By Victor Ochieng
On Saturday, United States President Donald Trump gave a commencement address at the Liberty University, in which he made several references to God.
Several commentators had a lot to carry home with them from the president’s speech, but one of particular interest was the president’s statement that “America has always been the land of dreams because America is a nation of true believers. When the pilgrims landed at Plymouth, they prayed. When the founders wrote the Declaration of Independence, they invoked our Creator four times. Because in America, we don’t worship government, we worship God.”
Trump assured those in attendance that as long as he’s still the U.S. president, no one is going to stop any American from practicing his or her faith. The commencement went down as the largest ever for the university, boasting of a crowd of about 50,000 people, comprising of graduates, their friends, families, and professors.
“Relish the opportunity to be an outsider. Embrace that label — being an outsider is fine, embrace the label — because it’s the outsiders who change the world and who make a real and lasting difference. The more that a broken system tells you that you’re wrong, the more certain you should be that you must keep pushing ahead, you must keep pushing forward,” Trump continued, probably making reference to himself after successfully sailing through the elections despite being a political outsider.
The president’s speech went down well with a number of Christian leaders, including evangelist Franklin Graham, who commented on the address, saying, “I’m thankful we have a president who understands the importance of God in our nation’s history and the importance of God in our nation’s future. Aren’t you?”
Liberty University Graduate Tony Perkins, who’s also the current president of Family Research Council, praised the president’s speech, terming it outstanding and one that would “resonate not only among Liberty University graduates but among Christians throughout America and around the world.”
Liberty University Chancellor Jerry Falwell Jr. has been one of the leading evangelical supporters of Trump right from the president’s campaign trail. Trump had previously spoken at the university twice, but none of them had received so much attention as Saturday’s.
From Trump’s statements, it’s very clear that the president is keen on winning the support of the religious community.