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Oct 16 2011

Whom does God really endorse, anyway?

Slacktivist pointed out that no less than four Republican candidates have claimed that God called them to run.  Rick Perry, Rick Santorum, Michele Bachmann, and Herman Cain all state regularly that they are in the race at least partly due to the wishes of the Lord.

I know this is never actually going to happen, but wouldn’t it be magnificently awkward if reporters would start asking the candidates about each other’s divine mandate?  You know, “So, Governor Perry, Representative Bachmann here has said that she regularly receives assurance from The Lord that she is meant to run.  Do you feel that she is incorrect?”

We all know that there is a big social taboo against questioning any candidate’s deeply rooted personal religious opinions.  But personally, I feel like the omniscient ruler over all creation ought to be a little bit more decisive about guiding an election, don’t you think?  In a world where God really existed and actively desired the election of one particular candidate, there might in principle be a single right answer to the question of who’s really God’s candidate.  It might, of course, be an undiscoverable answer; but if all these candidates are going around claiming they know they have God’s endorsement, at least three of them must be lying or mistaken, yes?  That ought to be a fairly obvious statement even for the most hardened theocrat.

And I’d like some follow-up questions, too.  Mitt Romney the Mormon is presumed to be the likely front runner right now; suppose he wins the primary?  Is somebody please, PLEASE going to go up to Rick Santorum and ask “So, Rick, you said that God wanted you to run, but that Mormon guy sure did kick your ass.  Why did that happen?”  And if Obama is re-elected, I’m dying for all four of them to answer the question about what the heck God was up to.

43 comments

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  1. 1
    Felipe

    I feel like any response would be somewhat similar to vague New Age religious/mystical people responses about their opinions on different religions, such as “God is only one, but people get His message wrong and/or distort it” or something like it.

    1. 1.1
      Russell Glasser

      …”So answer the question, Rick. Is Michele the one who got God’s will wrong, or are you?”

      1. Felipe

        “Sincerely, I don’t know. God works in mysterious ways and if He didn’t want me to win, I’ll gladly accept His will”.

        Or something like that.

        1. Russell Glasser

          “Good, then I expect you to STFU about God calling you to run in the future.

          …Sir.”

          1. Felipe

            Good point.

    2. 1.2
      LykeX

      …but people get His message wrong and/or distort it

      In which case, I’d point out Deuteronomy 18:20

      But the prophet, which shall presume to speak a word in my name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or that shall speak in the name of other gods, even that prophet shall die.

      I’m perfectly OK with people claiming to speak for god, as long as they say things which are testable and they accept death as the consequence of being wrong.

      That’ll clean out the gene pool in a hurry.

  2. 2
    Jasper of Maine

    You just know the excuse would be that God wasn’t then ALL to run as part of his plan for his pick to be successful – the others are pawns.

    Even if you were to try to turn them on one another, I think they’d generally try to come to a agreement on that.

  3. 3
    Muriel

    Well you know, His ways are mysterious, and although we may not always understand them, we can certainly trust in His eternal justice and his wuv. Twwoo wuv will fowwow you…
    Sorry, got a bit carried away there at the end, but basically, there’s the answer to every single question in your post.

    1. 3.1
      Russell Glasser

      “Oh, I see. So are you actually saying, then, that you really DON’T know what God’s will is for your candidacy? That seems at odds with your early statements, sir.”

      1. Muriel

        “Oh, of course he wants me to run, he told me that, but we can never know what his plans are for the future. You know, it’s just like with Hitler. God wanted him to kill 6 million jews, and I certainly don’t know what he was aiming for there, but we can certainly twust in his eternal justice and wuv. Wuv! Twwoo wuv will…”
        Okay, they wouldn’t say that, but I just don’t want to try to put myself in their heads anymore. It hurts already. It hurts so bad.

        1. Russell Glasser

          EXACTLY.

  4. 4
    jacobfromlost

    Here’s the question I want them to answer. Since god always picks Republicans (according to the Republicans), then, “How did god make the mistake of getting Obama elected?” Or Clinton for that matter?

    This reminds me of when I was 18 and Clinton was running for the first time. I had followed elections before, but I was VOTING in this one, and older…so it was all more fascinating. Both political sides (talking heads) were ferociously making claims about who would win, who had the better plans for the country, what “the American people think”, etc, and from watching the “experts” in the media and in politics, I was convinced the election would be very close. Nothing even seemed to HINT that one or the other of them was ahead, and from the sheer VOLUME of both sides, it seemed both were equally loud.

    Then it was a landslide and everyone (including many Republicans) acted like they all knew it all along, despite everything they said before the election. I can even remember Ted Koppel interviewing Clinton (which was recorded before the election), and airing the interview either on Nightline on election night, or the night after, and Ted Koppel actually said something like, “We in the media all know you are going to win, but we have to be even handed. So how does it feel knowing you will be the next president?” (This was before the internet, so you couldn’t dig up info on your own. But apparently there was a lot of conclusive info that wasn’t making it through the roar of nonsense, and everyone–media, Republicans, even Democrats–were acting like it wasn’t there.)

    That’s when my naivete fell away in politics. So many people were pretending like things were one way, when the entire time things were COMPLETELY different. What was even more ironic is Bush senior’s hatred of the media as too liberal and blaming them for his loss (I think I remember shots of him pouting while playing golf hundreds of feet from the news cameras). If anything, the media gave him a leg up!

    I think the situation today is similar, in that politicians have no qualms at all saying “the American people think X” when all of the data shows NO SUCH THING–that in fact, most people think exactly the opposite of X! They’re just hoping that if they repeat it enough, individual people will feel like no one agrees with them and give up, switch sides to join a “majority” that was never really a majority, or not vote at all.

    (Also, when they say “the American people think X”, it is very similar to saying “God thinks X”. They are just saying that to give their own views more gravitas…and they might even convince themselves that REAL Americans agree with them, and REAL god-believers agree with them…therefore they can say these things and they are sorta-kinda true…because those who disagree don’t count.)

    1. 4.1
      LykeX

      Here’s the question I want them to answer. Since god always picks Republicans (according to the Republicans), then, “How did god make the mistake of getting Obama elected?”

      Well, clearly that was just punishment to the nation for not properly vilifying the gays. Just like [insert natural disaster here] was punishment for failing to [insert theocrat talking point here].

      1. sumdum

        God made the mistake letting Obama getting elected, AND repeal DADT. Or was that god’s plan all along ? God must love gays!

        1. Akira MacKenzie

          Or… God inflicted us with the Crypto-Muslim, anti-imperialist, Communist Obama as punishment for for flirting with socialism, legalizing abortion, and going squishy on the “sodomites.” His… ahem… “tyranny” will make the American people run back the God’s Own Party!

          Too bad that Barry seems content to bow and scrape before the GOP whenever they raise a stink.

          1. Martin Wagner

            This is getting into thread drift, bud. Not that there aren’t criticisms to be made, but where you’re going isn’t what Kazim’s post was about.

          2. mikeym

            Plus, you left out “Kenyan.”

  5. 5
    Retired Prodigy Bill

    The apologist positions are pretty easy to figure out — God wants each of them to run, but only wants one of them to win.

    What I want to see — and although I don’t think this is too disrespectful for “mainstream” media, I imagine the relgious would — is a questioning of how these people came to the idea that a god endorsed them. Was there a voice in their head? A burning bush? Someone else coming to them and saying, “I’m a prophet, you’re supposed to run?” Did this god tell them the reason for the other endorsements in the race? And while he was telling you to run, did he happen to mention which of the 4000 types of Christianity actually had things the most correct?

    1. 5.1
      Retired Prodigy Bill

      As a former engineer, I decry a system that a) doesn’t let me edit my comments and b) allows a typo in an end tag to screw up a whole comment stream.

      1. rrpostal

        Wonky internet social media complaint duly noted.

      2. Russell Glasser

        FTFY

  6. 6
    Joshua Fisher

    God only said he wants them to run, not necessarily win.

    1. 6.1
      jakc

      Exactly. HC/MB/RP ought to say “God told me to run, but he didn’t say he wanted me to win so feel free to vote for someone else”

  7. 7
    Ibis3, Let's burn some bridges

    In a world where God really existed and actively desired the election of one particular candidate…

    In a world where God existed, why the hell would he go through the farce of a democratic election? Divine Right of Kings, baby.

    1. 7.1
      LykeX

      For the same reason he gives us free will and then punishes anyone who makes their on decisions.

  8. 8
    Bob Makin

    The obvious answer is, “God asked me to run, he didn’t say I would win.”

  9. 9
    Ibis3, Let's burn some bridges

    [meta]
    And may I give you a kiss for using “whom” instead of “who”?

    p.s. I think somebody left a bold tag unattended.

    1. 9.1
      Russell Glasser

      You may. It started as “who,” but then I scratched my head for a minute and changed it.

  10. 10
    Chrisj

    Clearly God is deliberately splitting the religious loony vote, suggesting that non-existent deities are no more keen than any sane individual on having religious lunatics in charge.

  11. 11
    Alukonis, metal ninja

    Silly Kazim, if Romney wins it’s because Satan messed up the election, because God has forsaken the United States, because of the gays. Or the uppity wimmenz. Or because we took Jebus out of school. Or [insert stupid crap here].

    Same thing if Obama is reelected, obvs.

  12. 12
    Josh Zytkiewicz

    Great post, but Michelle Bachmann is a Representative not a Senator. Doesn’t make a difference in how you used her in your example but I’m sure you like to be accurate.

    1. 12.1
      Russell Glasser

      Picky! Okay, I fixed it in the OP.

  13. 13
    Aaron

    If there really were a deity providing us with such information, then there would only ever be one candidate: the one that everyone would know is the one a deity told us about. Or at the very least, we could ask the deity when they popped over for a beer on Saturday night (why wouldn’t it? It controls time after all… we’re constantly told that such a being is everywhere at once anyway).
    Alternatively (and just for fun, assuming Christianity were correct), we’d turn on our televisions to hear a report along the lines of “We’re at the Vatican where God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit are about to hold a press conference…” as Barbera Walters asks, “On the current political race in the US, all three candidates have claimed a mandate from you, so who is getting your support?” I can just imagine God, “Urgh, vote in an atheist, they don’t constantly expect me to make their decisions for them… I’m looking at YOU, Rick Perry!”
    Awkward!

  14. 14
    Felipe

    Well, you just know that, if they ever get cornered, they will almost certainly admit to an error on THEIR part.

  15. 15
    rrpostal

    It’s a good thing that god character is so confusing, or else we would have so little to do.

  16. 16
    John K.

    As long as the people they are trying to get votes from people who are convinced the only good people are religious people, they will all say god told them to run. Logic and contradictions be dammed.

    I can play too though. “I don’t know” just has to be set to “God”.

    “I felt the will of god in my heart, commanding me to run for office. It is not for me or anyone else to judge the outcome. My duty is to obey the word of god that is revealed to me by my own heart, not question or analyze it. As for the other candidates, you will have to ask them why they think they are following God’s will. I can only speak about my own personal experience. Open your heart to God and surely you will know his will and who His candidate really is for yourself.”

    See? Easy.

  17. 17
    Glodson

    So… some of these people seem to want a theocracy. I don’t know about Cain, but I’m fairly sure that the other three seem to suggest that the Bible is the source for all laws.

    And only one of them can possibly win. That means the other three claimed that God was on their side when he wasn’t. They could try to dodge it with “he didn’t want me to win,” but they are implying, right now, that they are the mouthpiece for God. They are prophets. So only one, or fewer, will win. All those that claim God to be behind them and don’t win are false prophets. And according to their book, that’s really bad.

    Now they shouldn’t be attacked for losing, but they should admit that they are false prophets if they lose. That would actually make my day.

  18. 18
    scottwallace

    God wants us to fight evil. If we win, it shows that God is on our side. If we lose, it’s because the Devil is strong and God wants to test us. Glory Jee to Beezuzz!

  19. 19
    ChaosSong

    Clearly, the Gods only really support one of their own:

    Cthulhu for President in ’12!

    http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=2209944331

  20. 20
    CompulsoryAccount7746

    if all these candidates are going around claiming they know they have God’s endorsement, at least three of them must be lying or mistaken, yes?

    He might’ve endorsed one, changed his mind, then endorsed another, etc… and didn’t tell anyone to drop out. Or maybe he just couldn’t tell republican politicians apart.
     

    And if Obama is re-elected, I’m dying for all four of them to answer the question about what the heck God was up to.

    Lazy evangelicals who didn’t vote allowed the heathen to win. It’d be both a punishment and a signal to get them to the polls next time. Or it’d be the gift of having an adversary to complain about and rally against for a few more years.

  21. 21
    pyrobryan

    If god wants a particular person to win the election, and multiple people were moved by god to run, then it must be that either none or at most one of them is god’s actual choice. It could be that he’s picking stooges that his real choice will easily defeat.

    Lol, god, you crazy! Rigging elections is best left to politicians.

  22. 22
    Erülóra Maikalambe

    God told several guano loco Republicans to run because he wants Obama to win. It’s that simple. Cunning devil, that God.

    1. 22.1
      Erülóra Maikalambe

      *facepalm*
      And now I’m reminded to read the comments more closely, because the last one said exactly what I did.

  1. 23
    Splitting the evangelical vote: Santorum, Perry, and Bachmann | God Discussion

    [...] God spoke to all of these people, telling them to run, but even God seems indecisive.  The blog Atheist Experience vocalizes, perhaps, even evangelical thoughts about the whole thing: We all know that there is a big [...]

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