Christian leaders in Donald Trump’s corner got it wrong.
Some faith leaders had called on fellow Christians to pray that Trump was re-elected as the president of the free world. One even dispatched angels from Africa.
Despite this, Joe Biden won the day.
But how did Trump – a man who’s been divorced twice and has had dozens of accusations of unwanted sexual contact/inappropriate behaviour made against him – emerge as a hero for Christian leaders? Well, White evangelical Protestants in the main.
Drum takes a look at the man’s Christian supporters – here and abroad – and asks a local pastor how Donald Trump could be considered their leader.
Trump’s religious backers
Who can forget Trump’s spiritual adviser, Paula White "hearing the sound of victory" in her prayer service that went viral? (It is worth watching again.)
And, not to be outdone by Paula, televangelist Kenneth Copeland's 40-second clip extracted from a sermon showing him laughing like a madman at the media for calling Joe Biden the new President of the USA.
Back home, ACDP leader Reverend Kenneth Meshoe tweeted his endorsement of Trump for respecting family and human life.
I pray for Pres. Trump bcause of his support for the natural family, respect for human life, love for his country, protection of religious rights & opposition to a global plan called the Great Reset. The right to own property is a God-given right that the elite should not usurp.— Kenneth Meshoe (@RevMeshoe) November 3, 2020
And ever-controversial singer, Steve Hofmeyer added the world would regret the day Trump left the White House.
I therefor guess that, win or lose, in the future, the world will look back longingly to the day they lost Trump (and the values you underlined there)— Steve Hofmeyr (@steve_hofmeyr) November 3, 2020
A man of God?
Trump calls himself a non-denominational Christian.
He's often used religious language while in office, he's surrounded himself with evangelical leaders and he's supported conservative Christian causes, according to Pew Research.
This policy has been so successful some even declared him as the Chosen One.
But is there another way to explain his following?
Johannesburg-based pastor Daniel Phaladi tells Drum that Trump is supported by fundamental Christians who follow the Bible literally.
Phaladi’s theory is that his support is based around a conspiracy – Trump is a good person who has been placed in a bad light by his detractors.
“The thing about Trump is that he is not refined,” Phaladi says.
“He is not a polished speaker but there is an agenda to place him in a bad light. There is a deliberate distortion of what he says and means, by smart people.
“He is not homophobic; he is not a racist. But he is deliberately and intentionally misunderstood.
“Most of his policies do not deal with the symptoms of problems, but they deal directly with the cause. He does not care about being politically correct – he just speaks from the heart,” he adds.
Now, America has another man of faith – a Catholic this time – who, all being well, should walk into the top job in January.
Joe Biden has hinted at striving for a world with less suffering and more justice, but it remains to be seen how his beliefs will shape America’s future.