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. aaron

    Its simple, they don't believe it. not one word of it. But its a simple side step to say "God wanted me to run, so I ran. He didn't say He wanted me to win, just run. I helped shape the winner". It is all hocous pocous, voodoo, politician magic.

    January 5, 2012 at 5:31 pm |
  2. Justin

    Easy...either there's no god or the god/s aren't interventionists...hmmm...Ron Paul might have this/ese god's/s' backing then, haha.

    January 5, 2012 at 5:30 pm |
  3. Warren in NY

    They say they were called to run. They didn't say they were told they would win. They still had an influence in the race. Just by being involved, they potentially brought more focus to certain topics or ideas. You never know and little differences can make big changes.

    January 5, 2012 at 5:30 pm |
    • HellBent

      I have some ocean-front property in Montana. Interested?

      January 5, 2012 at 5:31 pm |
  4. Bill F

    Obviously God's been too busy getting Tim Tebow into the playoffs to worry about these guys. Like America, God is more interested in the NFL than the GOP.

    January 5, 2012 at 5:30 pm |
  5. Ray Mulford

    How about the obvious? There is no god

    January 5, 2012 at 5:29 pm |
    • homeschool23

      For you, there is no God. He is not your God, nor your salvation.

      January 5, 2012 at 5:32 pm |
    • eric

      Amen brother.

      January 5, 2012 at 5:36 pm |
    • Mike


      January 5, 2012 at 5:36 pm |
    • mike

      There are so many happy coincidences in the way that the laws of nature have played out to benefit us with a bountiful variety of possibilities, that it is not so obvious.

      It is however profoundly obvious that god was not talking to them nor for that matter, to any else(at least in a manner that could be considered convincing to others)

      One thing science has taught me is that, if there is a god, he is far more awesome then the petty pigeon hole that any terrestrial religion has constructed for him.

      January 5, 2012 at 5:39 pm |
  6. albert

    For one it shows that these people don't have Bible truths. They are not Christians. A true Christian would never make such a mockery of God. So called "Born Again" Christians are equivalent to the religions leaders of Jesus day. The ones that had him killed.

    January 5, 2012 at 5:28 pm |
  7. Yugo

    God should call them home.

    January 5, 2012 at 5:27 pm |
  8. Greg

    The interesting thing about the comments from Athiests, Christians, and other faiths, on this is that ALL faiths require confirmations of the call of God – that are independent of one another and are not solicited. This is true especially of Christianity. People blame God for what THEY personally feel, rather than waiting on the confirmations before striking out.

    While they all felt a pull, obviously they are getting the ANTI-confirmations in the election. When you do not listen privately you will be embarrassed publicly by what you have said. Also, as a hint – if it make you feel important and powerful – probably not God.

    Of the ones who said it, I can believe that Michelle Bachmann really believed it, as can be seen in her method of pulling out. She did not tease and carry on like the others – she just said – the people have spoken – which ultimately is what someone should have done before she announced her candidacy.

    January 5, 2012 at 5:26 pm |
    • albert

      Your comments have no scriptural bases.

      January 5, 2012 at 5:30 pm |
    • The Lord

      I personally think that "pulling out" is not Michelle Bachmann's forte. I mean come on – I only told her to have one kid! So sayeth the Lord (call me god).

      January 5, 2012 at 7:07 pm |
  9. don'tdistort

    The argument in this article appears to be that if one says that God calls on him/her to run for office, and he/she loses, the person was therefore either mistaken about his/her calling or God was playing a joke on the candidate. I get that there's some sarcasm in it, but isn't it also possible that such a calling was both sincere and that God's purpose in the calling is more profound than simply winning the election? I think the message in this article represents a misunderstanding about the Christian faith (and many others) that God can or would exert some supernatural control over the outcome of an election or people's decisions. We are free to make our own choices. God may ask us through our own volition to spread his message to others, but does not control our minds like we're his puppets. Mankind is not always, if rarely, willing or able to hear God's message. But that doesn't make the message or the messenger wrong. That said, I do believe the motivation behind these publicly announced "callings" is at least partially for the sake of political gain. Politicians do themselves and their faith a disservice by using religion in this way and some would say it is un-Christian to do so. "Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's, and unto God the things that are God's." Keep the name of God and religion out of politics and show your faith by your actions as a leader. God's kingdom is not of this world.

    January 5, 2012 at 5:26 pm |
  10. Aguylikeyou

    God is NOT hilarious (what a twisted logic this tweet has, I wonder how did it make it into the top), but these candidates are ... As one poster well-said-it, a God's calling doesn't mean the "chosen" ones need to win ... most of the times it's the other way around, they never appreciate glory until they haven't beaten the dust. Oh, and one more thing: if somebody believes that the presidential race is about candidates doing good to people more than it is about doing good to themselves, they're wrong 90% of the time. Politics, as everybody is being reminded lately, is all about getting hold of the power and use it for interests that are not necessarily the good Samaritean-style.

    January 5, 2012 at 5:25 pm |
  11. Muse

    There's a reason why our forebears separated church from state. Anyone who believes God is speaking directly to him needs to see a psychiatrist.

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

      What this demonstrates is that they are all nincompoops.

      Notice that this Group does not believe in evolution...also demonstating that they do not understand science–and/or that their belief system comes from what they have sorbed from essentially fundamentalist religious environments.

      So, after being told since childhood that God loves them, is it any wonder that they think that God talks to them as adults and advises them on their paths in life?

      We can only hope that common sense prevails as time passes, or we will all sink due to ignorance.

      January 5, 2012 at 5:44 pm |
  12. Mitt Romney

    Maybe God likes the circus as much as the rest of us.

    January 5, 2012 at 5:25 pm |
  13. Stephen

    Thankfully, "God" hasn't told them to commit any atrocities such as murder, etc... yet....

    "[W]hen one person suffers from a delusion it is called insanity. When many people suffer from a delusion it is called religion." Robert Pirsig

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

      "Thankfully, "God" hasn't told them to commit any atrocities such as murder, etc"

      We could make a case that's why GW went to war in Iraq, his god told him too since there were no WMDs.

      January 5, 2012 at 5:26 pm |
  14. Gary

    Uhh simple: They're all liars. Bigtime liars. God has better things to do then tell people to run for president. Otherwise, he would've told Hitler NOT to become Furher.

    January 5, 2012 at 5:24 pm |
  15. Scott

    I think pimping out God to gain votes in a political race is a sin. Are we expected to believe that all world leaders are divinely chosen or just the Americans? Really, just how gullible do politicians think we are? It's shocking.

    January 5, 2012 at 5:23 pm |
  16. Sal

    Thanks to all these phony religious repub freaks I am now a more of a non believer than I ever was! 

    January 5, 2012 at 5:22 pm |
  17. Old Rob

    People who confuse God's will with their greed, ego, ambition are either liars or deluded or both. Since our overly religious nation refuses to call them out on it, occasionally we end up with one in the White House. Policy decisions based on what "God" instructed Dubya to do worked out so well we just can't wait to get another one like him in office.

    January 5, 2012 at 5:22 pm |
  18. Bob

    It's usually a safe bet that, in a political debate, the first person to talk about God is the biggest liar. It's really that simple.

    And if these politicians are going to drag religion into it by claiming that they are acting on instruction from the Almighty, here is a passage from the Bible that they should contemplate before they open their mouths: "And if thou say in thine heart, 'How shall we know the word which the Lord hath not spoken?' When a prophet speaketh in the name of the Lord, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the Lord hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously; thou shalt not be afraid of him." (Deut. 18:21-22; see also 18:20)

    January 5, 2012 at 5:20 pm |
  19. Brian

    I always keep my eyes open when people flaunt their religion in public. Such people always have a hidden agenda. They should read what the Bible says about public display of religion.

    January 5, 2012 at 5:19 pm |
  20. Barbara

    Deuteronomy 18:21-22: "And if you say in your heart – 'How may we kow the word that the LORD has not spoken?' – when a prophet speaks in the name of the LORD, if the word does not come to pass or come true, that is a word that the LORD has not spoken; the prophet has spoken it presumptuously. You need not be afraid of him."

    January 5, 2012 at 5:19 pm |
    • yayafaceplant

      Since when have politicians been associated with prophets.... They have always been associated with profits tho.

      January 5, 2012 at 5:24 pm |
    • atheist

      Deuteronomy 22:28-29:

      "If a man is caught in the act of raping a young woman who is not engaged, he must pay fifty pieces of silver to her father. Then he must marry the young woman because he violated her, and he will never be allowed to divorce her."

      Your bible is garbage.

      January 5, 2012 at 5:30 pm |
    • Jesus'srevenge

      "Since when have politicians been associated with prophets"
      since the time of Saul Bush when he proclaimed that god had spoken to him to murder thousands of Iraqis and hundreds of American solders. I belive the teachings of Jesus and the fundamentals of the Repubs are in opposition to each other
      Poor need to die
      gays need to die
      greed should be rewarded
      All humans are not equal
      Men and women are not equal
      they squeal for the unborn but want the living to die. If there is a hell conservatives are meant for it

      January 5, 2012 at 5:37 pm |
    • homeschool23

      TO Atheist: I see why you think that. From my understanding, first this is from the Old Testament where the setting was rural and limited contact with outsiders, God provided for the woman, this was a protection for the woman. The man was to provide for her and her kin for life. It was a life sentence for the man. Now usually, the man was killed by her kinfolk which why alot of disputes were so violent, there was more than land involved. Women, did not have the protection of Godly men but in few instances, because the people to whom the Bible spoke to were not religious, they preferred heathen gods and pagan ways, but were under the patriarchal system and therefore fell under the law of the patriarch. This is not to excuse the crap that women were given as a life, because that life is still going on in most non "Christianized". In the countries that have the protection and freedoms for women, they were originally Christian countries. Christianity has done more for the freedom of women because it civilized men. You should read the New Testament which has the rules for a true Christian to live by, not the narrative historical accounts of the Old Testament which are more a history of Israel in preparation for the messiah which came in 4BC. After the birth, death and resurrection of Christ the NT was written and in it was the guidelines and ways of living that has developed civilized society. During the way, it has been perverted by sicko men, who using God's name as a cover for their atrocities never allowed by God in His word. This is why I am a Christian, I am not an atheist because there is not enough evidence there is no God, but unbounded evidence there is. And I am not willing to risk eternity, on an imagined belief that man has caused the development of a society that values life, women and the weak. Man left to himself is a horrid, self indulgent, cruel and heartless creature. That is his true nature. Only a God could overcome the sick wickedness of the unsaved man. I just have to look to the Middle East to see that, to the African plains, to Roman Empire, the Egyptian dynasties and Chines Empires. Without the God of the Bible, every civilized country in the world would look like that. But Europe, USA, Canada, and the UK have all been Christianized nations in their beginnings and those are the safest countries and freest countries in the world.

      January 5, 2012 at 5:50 pm |
    • sam

      @homeschool – you're Christian because you were homeschooled and don't know any better.

      January 5, 2012 at 6:21 pm |
    • OhPlz

      "Man left to himself is a horrid, self indulgent, cruel and heartless creature. That is his true nature."

      Sorry to bust your bubble of delusion but it was man that created morality and got us where we are today. It has nothing to do with your god, especially since only 1/3 of the world is christian now.

      January 6, 2012 at 11:10 am |
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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.