Moderator urges people to keep the faith in wake of US election result

Russell Barr
Dr Russell Barr

The Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland Right Rev Dr Russell Barr reflects on the outcome of the US Presidential election.

"Once again the opinion polls have got it spectacularly wrong.

"If the outcome of the American Presidential election has defied the pollsters’ predictions, having spent the better part of the last three weeks in the United States and Canada, I would have to say Donald Trump’s victory in yesterday’s election did not come to me as a surprise.

"As with the UK’s Brexit vote earlier in the year, it was clear that momentum was with the Trump campaign as the election day approached.

"And as with the Brexit vote, Trump was able to appeal to an anti-elite and anti-politics sentiment which has clearly resonated on both sides of the Atlantic.

"If the Presidential campaign has been ugly, divisive and extremely unedifying at times, what also surprised me was the level of animosity towards Hillary Clinton who divided opinion in the US every bit as much as her opponent.

"In the coming days it will be important for all of us to breathe deeply as the dust settles and we come to terms with Mr Trump’s election.

"It will be important to listen carefully for whether in the USA or the UK, there is an evident disconnect between people and politicians, and a loss of trust in what has been the accepted political process.

"And as we live through these changed and changing times, it will also be important for people of faith to keep faith in the God who is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow, and to trust that beyond the principalities and powers of the present times, we are embraced in the radical grace, hospitality and love revealed to us in Christ Jesus our Lord."