What happens when candidates called by God drop out?
Kelly Oxford's tweet from Wednesday.
January 5th, 2012
11:59 AM ET

What happens when candidates called by God drop out?

By Stephen Walsh, CNN

On Wednesday, blogger and sitcom writer Kelly Oxford sent a tweet about the Republican race for the presidency that got a lot of folks asking: Is this God’s idea of a joke?

Oxford, whose Twitter feed was named by TIME magazine one of the 140 best of 2011, wrote, “Cain, Perry, Bachmann all claimed God told them to run for President, and all are out of the race. God is hilarious.”

It’s been reported that Herman Cain, Rick Perry, Michele Bachmann and Rick Santorum have all suggested that God called on them to enter the presidential race.

But here we are: Cain’s out. Bachmann’s out.

After returning to Texas to “reassess” his campaign, Perry announced he’s not throwing in the towel. Judging by his poor showing in the Iowa caucuses and the debates so far, however, many political experts think it’s just a matter of time.

The only one with supposed divine guidance who’s still in the race is Santorum.

So what gives? Did the candidates misread God’s supposed message? Does the defeat of a divinely-inspired candidate necessarily contradict a message from God?

We want to hear form you. What do you think?

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Uncategorized

soundoff (1,906 Responses)
  1. Tim Tebow

    God wants me to run for office after I go 3 for 18 with 5 picks in this weekend's wildcard game. Seriously, he does. I thought God wanted me to a QB, but obviously he doesn't. He wants me to control people instead. Vote Tebow – called by God!

    January 5, 2012 at 5:18 pm |
    • gupsphoo

      Bill Maher is AWESOME!

      January 5, 2012 at 5:20 pm |
  2. Chris

    Ironically, all the candidates that hear gods voice in their head, are clinically insane.

    January 5, 2012 at 5:18 pm |
  3. gupsphoo

    God told them to run for presidency, and they failed badly.

    What does that say about God?

    He either doesn't exist or he's a moron (or those candidates are delusional in the first place, which means most Evangelical Christians actually are). What's your take?

    January 5, 2012 at 5:18 pm |
  4. God.

    No I didn't. Don't blame me. They did it all themselves. I have entirely too many better things to do than talk to Republicans.

    January 5, 2012 at 5:18 pm |
    • Jewel

      I think what I have always thought, that all are a bunch of nuts.

      January 5, 2012 at 5:19 pm |
  5. lance corporal

    it's called taking the lords name in vain – no the commandment doesn't mean don't say jesus when you hit your thumb with a hammer – it means do not USE the lords name for your self interest – for your own vanity or profit, THAT is what it means and sooooooooo many christians do that now, they ABUSE the lords name, they use it for business and for personal advancement.
    all of these candidates did exactly this, they USED the lords name for their own selfish purposes, they are within their own definition sinners

    January 5, 2012 at 5:18 pm |
    • semper4tis

      "When you hit your thumb with an eight-pound hammer, it's nice to be able to blaspheme. It takes a very strong, special minded atheist to jump up and down with his hand clasped under his other armpit and shout, "Oh random fluctuations in the space-time continuum."
      –Terry Pratchett

      January 5, 2012 at 5:21 pm |
    • jp

      Who gives a god D MFer what kind of fairy tales your daddy read you as a kid.

      January 5, 2012 at 5:22 pm |
  6. Timoteo

    The GOP presidential candidates would publicly announce that they put their faith in the Flying Spaghetti Monster if they thought it would get them elected.

    January 5, 2012 at 5:17 pm |
    • Ed

      as would democrats, independents. and most other politicians

      January 5, 2012 at 5:21 pm |
  7. Christina

    God very well may have called them to run for president. When God calls us to do things, its not always for the outcome we hope for. He may have called them to run to make an impact on the world in other ways.... or maybe it was for a lesson that he would hope the candidate would learn. People who don't "know God" may have a difficult time trying to understand this, but please try.... We all do things to please other people, but that may not always be the outcome.

    January 5, 2012 at 5:17 pm |
    • Kent

      "We all do things to please other people, but that may not always be the outcome."

      What a load of crap, your religion is full of hatred and intolerance.

      January 5, 2012 at 5:20 pm |
    • atheist

      Why do you worship a god that's such a clearly terrible communicator? Would you marry a man like this? Why would you worship a god like this?

      And which god are you referring to? There are so many to choose from. The elephant with the six arms, the sociopathic old man with the white beard... please be specific about your god.

      January 5, 2012 at 5:23 pm |
  8. Harald

    Maybe God is a Democrat and just likes to get the GOPsters into trouble.

    January 5, 2012 at 5:17 pm |
  9. Sweater Vest

    Mr Santorum will find out real soon that if he keeps thanking his imaginary friend "God", the people not in the bible belt will quickly vote for someone anyone else. The nutbags who actually stated that God asked them to run are delusional. Now there have been delusional Presidents, including Skippy Bush, but that's what primaries are for. To weed out the bad! Separation of Church and State. A phrase the Republicans seem to forget.

    January 5, 2012 at 5:17 pm |
  10. John Hatfield

    Has everybody forgot that Bush was told by God to be President?

    January 5, 2012 at 5:17 pm |
    • Jesus'srevenge

      That's because God wanted Americans to realize what good they had by not waging war on the innocent and when you bring violence unto others, distress would also befall you. God sent Bush to destroy America and Bush said "mission accomplished"

      January 5, 2012 at 5:23 pm |
    • SmartPotato

      I will never forget.

      January 5, 2012 at 5:40 pm |
  11. What Rapture

    Let's be honest, God didn't tell any of them to run. They claimed that because they figured that would get Christian right to vote for them. They believe things like that without a question, so it's a great ploy to claim God spoke to you. How do you think all preachers get their multi-million dollar churches.

    January 5, 2012 at 5:16 pm |
  12. MT

    Or, you know, the obvious answer to "What gives?" is the god thing is a just a cute myth. I've never know anyone struck down for mocking a god, and I've seen many a pious god-fearing bible thumper struck down in the prime of life. Funny aside: prayer as a method to treat physical medical ailments has been studied and shows zero benefit UNLESS the person being prayed for KNOWS about the prayer. Pretty eloquent proof that this god thing is in your head. (pause to look overhead) Have I been struck down yet? Nope.

    January 5, 2012 at 5:15 pm |
    • Ken Andrews

      Hey, I did call them......Cain for Pizza, Perry for his way to handle these illegals who try to get in to Heaven without an invitation, and Bachman just to scare the Hell out of the Devil.

      January 5, 2012 at 5:18 pm |
  13. Matt

    If you're a candidate and you're hearing voices commanding you to do something, do us all a favor and call it quits.

    January 5, 2012 at 5:14 pm |
  14. BL

    Jesus simply moves on to the NFL playoffs, where the point spread is a little more favorable.

    January 5, 2012 at 5:14 pm |
    • Ed

      yes and his a Ravens fan

      January 5, 2012 at 5:16 pm |
    • SD

      He certainly doesnt like the Chargers. The owner kept Norv Turner for another year!

      January 5, 2012 at 5:20 pm |
  15. KJC

    I don't think God calling someone to do something or go somewhere necessarily means it will go "well" in earthly ways. It could just mean he is trying to teach them something about himself or to grow their character, and he therefore wanted them to have the experience. It is very possible God wants us to try some things and "fail," so that we become stronger and better people (with greater reliance on God, greater humilty, whatever it may be). I cannot speak to whether God "called" any of these candidates to run (and I am an independent myself, so it doesn't really matter to me politically), but I see nothing obviously contradictory with the idea that more than one person would be called to engage in an election that only one can win.

    January 5, 2012 at 5:14 pm |
    • jp

      You speak to me in riddles and fairy tales that I cannot understand.

      January 5, 2012 at 5:20 pm |
    • John

      It always amuses me how religious people can find a way to rationalize away anything.

      January 5, 2012 at 5:22 pm |
    • Paul

      It was the previous century when men walked on the moon. Isn't it time that people grew up and abandoned the idea of an omnipotent being? In another context people who are "called" to do something are labeled schizophrenics and (we hope) receive treatment for their mental illness. Among Republican politicians, being called is a way to get votes. The frightening thing is that some of them actually seem believe this mystical stuff. Don't vote for them, give them haldol instead.

      January 5, 2012 at 5:23 pm |
    • Really?

      Likewise, it could be that God was just playing a joke on you. It could be really. Just as much as it could be that God was trying to teach you something. Personally, I think God has a sense of humor and wants to tell these candidates that they need to quit politics and stop trying to be at the head of the table. I dont need to hear from Got to know that [Matthew 20:16] "So the last will be first, and the first will be last."

      January 5, 2012 at 5:25 pm |
    • atheist

      Maybe your god shouldn't be such a worthlessly imperceptible, laughably poor communicator?

      I love how religious wackos torture themselves trying to figure out "what god wants". First of all, if he has a plan for you, then it will unfold, because it's his plan. Your freewill and decisions are an illusion in a "god's plan" universe. Secondly, why can't he just tell people what he wants to happen or just make it happen instead of making Yoda sound like a master orator.

      January 5, 2012 at 5:28 pm |
  16. CEL1

    People who listen to formless voices, need to be locked up, they are dangerous. Being called of god is one way people have taken advantage of others for centuries. Cromwell and his followers killed thousands of innocent people in England, Ireland, Wales and Scotland, alll because he believed god had called him to do it. The catholic chuech called it the inquisition. In the US we had the Salem Witch Trials and other idiotic crap. Using god to excuse your behavior is intolerable. I will never vote for anyone claiming god told them to run.

    January 5, 2012 at 5:13 pm |
  17. causin_A_scene

    Hey Politicians, God is ignoring you.. and Jesus thinks your a Jerk...

    January 5, 2012 at 5:13 pm |
  18. SmartPotato

    That's the funniest status I've read in a while... poor religious people: sheep who don't know any better, nor that religion is a choice. And Newtie oughta know, he's jumped more churches than marriages.

    January 5, 2012 at 5:13 pm |
  19. Old Goat

    God definitely has a sense of humor. He's busy cleaning out the clown car of idiots. Unfortunately, He's saving the biggest idiot for last. He's funny that way!

    January 5, 2012 at 5:12 pm |
    • SmartPotato

      Santorum: he has almost a dozen kids that Pennsylvania taxpayers paid for, but he's a Republican? He needs a shrink, really.

      January 5, 2012 at 5:14 pm |
  20. Bill

    I worked with a religious fanatic for several years and it is scarey. According to him, the only thing that keeps him, (and by his description, everyone else) from being a ruthless evil axe murderer is the voices in his head from his invisible friends in the sky. Plenty scarey.

    January 5, 2012 at 5:12 pm |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.