The View from Above

J. Stewart Cook’s Canadian Commentary

If you have read my articles during this past election, you will note that I have referenced artists and their respective songs. In this instance, I have referenced singer Johnny Nash’s 1972 song, “I Can See Clearly Now The Rain Is Gone.” In the title of this article I have changed one word for the purpose of emphasis, from “Rain” to “Reign,” as it relates to the subject matter I have written.

In the history of mankind, we have often heard the word “reign” as it pertains to ruling leaders of world countries. Men have reigned for centuries over empires, kingdoms. etc. For the purpose of this article, I am going to refer to two individuals who reigned over an “Empire” and the other over a “Kingdom.” One was a “Secular” Emperor and the other was a “Divine” King. Both lived during the same historical time period.

The Emperor was Julius Caesar, the King was Jesus Christ. It is easy to confirm Caesar’s role, however, confirming that Jesus Christ was the Head of a Kingdom would be more of a challenge. It is based on faith, His teachings and His actions.

By now, most readers would be saying, “but what has this to do with the election?” IT’S A CASE OF DIVINE INTERVENTION. Has faith played a role in this election? I decided to conclude the 2016 election by looking at the role faith has played in Donald Trump being elected.

Faith in God touches all aspects of one’s life. Ergo, should you run for public office, the depth of your faith will have a direct impact on your political convictions and the public good. You will also be influenced by those who surround you who hold their own beliefs.

Looking at this past election, one cannot help but see how “faith” played a major role within both the Republican Party and Democratic Party. It is my intent to take a closer look at Republicans, in terms of “faith,” since Donald Trump ran under the Republican banner.

The Democratic Party Platform states, “Democrats know that our nation, our communities, and our lives are made vastly stronger and richer by faith in many forms and the countless acts of justice, mercy, and tolerance it inspires.” The Democratic Party embraces people of all faiths. “We stand for an open and respectful interfaith dialogue because we believe it can lead to greater tolerance and acceptance.” Their platform speaks frequently of rights, but only as they come from government, never as coming first from God. They give lip service to religion—that “our lives are made vastly stronger and richer by faith in many forms and the countless acts of justice, mercy, and tolerance it inspires.” But there is one major exception—the Democrats only support a “progressive vision of religious freedom.”

The Republican Platform affirms that God is central to American government, society and our way of life, saying: “every time we sing, ‘God Bless America,’ we are asking for help. We ask for divine help that our country can fulfill its promise.” The Platform affirms what the Declaration of Independence sets forth: “That God bestows certain inalienable rights on every individual, thus producing human equality; that government exists first and foremost to protect those inalienable rights; that man-made law must be consistent with God-given, natural rights; and that if God-given, natural, inalienable rights come in conflict with government, court, or human-granted rights, God-given, natural, inalienable rights always prevail.” Republicans “support the public display of the Ten Commandments as a reflection of our history and our country’s Judeo-Christian heritage.

Examining Donald Trump’s campaign team, it is interesting to note that his three campaign managers (the last was Kellyanne Conway) are all of the Roman Catholic faith. I am sure his other team members are from a diverse religious background as well. Perhaps the three managers could have been regarded as the “three wise men.” What influence did prayer have on the outcome of the election?  Was there “Divine Intervention” at any time or did things simply take their course according to “natural law.”

Donald Trump was born into a Presbyterian family. His parents attended Marble Collegiate Church in lower Manhattan along with their children. Donald, himself, retained a connection to that church in his adult life. Though not currently an active member, he has stated publicly that he considers Marble Collegiate to be his church. Presbyterianism and good works ethics go hand-in-hand. It is obvious that Donald Trump has been influenced by his religious faith. Having an understanding of faith and its daily influence, one cannot help think that the choice of Mike Pence as the vice-presidential candidate is reflective of Donald Trump’s beliefs and faith.

Mike Pence, “the onetime Catholic altar boy turned evangelical Protestant, connects very well with Christian conservatives, especially the most pro-life of them. Donald Trump now has an effective surrogate he can dispatch to speak to those kinds of voters. Pence’s campaign style also nicely complements Trump’s, in the sense that Pence renounced negative campaigning many years ago. He is as positive as Trump can be negative, and many conservative Christians will respond well to that quality in Pence’s campaigning.”

Given the number of ‘faith-based” people forming part of Donald Trump’s team, the number of “prayer groups” throughout the USA having devoted their time on his behalf and the fact that very few people thought he would be the next President, one can only conclude that “Divine Intervention” must have played a role in him being elected.

In Biblical terms, there is an example of every human conduct as demonstrated by Jesus Christ’s teachings.  During the election Donald Trump ran with the following slogan about Washington politics…”Drain the Swamp.” In other words, “clean out the perceived corruption in Washington.”

Jesus Christ found Himself in a similar situation when He entered the temple and drove out all who sold and bought in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money-changers and the seats of those who sold pigeons. He, too, wanted to cleanse the temple of corruption and remove those who believed they were the establishment and the elite.

But more importantly, the American people wanted someone to stand for the “TRUTH.” For what ever reason, they saw this opportunity with Donald Trump. As the campaign moved along, those opposed to Donald Trump would confirm daily that you could not find someone further than the “truth.” The Donald would either exaggerate, stretch the truth or outright lie. Was he any different than those running Washington? Curiously enough, millions of Americans believed he was. It seemed irrelevant to many, since they finally had a “voice” opposing Washington and would make their “views” known to the establishment.

Under Ceaser, one of the ruling governor’s was Pontius Pilate. He questioned Christ with respect to His comment that he was here to “bear witness to the truth; and all who are on the side of truth listen to my voice,” at which point Pilote questioned Him saying..,”What is Truth?”

It has been so long for many, that “truth” in the world of politics has completely vanished. When is the last time politicians have upheld their promises and commitments to their constituents? It is worse when you become part of the establishment and forget your electorate. To many, Donald Trump was here to “bear witness to the truth; and all who are on the side of truth listen to my voice.”

We are all “sinners” and cannot compete with Jesus Christ. Nevertheless, in our sinfulness we can still strive to speak the “truth.” There is no doubt that Donald Trump conveyed to the electorate what we already new…politicians needed to change their ways with the American people. Donald Trump did win the election. Was it solely based on his instincts or was it partially due to “Divine Intervention.” One cannot help but think that their was some aspect of such “Intervention.”  If “Intervention” has impacted him in any way, one could say that he has been touched with “humility” and “gratitude.” There is a reason for his “thank you tour.”

The “reign” on Washington has all but gone. It is President-elect Trump and his team who will complete the rest of the cleansing. When you think of it, the word “rain” in the title of the song would also be appropriate. “Rain” also forms part of cleansing. I see him, he is at the main floor of Trump Tower in New York City, it’s barely audible, but I’m sure he’s singing…,”I Can See Clearly Now The “Reign” Is Gone.”


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