Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump arrives to speak to a campaign rally, Monday, Oct. 31, 2016, in Warren, Mich. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)

Now, Absolution

Absolution: an ecclesiastical declaration of forgiveness of sins; mercy.

I might be somewhat unsual among what was once called Never Trumpers. Yes, I was once called that, like Olórin was once called Gandalf before slaying and being slain by the Balrog. I am unusual in the prayer and wish I had for Donald Trump to win and become president, to defeat Hillary Clinton.

My prayer was answered and my wish (along with 59-odd million other Americans) was answered. We now have President-elect Trump, who in his 2:30 am victory speech reached out to all of us for healing.

So I am Never Trump no longer, because the term has ceased to carry a whole lot of meaning, other than opposing the soon-to-be president. “I will be president for all Americans,” Trump said, and as an American I accept that at face value.

Now, absolution.

I do not take back anything I’ve said or written about Trump, a long history of criticism, sometimes mixed with awe. I don’t take it back any more than Trump himself takes back the ridiculous things he’s said over the campaign, and in the decades before that. But I do grant him absolution.

Absolution: forgiveness, pardon, exoneration, remission, dispensation, indulgence, clemency, mercy, discharge, acquittal, freedom, deliverance, release. An ecclesiastical declaration of forgiveness of sins.

Trump is about to put on the mantle of arguably the most stressful and weighty job in the world. He asked for, and needs, the support of as many as would give it. I have no illusions of what kind of man Trump is. But this is what God ordained.

This is a movement.

Right now, Trump trails Clinton in the popular vote by 137,752, which may change as votes continue to be counted. That’s essentially a tie–a 0.1 percent difference. Americans are evenly divided and many are motivated by fear. Some would say that Trump won by fear of Clinton. But I think far more people were motivated to vote for Clinton by fear of Trump.

Those who voted for Trump wanted something different. They wanted him to live up to his rhetoric: “I AM YOUR VOICE.” They wanted someone who sees their need and deals with it. Trump now has the opportunity to step into that role, flawed as he is.

I will not go so far as to declare Trump a Cyrus, or God’s anointed candidate. I will agree that this election was God’s sovereign and supernatural action. I am responsible for my own actions, and God is responsible for the outcome. Rejecting the outcome is useless.

Trump has my absolution and forgiveness, and I beg his for anything I’ve said or done against him. I ask the same from Trump supporters, who should show the same mercy and grace Trump showed just a few hours ago.

As for fears from those who think America is headed into a dark, authoritarian, dystopian future, we will cross that bridge when and if we reach it. I cannot find the quote right now, but Christian apologist Ravi Zacharias tells of a Holocaust historian who concludes that the death camps were not planned in some German ministry, but in the halls of academia which taught–in the then-most educated country in the world–that God was irrelevant and we must rely on pure human reason to guide us.

With Trump’s stunning win last night, God was surely guiding us. Should we begin to follow the race-based schemes of the “alt-right” or the offended left, I will be the first in opposition. For the past eight years–let me say this plainly–we’ve had a racist president who believes White People (loosely defined as European, colonial, American, Christian) owe a debt of history to Non-White People around the world. God rejects that view, as there is no favor among us to Him who created us.

Trump seems to get that, and as long as he does, he is on the right path. But to the rabid “alt right” idiots who think Trump is their savior, your views are not welcome.

This is Day One of a new era, where America can move to racial healing and unity. That would truly Make America Great Again.

Unless and until Trump proves otherwise, I grant him absolution. We all should.

About the author

Steve Berman

The old Steve cared about money, prestige, and power. Then Christ found me. All at once things changed. But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!

I spent 30 years in business. Now I write and edit. But mostly I love. I have a wife and 2 kids and a dog and we live in a little house in central Georgia.

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