A larger-than-life statue of former President Donald Trump at the Conservative Political Action Conference had those on both the Left and the Right debating whether it was an idol or nothing more than a sculpture.
The statue at CPAC of a gold-skinned Trump depicted him wearing a white shirt, red tie, blue sportscoat and red, white and blue shorts while holding a copy of the Constitution and a magic wand. Throughout the week and weekend, supporters of Trump posed alongside the fiberglass statue for pictures.
Critics compared it to the golden calf the Old Testament Israelites cast as an idol. When Moses saw it, he burned it in a fire.
Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) wrote on Twitter about the Trump sculpture, “Idol worship isn’t conservative. #RestoreOurGOP.”
Conservative commentator Bill Kristol tweeted a painting of the Israelites worshipping the golden calf alongside the text, “Live image from CPAC.”
Live image from CPAC. pic.twitter.com/o1K4bsSk1G— Bill Kristol (@BillKristol) February 26, 2021
Talbert Swan, a pastor and the president of the Springfield, Mass., chapter of the NAACP, tweeted, “We always knew these MAGAts and evangelicals were fake Christian heretics. They finally broke out the golden calf.”
We always knew these MAGAts and evangelicals were fake Christian heretics. They finally broke out the golden calf.— Bishop Talbert Swan (@TalbertSwan) February 26, 2021
But the sculpture’s artist, Tommy Zegan, defended the statue. He lives south of the border.
“It was made in Mexico,” Zegan told Politico, adding it was painted in Florida.
He calls the statue “Trump and his magic wand.” That’s a reference to a comment by former President Barack Obama, who said in 2016 Trump did not have a “magic wand” to bring back manufacturing jobs.
Zegan, a former youth pastor, said the sculpture can be purchased for $100,000.
“It’s not an idol,” Zegan told Mediaite “I know the biblical definition of an idol. This is not an idol. This is a sculpture.”
Zegan said he crafted the sculpture because he didn’t think other statues of Trump were sufficient. He hopes the statue – or two others similar to it that weren’t at CPAC – lands in a future Trump presidential library.
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Joe Raedle/Staff
Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.