The Word on the Week

Trump’s Trumpet

Donald Trump’s trumpet made an uncertain sound, perhaps for the first time in the US Presidential campaign, when his crude remarks to Carly Fiorina about her face were met by a measured response which put Trump in his place. Prior to this incidence he has lampooned and insulted his way into the hearts of the grassroots Republicans by walking all over the 10 or so competing hopefuls turning the Presidential debates into entertainment.

In a land where money talks Trump the billionaire speaks with a loud voice. So far he hasn’t shown any ability to deal with the economy or foreign policy but has gone for the populist votes proclaiming the building of a 1,000 mile wall to keep the Mexicans out. Another part of his immigration policy is to send all undocumented home – at the time Obama is trying to have a law passed to legalise many of them.

We have had some dealing with Trump in these islands. His mother was a McLeod from the Isle of Lewis in the Scottish Hebrides so it is not surprising that he should buy the Sand Dunes at Menie in Aberdeenshire for his “world class” golf course. He has also built a hotel and plans some up market homes on the site. These plans have been put on hold as he has locked horns with the planners who have approved an offshore wind farm at Menie. Donald feels this would spoil the view and, as he likes to get his own way, there is a stalemate.

In the meantime he has placated himself by purchasing Doonbeg hotel and golf course in Ireland for €15 million!

Donald made his money by turning around his father’s real estate business when he was still at college. He then purchased old skyscrapers in good locations and refurbished them as hotels sometimes cladding the outside with reflective sheeting. These became “Trump Towers” which he has built in a number of famous locations. He also exploited the neighbouring “air space” purchasing it to extent his hotel (in a similar way to our planned development at Grace!) in city centres where sites where hard to find.

By comparison with his other utterances he has been muted on issues of faith. He says he is Presbyterian and goes to church on Sunday when he can and always at Easter and Christmas. Unlike other candidates he has made no claims to be “born again” and sees his Christianity as related to job-creation.

The Bible does not do democracy! There is no voting. The most obvious example was the appointment of the shepherd, David, to the position of King. Samuel the prophet had the task of anointing God’s chosen man but made the mistake of looking on the candidates external appearance. God however looks on the heart and chose the humble shepherd – the despised job – as the future King (1Samuel Chapter 16 verse 7.

This virtue of humility marked out Christ, David’s greater son. St Mark writes of how the rulers lord it over their subjects but the followers of Jesus are not to be so. They are to be like Jesus and serve one another. “For the son of man came not to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many” (chapter 10 verse 45).

That ransom makes servant leadership possible for believers today.