current events • news • politics
culture • books • films


May God Help Donald Trump – And Us

January 18, 2017 by

This week is the inauguration of the forty-fifth President of the United States, Donald J. Trump. Thousands of Americans will line the steps of the Capitol as the new President takes the oath of office. And nearly every president since Franklin D. Roosevelt has added on some significant words not in the official oath: “So help me God.”

After this unique election season, we certainly do need God’s help for 2017. After millions of votes were cast, the post-election national mood has been dominated by anxiety, optimism, uncertainty, and contradictory (or perplexing) tweets. What do we do now? How can we overcome the forces that divide our country?

The answer is not in recrimination or in power politics, but in turning to God in prayer. On every dollar bill are the words, “In God We Trust.” But do we? This must become a reality for each of us: that our trust is not ultimately in government or in policies, but in God, who reigns over all.

A well-known scripture passage, 1 Corinthians 13, speaks of faith, hope, and love. Each of these is the opposite of the spirit of cynicism and criticism that currently plagues our country. As a new administration begins, let us commit ourselves to being messengers of faith, hope, and love. Let us come together in prayer, seeking unity and working together toward the ideals that make us a better people. Let us pray for Donald Trump that with God’s help, our nation can heal.

A photo collage including pictures of Steven McDonald, The White House, and Martin Luther King Jr.

Last Friday my wife and I attended the funeral of my friend NYPD detective Steven McDonald. As a rookie cop in 1986, Steven was shot and paralyzed from the neck down. He did not give in to despair, but instead forgave the young man who had shot him. With God’s help, he worked tirelessly as a messenger of hope and forgiveness despite being confined to his wheelchair for thirty years. Through his deep faith in God he was able to touch the hearts of thousands of people. (Read this for more of Steven’s story.) More than fifteen thousand people came together at St. Patrick’s Cathedral and along the sidewalks of Fifth Avenue in solidarity of purpose to remember this courageous man of peace. Steven’s faith, his hope, and most importantly, his love brought people together.

Steven had tremendous respect for the work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr: his mother once heard Dr. King speak in their hometown of Rockville Center, NY, and Steven never missed an opportunity to quote from King’s speeches and sermons, especially his words on forgiveness. “He who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to love;” and, “Forgiveness is a catalyst creating the atmosphere necessary for a fresh start and a new beginning.”

Indeed. May this next year truly be a fresh start and a new beginning. And let us not forget what Dr. King often pointed out: “There is some good in the worst of us and some evil in the best of us. When we discover this, we are less prone to hate our enemies.”

Dr. King’s words resonate in me as I consider what is important for our country at this inauguration. Political ideals are one thing, but the power of love is another. May each of us devote ourselves to the spirit of love and forgiveness, and let us each remember to pray. Whatever the future holds, we know that it is in God’s hands, not our hands, and so as we place our trust in his unending mercy, we should all say, “So help me God.”


About the author

Paul Winter

Paul Winter

Paul Winter serves as the Elder of the Bruderhof. He lives with his wife, Betty, at the Maple Ridge Bruderhof.

Read Biography
View All Authors

What is the Voices Blog?

Voices is a blog by Bruderhof members, covering topics important to us and to you.

What is the Bruderhof? We're an intentional Christian community with locations worldwide. We try to love our neighbor and share everything, so that peace and justice become a reality.

Find out more about the Bruderhof.

Keep Up-To-Date

Sign up for a weekly email from the Bruderhof

Another Life Is Possible - 100 years of life together at the Bruderhof

In Pictures

Follow us on Instagram for snapshots of Bruderhof life

Recommended Readings

View All

You Might Also Like

View All Articles
View All Articles
  • Thank God for Presdent Trump. He is most pro-life president we've ever had. He cares about the forgotten man and woman whose jobs were lost to other nations. He defends Christians for their faith. Many on this thread are no different than the Pharisees whom Jesus admonished for looking down at others and acting superior and sanctimonious. I have more respect for a sinner whose trying to protect the unborn & helping Americans get back to work than someone whose only achievement is gossiping and disparaging those who are working to make things right. Shame on you!

  • I do believe in the power of God to work things together for the good. However, I also experience that life can be painful if we are not virtuous. I pray that our president will repent from his actions of disrespect, selfishness, deceit, abuse, and I'm certain the list could be much longer. I know that we are all sinners, however, we've elected a flaming bully into our White House, and thus far, I've seen nothing which indicates he has the faintest remorse, pause of conscience, any time spent on self reflection and examination, and those qualities help us change over time to act in ways according to the spiritual laws based upon love. Our country was conceived with the concepts of a loving nation for all people. It will take time to solve our problems, and perhaps we will not be the richest in wealth while this process is establishing the 'greatest' country the world has yet aspired into reality. However, it is worth it, because, the monetary gains come later. It is not necessary to be the greatest 'bean counter' to be a great nation. When we release our greed, and listen to the people's needs, we will be doing God's work. Christ turned the money tables over and expressed his frustration of those who missed the message of true wealth. I think Donald Trump has missed the message as well. I think those who voted for him have missed the message. Yet, all things can still work together for the good, so long as we wish to do so. I do.

    Danica Alexander
  • It is time to work for respect and love each other. We think and pray God for innocent people on earth. We hope and pray God that new president of the US will work for the peace ,justice and love among Americans and all people on earth.

    metin erdem
  • Responding with love doesn't mean to me what it means with so many others commenting here. I remain devoted to the spirit of love by standing up and crying out for those President Trump has promised to target with exclusion, with deportation, with loss of the health care that they need to live, with destruction of their ancestral lands. I would express the absence of the spirit of love, indifference, by failing to do so. By crying out in love, I don't divide this country. Those who reject solidarity with their brothers and sisters divide themselves off. I regret their choice, but I won't go meet them halfway to hatred, to bigotry, to ignorance, to racism, to indifference at others' expense. Jesus Christ never placed a higher value on unity than on justice. Luke 12:51 reminds us that the truth stirs up divisions. I'm comfortable with that. So many are vulnerable and it's reasonable to expect what has been promised in the campaign to be attempted -- indeed, we've already seen it in the first few days. What if I saw an adult threaten a child and raise his hand and I said to the child, "I will not step between you and that adult, because I have already forgiven him for the harm he is about to do to you, and besides, it is important that I not be in conflict with anyone and he would resent me for my involvement in this affair and then we would be divided. You must forgive him and forgive me too, because we all must be one even if it means you suffer." Absurd. May God help Donald Trump. I will watch closely for evidence of transformation and respond accordingly, but until then, I will resist wrongdoing in a spirit of love.

    Susan Reed
  • The sinful naiveté of most of the comments here is indicative of why so many American Evangelicals voted for Trump. "Lying lips are an abomination to the LORD, But those who deal faithfully are His delight." (Proverbs 12:22) Jeremiah 13:23 "Can the Ethiopian change his skin Or the leopard his spots? {Then} you also can do good Who are accustomed to doing evil. -- (It’s an if-then question, to which the answer is clearly “No.”) Veena says that we "have to give Trump a chance to prove himself"(sic). Trump HAS already PROVEN himself, over and over, again and again, for years now, to be a cheat and a fraud and a self-serving liar and a hypocrite! There is not a shred of evidence that this leopard has ever changed even a single one of his spots! The fact, however, that apparently over 80% of white American Evangelicals voted for such a shameless hypocrite and man of lies, is prima facie evidence that a large majority of those who profess Christ in the USA are not themselves walking in the truth, but apparently, if they do not repent and allow God to heal them and restore their sight, will come to merit the chilling description in Revelation 22:15 "But OUTSIDE [i.e., EXCLUDED from the New Jerusalem!] are the dogs... and EVERYONE who MAKETH and LOVETH a LIE!" Fanciful tales of Trump's supposed conversion (and that “we need to give him a chance, because he’s just a baby Christian”(sic) - are pure malarky, being promoted by religious hucksters and false shepherds who have themselves sold out and been corrupted by their lust for power. As John the Baptist said: "Bring forth fruits in keeping with your repentance!" Zaccheus demonstrated that he was truly a son - spiritually as well as physically - of Abraham, and Christ affirmed his salvation when he said (Luke 19:8) "Behold, Lord, half of my possessions I will give to the poor, and if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I will give back four times as much." Donald Trump has a long history of defrauding, and throwing those who do business with him, or have contracts with him, under the bus! There has never been a single shred of evidence that Donald Trump has ever repented! First America raped Iraq, all the while wiping her lips (like the harlot in Proverbs 30:20), and insisting she had done nothing wrong. Now America is bending over and begging to be sodomized by Donald Trump. Probably very few Americans still living have any realistic knowledge of just how enthusiastically the majority of German Evangelicals welcomed Hitler, and continued to support him right up until January, 1943, when the German defeat at Stalingrad became apparent. It really seems like God smote the German Church with blindness, in order to execute His judgement upon the German nation, and now, 85 years later, it really looks like the same thing is happening again with American Christendom -- perhaps “American Christendumb” would be the more accurate spelling! The Apostle Paul clearly describes how following and heeding shameless, hypocritical liars leads to apostasy: “But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons, by means of the hypocrisy of liars seared in their own conscience as with a branding iron.” (1.Tim.4:1-2) Similarly, in 2.Thess.2:10-12, God’s judgement upon those who refuse to receive a love of the truth is equally graphically spelled out: “... and with all the deception of wickedness for those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, so as to be saved. (11) For this reason God will send upon them a deluding influence so that they will believe what is false, (12) in order that they all may be judged who did not believe the truth, but took pleasure in wickedness.”

    Ibn As-sabil
  • I am saddened by the amount of persons in high ranking influential positions, who openly lie and ridicule Donald Trump, "Shame on Them" I think we need to give him a chance, and remember the bible verse "let he who is without sin, cast the first stone". I want to see Donald Trump succeed.

  • I so much want to see President Trump succeed he has a rough rode ahead being attacked from everywhere ask Gods protection on him and his family. May God direct his words. Let him not get in trouble Amen

    Chris Reed
  • Having read the message from Paul Winter, it is a message of hope and trust. Thank you.

    Frances Deegan
  • The division in our country today is between reason and feeling. Our president accepts the responsibility to be a unifying factor of this divide. As citizens, we cannot stand as idle spectators but must choose reason over feeling and enter into dialogue with others in the pursuit of truth - a dialogue which will demand that we question our own beliefs in an honest attempt to try and understand the other, confident that the Spirit will lead to unity in truth.

    Edward J Hearn
  • I agree with everything you said None of us is perfect but have to give Trump a chance to prove himself before we start criticizing him He has a very nice family and he deserves a chance

  • I also would like to express my deepest thanks and appreciation for your words of encouragement. I found myself ensnared in a web of fears, anger, and criticism of Donald Trump during the political campaign. The anxiety was passed on to me through the media, family members, and some friends. I decided to do exactly what you stressed, and that is to pray, and trust God. I stopped watching the debate long ago. I love what you shared about Paul persecuting the Christians. This led me to pray that God would put Godly men and women in Trumps path. I was a Christian for many years before my husband. I asked God please put Godly men who could minister your word and save him. After eight years, God answered my prayers and my husband became a Christian. Many years later he shared with me how a gentlemen on his job would share the gospel with him during his lunch break. The point I am trying to make is, that God is able to break strongholds and Christians can too, through the power of prayer. I have always believed that God is the ultimate authority not Trump. May God richly bless your ministry.

    Anita Alexander
  • Thant you so much for your words of faith, hope, and love. Fear, anger, hatred, and greed are the demons that are walking the shores of our land right now. And so I appreciate so much your words that remind us that God knows, sees, and controls all things and that ultimately it is the power of love that overcomes these evil forces. We must recall that President Trump is also a child of God and that God used the experience of Saul's Damascus Road experience to change Saul to Paul, one of the greatest disciples of Jesus Christ. We don't know God's plan but it is clear that as followers of Jesus Christ, we too are called to speak love, forgiveness, peace, and care of the other to the powers that be, no matter what we feel for them personally. May we pray, forgive, turn from our sins, and seek God's face so that God will heal the land.

    Rev. Francine T. Stark
  • Yes, let us respond with faith, with trust, with respect.

    Rose Gansle