When miracles happen, many think of heaven — even in Donald Trump’s win.
Maybe there’s something miraculous when he upended most surveys and expert predictions, plus the urgings of mainstream media and even stalwarts of his own Republican Party.
But why would God want an arrogant tycoon spewing bigotry, impurity and falsity to lead the most powerful nation on earth?
Pope Francis himself seemed to thumb Trump down the Saturday before Tuesday’s elections. Meeting with grassroots organizations, the Holy Father deplored the politics of fear. Mercy, he argued, was the best remedy to fear, “much more effective than walls, iron bars, alarms and weapons.”
That recalled his statement earlier this year on Trump’s avowed plan to build a 2,480-km border wall against Mexicans entering the US illegally: “… a person who only thinks about building walls … is not a Christian. This is not the Gospel.”
Despite His Vicar’s reservations, however, our Lord may have reasons to allow or even assist Trump’s triumph, just as He may have done with the improbable victory of a trash-tongued mayor little-known outside Mindanao, who cursed Pope Francis and pledged to fatten Manila Bay fish with the corpses of 100,000 drug offenders.
Maybe, just maybe God wants both Rodrigo Duterte and Donald Trump to stop some really nasty stuff from happening to their nations and His Church.
As discussed in my “Does God have a plan for President Duterte?” < http://www.manilatimes.net/does-god-have-a-plan-for-president-duterte/279721/ >, the former Davao mayor is defusing three looming threats against Filipinos and Christianity: the explosion in drugs and crime, the entrenchment of extremism in the south, and the threat of foreign attack if the country hosts and provides bases to US forces.
A divine plan for the Donald?
What about Trump? What grave dangers to State and Church might his presidency avert for America and maybe the world, since what happens in the United States reverberates across the planet?
Trump critics, including seasoned observers and public figures, warn that his volatility and inexperience may spawn bad decisions and policies leading to political and economic crises, international animosity, and even war. Already, his election has triggered protests in key cities.
But God may have different priorities, which may gain more from Trump’s positions, especially on abortion, gay marriage, religious freedom, and even defense.
While his opponent Hillary Clinton would expand birth control programs, including abortion services, at home and abroad, Trump said he would defund abortion advocate Planned Parenthood.
For Catholics and many other Christians, abortion is the murder of unborn innocents, probably the worst transgression after sins against the Holy Spirit.
And Catholicism preaches that the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity became man upon His conception in the Virgin Mary’s womb, affirming that the unborn are persons with souls, dignity and rights as children of God. By contrast, Clinton has declared that by law, the unborn have no rights.
Another family issue where Trump and Clinton are at odds is same-sex marriage: he and the Catholic Church oppose it; she backs it. Trump plans to appoint conservative justices to the Supreme Court, which could then review past decisions barring restrictions on abortion and same-sex marriage.
But don’t Trump’s admitted sexual behavior and views toward women violate Christian morals? They do, for sure, but they are far less destructive to family values and human life than policies, programs and legislation favoring abortion and same-sex marriage.
The upright can eschew Trump’s ways, but they cannot keep the US government from using its power and their tax dollars to fund and promote abortions and same-sex weddings under a Clinton-led Democratic Party administration.
Indeed, the Affordable Care Act of Clinton’s partymate President Barack Obama even sought to compel Catholic institutions and other organizations whose owners have religious objections to artificial birth control, to pay for contraceptives, including abortion-inducing pills, for employees.
Clinton wants to go even further in advancing the Democratic Party agenda. At the sixth annual Women in the World Summit in New York last year, she declared: “Laws have to be backed up with resources and political will. And deep-seated cultural codes, religious beliefs and structural biases have to be changed.”
Hence, while Trump respects religious beliefs, Clinton would bend them to her agenda.
Averting World War III
What about Trump’s aggressive temperament? Won’t it spawn greater conflict in the world, just when Russia and the West are at loggerheads over Ukraine and Syria?
In the past year, Moscow moved nuclear-capable missiles next to Poland and Estonia, members of the US-led North Atlantic Treaty Organization, and mounted an evacuation drill for 40 million citizens, in case of nuclear attack. It also threatened to shoot down Western aircraft threatening Syrian and Russian forces in Syria.
For its part, NATO has reportedly moved four battle groups closer to Ukraine, which has faced Russian aggression since 2014. And former Russian leader Mikhail Gorbachev said last month that US-Russia relations had reached “a dangerous point.”
Amid this tension, however, Trump’s avowed wish to reduce US military action abroad and mend fences with Russian President Vladimir Putin, may be more conducive to peace than Clinton’s tough line against rival powers, including China in East Asia.
If Trump ratchets down military deployment in Europe and the Middle East, then Russia would have less reason to rattle sabres over a feared fourth invasion from Europe, after three mounted by Napoleon, Kaiser Wilhelm and Hitler since 1812.
Will Trump deliver?
If God did help Trump win, it doesn’t mean He backs everything the new leader would do, just as heaven may oppose certain moves of President Duterte, especially the many killings in the anti-drug war.
Moreover, Trump has to deliver, especially on opposing abortion, which he supported in years past. There are already calls for pro-life groups to “hold [his]feet to the fire.”
Bottom line: He isn’t perfect, but Trump did stand against threats to unborn innocents, family morals, religious freedom, and world peace in his campaign. May our Lord now help him serve His will in the world.