President Joe Biden drew laughs when he invoked the name of Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, and then made the sign of the cross as heavenly protection from uttering the accursed name.
Biden, a devout Catholic, occasionally makes the sign of the cross in joking manner. The religious gesture has several meanings, including as a blessing and as a protection from evil entities.
When Biden, the president of a secular democracy, makes the overtly religious gesture, he does so assuming that the electorate is cognizant of its meaning, and is not offended by it.
Making the sign of the cross is a tangible way of marking yourself as a Christian, especially a Roman Catholic. Protestants, including evangelicals, rarely if ever make the sign of the cross.
Millions of Americans, including devout Catholics who value the separation of church and state, are offended whenever Biden makes the sign of the cross, even when it’s in a joking manner.
Biden not only represents Catholics, he also represents Protestants of all stripes, Muslims, Jews, Hindus, and atheists, and he should refrain from making any religious gestures.
If I ever witness Biden making the sign of the cross, I will respond with a gesture of my own, the finger.