March 2019 Church & State Magazine | People & Events

God wanted Donald Trump to be president, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told TV preacher Pat Robertson’s Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN) on Jan. 30.

“I think God calls all of us to fill different roles at different times, and I think that he wanted Donald Trump to become president,” San­ders said an interview with CBN’s David Brody and Senior Washington Correspondent Jennifer Wishon. “That’s why he’s there, and I think he has done a tremendous job in supporting a lot of the things that people of faith really care about.”

Sanders’ comments echoed sentiments issued by several Religious Right figures since Trump’s election. Evangelist Franklin Graham, for example, told The Washington Post shortly after the election, “I could sense going across the country that God was going to do something this year. And I believe that at this election, God showed up.”

Liberty University’s film school even collaborated with Mark Taylor, a former firefighter who claims he received a prophecy that Trump would be elected. Taylor claims that in April 2011, while watching television, he came across an interview with Trump. At that point, he heard the voice of God boom, “You are hearing the voice of the next president.” Although Trump did not run for president in 2012, Taylor is convinced that the 2016 election results proved that the prophecy came true. The film he made with Liberty, “The Trump Prophecy,” was screened in about 1,000 theaters shortly before the midterm elections last year.

Taylor’s other prophecies have proven to be less than accurate. The Guardian reported that he said a “red tsunami” would solidify Republicans’ hold on Congress, and that he predicted former President Barack Obama would be arrested for treason. Taylor also says Trump will release evidence of cures for cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.

Pastor Robert Jeffress, a Texas Baptist and prominent Trump supporter, has also promoted the idea that Trump holds office due to divine intervention. “Millions of Americans believe the election of President Trump represented God giving us another chance – perhaps our last chance to truly make America great again,” Jeffress said during a July 2017 rally.

Stephen Strang, the editor of Charisma magazine, reflected on watching Trump’s victory on election night: “It was as if God had answered our prayers and the impossible had happened. We had a new president, one we believed God had raised up for a time such as this.”

Not long after the election, CBN issued a story headlined “Recognizing God’s Hand in Donald Trump’s Election.” Paula White, a “prosperity gospel” preacher who is among Trump’s spiritual advisers, said Trump had “been raised up by God” and added, “It is God who raises up a king. It is God that sets one down. When you fight against the plan of God, you are fighting against the hand of God.”

Yet the idea of Trump as God’s instrument doesn’t sit well with lots of people. Asked about Huckabee Sanders’ claims on CNN, Maria Cardona, a Democratic Party strategist replied, “Wow! Well, if he did, it’s because he wanted to punish us for taking our democracy for granted, and for not ensuring that every person went out there to vote – and this is what we got.”