,” Johnson as Trump said. “That’s just the thing I do now, and people seem to be OK with it. I’m going to keep doing it. If you think that this is a bad look, imagine how weird it would be if I started selling Bibles. Well, I’m selling Bibles.”

“Sounds like a joke, and in many ways it is, but it’s also very real. As you know, I love Bible. It’s my favorite look.”

Earlier this week, Trump posted a video to his Truth Social account in which he pitched the “God Bless The USA” Bible, earning some criticism in the religious community and derision from others, who saw it as the latest in a long line of the former president’s efforts to capitalize on endorsement deals. And Trump has taken to reposting memes that compare him to Jesus.

As if to counter the suggestion that his Holy Week sales pitch was sacrilegious, Trump today pushed out a statement slamming Joe Biden as “blasphemous” because the president had proclaimed March 31, Sunday, as Transgender Day of Visibility, the same day as Easter. But the Transgender Day of Visibility is commemorated on March 31 each year; Easter falls on different dates.

The SNL sketch opened with what looked like a reenactment of the Resurrection, with the three women who had come to anoint Jesus’s body instead witnessing Trump emerging from the tomb.

“Alright girls, you can go,” Johnson’s Trump said, shooing them away. “Bye bye.”

The show then riffed on Trump’s lack of knowledge of the Bible. He said, “Definitely read it. My favorite part is probably the ending, how it all it wraps up.”

He then went on to reveal the “high high price of $60.”

“But I am not doing this for the money,” Trump said. “I’m doing this for the glory of God and for pandering and mostly for money.”

He went on, “But it’s so sad. Religion and Christianity are totally gone from this country, and we need them back. Without religious, you don’t have laws. You don’t have mission trips. Mission trips are a lot of fun. You go to Mexico. You build a house. Maybe you make out with someone on the last night.”

For the opener, SNL skipped one of the other big political stories of the week: NBC News’ decision, following an internal revolt, to sideline former RNC chair Ronna McDaniel as a contributor, just a few days after her hire.

The opener finished with Trump trying to recite the Lord’s Prayer “in the name of the Father, the Son and the Easter Bunny.”

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