Yes, the busy Chinese, apart from stealing intellectual property, spying on us through Huawei, building extra islands in the Pacific and making everything in Walmart, also find time to print most of the planet’s Bibles. God-fearing Bible-printing companies outsourced most of the Bible market out to this nation of industrious atheists long ago, and they can’t take it back—it has to be printed on especially thin Chinese paper because of the big-ass nature of the Holy Word. The Bible is nearly 800,000 words in English. The Quran is a mere pamphlet next to it, at 77,000 words, and Muhammed managed to wad in the whole of Sharia law and the prohibition against bacon-wrapped shrimp in it besides. The guy was terse, if not much more interesting, than the Bible’s authors.
But replacing the nation’s Bibles with Qurans is not likely to sit well with Trump’s base, and they are soon going to have to pay more for a book nobody actually reads. “BFD,” I can hear you saying. “Everybody who wants to own a Bible in the US probably already has one. And they hardly ever need replacing, because if you scroll down on Facebook enough, you’ll find plenty of stories about how multiple generations of a family were burned to death in a house fire and first responders picking their way among the charred corpses found a Bible in the cellar still miraculously whole, which proves that God is merciful.”
That’s probably true, except for the part about God being merciful—it’s merely apparent He doesn’t like to see His word toasted up, just His followers--but estimated Bible sales in this country are at twenty million or so a year, which means twenty million Americans annually are gifted with a book they don’t want to read. “So what?” I hear you saying again. “Almost all books are given as gifts to people who don’t want to read them.”
But the Bible is a special gift. It may be given to elderly religious relatives—“Just give Grandma a Bible for her birthday—she won’t be able to bitch about that”—or teenage boys caught spanking their noodles in front of the computer—“Next time you’re tempted to open that Pornhub tab, you open this instead, son.” It is often inflicted on hungover hedonists being visited by Christian missionaries on Sundays. Bibles have even been air-dropped on illiterate tribes isolated in the jungles of South America, where they probably use them for poison-arrow practice.
The cost of all these Bibles is going up, though, inevitably. They may have to be more carefully parceled out temporarily—you may have to chose between a hotel room with a Bible in the drawer or one that just has hotel porn, instead of both, in the future. Politicians may have to be sworn in on stacks of National Geographics, which will remain abundant.
Or Trump can just stop the trade war, and the Chinese will continue to supply us with cheap Bibles so the Bible-believing masses can continue to search its pages for reasons to hate gays, abortions and China. But he probably won’t.
It’s not like they’re Ivanka’s handbags.