Today, I watched the inauguration of the 45th President of the United States, Donald J. Trump. I watched the proceedings including his televised speech alongside a fair number of Americans. As I did so, something unexpected happened, emotions began to rise to the surface. I turned to the person next to me and said, “Speeches like that would not be allowed in England.” I felt sad for my country, overwhelmed by what I was seeing and hearing, and somewhat envious.
Speech after speech made reference to God and quoted from the Bible. The Beatitudes were even read out in full to respectful and contemplative silence in the gathered crowds. There was no mockery or question surrounding the existence of God, He was present at every stage of the inauguration.
I had expected Vice President Mike Pence to talk about God—he is a Christian after all. I had not expected Trump himself to not only talk about God but to suggest that God was the most important aspect in the protection of America. He even quoted from the Bible during his speech!
I noted an absence of references to himself —everything was “we,” a refreshing change from outgoing President Obama. Sure, Trump has his faults and skeletons—we have heard enough of them in recent media coverage--he is not a perfect man. But, he is willing to admit changing his mind when he is presented with evidence--on abortion for example—that suggests at least some level of humility.
Recovering myself, I wondered whether the UK media had censored the reporting of the inauguration, maybe cutting out some of the references to faith. I wondered whether the political commentary would discuss the naivety of the American people in making God a central part of the day’s events. The media bias against all things Christian in Europe has resulted in a skewed interpretation of what is going on in America.
Travelling backwards and forwards between England and America a fair few times in recent months and listening to political discussions on both sides, it is apparent that there is a misrepresentation or misunderstanding in relation to America’s opinion of Trump.
In Europe, I have heard sympathetic comments like “I just feel so sorry for the Americans,” and “I don’t think they realised what they were letting themselves in for,” as if they made some type of mistake or acted in ignorance. I have also heard the incredulous “How could they have voted for him?” and “What were they thinking?” The other type of response has been to make personal accusations about Trump and to label him with all sorts of derogatory labels which don’t bear repeating.
It is clear that Europeans are outraged and insulted on America’s behalf, but a lot of the offence has to do with Trump’s lack of political correctness. Americans appear to be ten years behind Europe in the march of the politically correct brigade and loss of free speech—maybe that has caused the divergence.
Here in America, the vast majority of people I have spoken to are excited and enthusiastic about a Trump Presidency. They believe it is time for change, that Obama didn’t deliver and indeed frustrated the will of the people a lot of the time, as well as failing to adhere to his election promises. That Hillary Clinton would’ve continued to be embroiled in one scandal after another and that the excuses would’ve started to wear thin, if they hadn’t already. People just don’t trust her and there are those who are convinced that she is “evil.”
Trump talks about putting America first which angers the globalisationists, but isn’t that what all our governments should be doing—dealing with their own domestic issues and prioritising their own people? At least he’s being honest instead of spouting politically correct rhetoric about open borders and free movement under the misguided notion that this is embracing and celebrating diversity. His speech didn’t leave room for racism or discrimination in any capacity. It was heartfelt albeit ambitious—removing Islamic terrorism from the face of the earth is unlikely to be something that is achievable anytime soon, but with God’s help he can try!
Trump appears sincere in his desire to “make America great again,” he has a VP who is a Christian and by all accounts he is listening to those around him. There are millions around the world praying for him. He quotes the Bible and speaks of the protection of God as something necessary for America’s survival. That has got to be a good start for the 45th President of the United States.
Let’s pray for the American people, for Donald Trump as their President and for Mike Pence as he works alongside him. Whatever happens in America will affect all of us to one degree or another and with a Christian Prime Minister recently being appointed in Britain these are interesting times.