Virginia’s Republican candidate for lt. governor, E.W. Jackson, said he was confused by Obama’s victory in the 2008 election. After all, he prayed that Obama would lose. But then God told him that he let Obama win so that the Tea Party would be created.
“The Tea Party is a move of God to stir this nation’s back to its conscience and back to its senses,” Jackson told conservative activists. “I remember saying, God we prayed Lord but we didn’t win, but you know what God said to me? ‘You won, you won.’ I couldn’t figure out what that meant until I began to hear some of the things I heard and then I realized what it meant: it meant that maybe the best thing that has ever happened to this country was the election of the last president because he has awakened a sleeping giant and I trust that now that we’re awake we will never go back to sleep again.”
As Ricky Fitz says in American Beauty, “Never underestimate the power of denial.” If Obama had lost, that would prove that prayer works (never mind that millions were also praying for him to win) and that God made sure it would happen. But Obama won, so that means God had a reason for letting it happen — a reason that just happens to coincide with what Jackson hoped would then happen. The power of prayer is never falsified because, you know, mysterious ways and all that.
But in what way did God intervene here? Did he control people’s minds so they would vote for Obama when they didn’t really want to? If so, where did that whole free will thing go? These are not serious arguments, they are ad hoc rationalizations to prevent one’s beliefs from logical scrutiny.