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RNS Best of 2017: An unexpected president and the ‘hand of God’

In our 'Hand of God' series, RNS takes a closer look at the widespread belief that God intervenes in our nation’s political process.

Members of the clergy lay hands and pray over Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump at the New Spirit Revival Center in Cleveland Heights, Ohio, on Sept. 21, 2016. Photo courtesy of Reuters/Jonathan Ernst

EDITORS’ NOTE: As the year draws to a close, it’s a time of reflection. This week, Religion News Service is proud to highlight several top stories by our staff, including this story, which ran on Donald Trump’s Inauguration Day. 

Since Donald Trump’s victory in last year’s election, many Christians became convinced he was chosen by God to be president even though he hardly fits their mold of a virtuous leader. In our “Hand of God” series, we take a closer look at the widespread belief that God intervenes in our nation’s political process. We profile three people who think that’s the case. And we analyze why they believe what they do, and look at the potential implications for American democracy.


Did God choose Trump? What belief in divine intervention really means

WASHINGTON (RNS) Democracy may be based on the principle of “one person, one vote,” but some people who supported Donald Trump believe the Master of the Universe cast the master ballot.

“God raised up, I believe, Donald Trump,” said former U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann after he won the GOP nomination. “God showed up,” the Rev. Franklin Graham said to cheers at a post-election rally. [read more]


3 people who see God working through Trump

Anne Severance is a Christian living in Franklin, Tenn., where she works as a freelance editor and worships at the nondenominational New River Fellowship. Photo courtesy of Ann Severance

Anne Severance
Freelance editor
“I do believe that he (God) picked him. Because he puts people in office and he takes them out.” [read more]

Radio host Dr. Michael Brown. Photo courtesy of Dr. Michael Brown

Michael L. Brown
Radio host
“The odds of him becoming president were so overwhelming the only way he could have made it is with divine intervention.” [read more]

Corie Wilkins. Photo courtesy of the Pullman Foundation

Corie Wilkins
Master of Divinity student
I believe that maybe this was in God’s divine plan,” he said. “This is potentially God’s way of giving us a chance to repent for all the wrong we have done in the world. [read more]