WASHINGTON — Christians expressed mixed emotions at the inauguration of Donald Trump as the 45th president of the United States; some are hopeful and relieved while others are concerned.
In a crowd of hundreds of thousands of people on the National Mall Friday, The Christian Post spoke with several Christians who journeyed to Washington, D.C., for their thoughts on the new presidential administration and what they hope to see in the next four years.
Kelly Barmoy, 51, of Cumberland, Maryland, and worships at an Assemblies of God church, was optimistic.
"I'm full of hope," she said. "I have hope for the Supreme Court. I have hope for jobs, for our religious liberties. So much hope for today. The last eight years have been difficult, to say the least."
Husband Paul Barmoy, 53, concurred.
"I'm very pleased that our core values are going to be represented with this next president. Our core values have sort of fallen by the wayside."
But there is more to it, he was quick to add.
"I think the issue in the United States is not so much who is president, but it's the people, the hearts of the people," Mr. Barmoy continued.
"The country is not going to turn around until the hearts of the people turn around. So I don't think Donald Trump is the savior of the United States. I think we're in a testing period. I'm not convinced that everything is going to be wonderful now."
Friend Kelly Waasdorp, who traveled with the Barmoys from western Maryland told CP she was "not on the Trump train" from the very beginning but ended up supporting him.
But with respect to the past eight years, she said, "what didn't make you scared for your grandchildren? I'm hopeful, which I couldn't say before."
Waasdorp's husband, Joe, also noted he was not a Trump supporter at first.
"I'm not even a super Trump supporter now. I'm kind of a wait and see guy," he said, adding he hopes Trump appoints three good judges to the Supreme Court.
"I do think it is miraculous that God can use a man that is viewed as very secular ... to help us as Christians to be able to have a platform, to once again have our views be noticed as being important."
Gordon Erickson, 53, a Roman Catholic from the upper peninsula of Michigan, traveled to the Washington with a student group for the experience of viewing an inauguration. He voted for Hillary Clinton in November and was less than enthused about the new president.
"I'm kind of worried," Erickson said. "But I don't want to judge the man. I want to give him a chance," adding that he hailed from a very rural part of the state and Trump visited just 100 miles away from him.
"He barnstormed everywhere," Erickson noted.
Yet others have mixed feelings.
Chrissi Steiner, 34, also a Marylander who recently returned from China, having lived there for the past four years as a missionary, has been surprised by the bitter divide in American politics.
"I hear 'we' and 'them' and you can't be in the middle," she lamented. "That has really shocked me. There are things I really appreciate about Obama, there are things I appreciate about Trump. But I don't agree with either one of them on every issue."
CP asked Steiner what she thought of the new president.
"I really think Trump's foreign policy is non-existent. I feel like he's not very knowledgeable about history, our allies versus things that could cause trouble," Steiner replied.
"Every word out of the president's mouth means something," she said, adding that she hopes his publicity people take his Twitter account away.
"I hope [Trump] can bring everybody together but I don't know that that's possible."