Was There a Burning Bush Involved?

Let’s see. First Michele Bachmann said God called her to run for President, then Rick Perry’s wife Anita said God was calling him to run, and now Herman Cain is likening himself to Moses and saying God convinced him he’s the right man for the job.

“I prayed and prayed and prayed,” Cain told about 100 members of the Georgia Young Republicans in Atlanta on Saturday. “I’m a man of faith, I had to do a lot of praying for this one, more praying than I’d ever done before in my life. And when I finally realized that it was God saying that this is what I needed to do, I was like Moses. ‘You’ve got the wrong man, Lord. Are you sure?’”

All those calls, when only one person gets to be President. Bad connection or wishful thinking? I’d say a little of both.

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Joking aside, it’s ridiculous and a little scary that this kind of pronouncement has become de rigueur for Republican Presidential candidates. These candidates are, of course, speaking of the Christian concept of God, and this poses a very real problem. We are a nation of many different faith traditions, of believers and nonbelievers. The President of the United States must be capable of building the proverbial big tent that respects those differences. Invoking the Christian God in this way screams exclusion in a country that was built on inclusion Levitra. It’s easy for Christians, who are still in a majority, to ignore this or make light of it, but imagine the uproar if a Muslim candidate told us Allah had called him to run.

Bristol Palin said this summer that people envy her mother because “she’s got God on her side”.

She’s got a good family, she’s got a good husband, she’s got awesome support, she’s got God on her side, and I think people are envious of that. They’re envious that she carries herself so well, that she’s smart. There are lots of vicious people out there.

Yeah, and there’s a whole lot of arrogance in that statement. If you believe God is on the side of some people but not others, it’s really easy to discount those others and their needs, beliefs and opinions.

Here’s another worry for me. All of these candidates are religious conservatives, and they’re reaching out to religiously conservative voters. By claiming God’s call, they are elevating themselves to the status of prophets. Whatever policies they support, whatever executive orders they sign, they can claim with impunity that God told them to do it. And because they claim that authority, their supporters will be very reluctant to question them.

When a Presidential candidate starts thinking he’s a modern-day Moses, it’s time to run, not walk, in another direction. The US needs a Chief Executive, not a Prophet-in-Chief.

8 Responses to “Was There a Burning Bush Involved?”

  1. Renee says:

    Statements such as these make me uncomfortable even among Christians. When someone claims, “God led me to (insert phrase of choice)”, there is just no disputing it. Discussion ends, and I end up feeling like a lousy human being to question this person who seemingly has a direct line to God! I want to answer, “God led me to believe you are full of it!” But that’s not very Christian, so I usually keep quiet.

  2. Del says:

    I love this depiction of God as a divine, omnipotent Rube Goldberg, throwing one contraption after another into His chosen candidate’s path. (Hey, it’s not plagiarism if I go tweet that, is it?)

  3. Kathy says:

    Amen, sister. I think we humans are very good at self-delusion.

  4. Del says:

    @Renee- my most recent spit take was a Facebook “friend” who asked for prayers for her relative’s septic limb (vividly described), then chastised herself for not having the faith to see it as all part of God’s perfect plan. It’s like, “Um…okay, well, should we pray or not?”

  5. Kathy says:

    Del, that sounds a bit like hedging her bet. If the limb is cured, her prayers were answered! If not, it was God’s will that the limb should rot off. And no, I don’t think it’s plagiarism if you tweet your own comment. :-)

  6. fran says:

    At least god told Sarah Palin not to run for president. Whew!

  7. Kathy says:

    That is indeed a relief!

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