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. Yutopian

    Just because God calls on us to do something, it does not mean that we will always be successful. Sometimes, we will glorify God even more when we fail than when we are successful. It's how we walk with God and not the end result that is important.

    January 5, 2012 at 5:51 pm |
    • sigmundfreud

      So you think that God told three different people to run?

      I have a better explanation: Three whack-jobs imagined that God told them to run. God gave His personal opinion by making them look like complete and total idiots.

      January 5, 2012 at 5:55 pm |
    • Yep, what this world needs...

      Ever heard the phrase, "explaining away the data"? Sounds like your theory qualifies.

      January 5, 2012 at 5:58 pm |
    • Sir Craig

      So "God", being all omniscient and everything, would deliberately choose someone (or a bunch of someones—taking the shotgun approach it seems) that this "God" character knows will fail? That really doesn't say a lot about this "God" thing, does it? And how you comport yourself while failing (and in these examples, failing spectacularly) is really what this is all about? Why is it no one seems to remember the also-rans? This "God" character seems to have little knowledge of his/her/its creation...

      January 5, 2012 at 5:58 pm |
    • Yutopian

      Not trying to explain away the data. God called Joseph into Egypt to save his family later (Genesis 45:4-8). However, if one looks at Joseph's early life in Egypt, one will certainly conclude that God did not call him into Egypt. It does have Biblical support.

      January 5, 2012 at 6:04 pm |
    • Fookin' Prawn

      That sounds like an awesome win/win situation, where you can justify and explain damn near anything if you try hard enough.

      January 5, 2012 at 6:26 pm |
    • sigmundfreud

      Yutopian: so since you believe the semi-mythical story of Joseph in the Bible, it must also be true that God told three far-right whackos to run for President?

      You aren't just explaining away the data: you've got the data covered with pink elephants and cream.

      Now do try to get rejoin us here on planet Earth, there's a good fellow.

      January 5, 2012 at 7:08 pm |
    • Yutopian

      That is exactly the difference. I believe certain things in the Bible as real and the truth and you don't. It's as simple as that.

      January 5, 2012 at 7:24 pm |
  2. cevans, texas

    They probably don't really believe in God. I believe, and I don't play with God. His wrath is mighty. Hypocrites!!

    January 5, 2012 at 5:50 pm |
    • Sir Craig

      Given the number of churches hit by tornados or church buses falling off cliffs or getting hit on interstates, there must be a heckuva LOT of hypocrites out there.

      January 5, 2012 at 6:00 pm |
  3. G O D

    When i told them all to run for the white house
    i was laughing so hard i fell off my cloud.
    Silly people.

    January 5, 2012 at 5:49 pm |
  4. IamTheway

    Ha Ha...fooled them

    January 5, 2012 at 5:49 pm |
  5. Jamie

    I think they are crazy.

    January 5, 2012 at 5:49 pm |
  6. Adam

    I think it's another way of saying, "I know it's a longshot, but I'm going to run for office." Logically, it makes no sense, but since it was a direct request from you-know-who, I'm gonna go for it anyway...please send money.

    January 5, 2012 at 5:49 pm |
  7. Believer

    Note that God told them to run for President – he didn't tell them they would win 🙂

    January 5, 2012 at 5:48 pm |
    • Karl Rickard

      Oh yes... the old "God always answers prayers, the answer is sometime no" argument. LOL. How absurd...

      January 5, 2012 at 5:56 pm |
  8. Brian

    Easy answer... God exists only in their mind.

    January 5, 2012 at 5:48 pm |
  9. jxmar

    In Bachmann's defense, there are lots of voices in her head. How is she to know if one of them is just pretending to be the Almighty?

    January 5, 2012 at 5:47 pm |
  10. DutchPeasant

    Well, in all seriousness, one can be called to run but not win. A race can be worth running even with little chance of winning. Those who ridicule people for their religious faith shouldn't do so. I do think, though, that some of the candidates pander too much and are far too inconsistent in applying their Christian principles – as Gandhi said, "I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ." These candidates got extra play this year because of the paucity of viability in the field – Romney is the only viable candidate and his resume just doesn't shout US Presidency to me. So, let Obama have another 4 years to try to set things right.

    January 5, 2012 at 5:46 pm |
    • G O D

      **** Those who ridicule people for their religious faith shouldn't do so.....

      Why not my son ?
      I did not write that silly book.
      You have been decieved.
      You will have to work that out.
      I have more important things to deal with.

      January 5, 2012 at 5:53 pm |
    • Yep, what this world needs...

      Yeah, why can't I ridicule people who believe in ridiculous things?

      January 5, 2012 at 6:00 pm |
    • Uncouth Swain

      "I have more important things to deal with."

      Like commenting on the cnn boards..lol. Don't take usernames above your paygrade.

      January 5, 2012 at 6:09 pm |
  11. Bob Bubbles

    What do I think? Duuh. "God" is just something people made up to avoid making decisions or rationalize poor ones. The only explanation that makes any sense at all is that there is no such thing as a "god" - but I guess I should be respectful and accept that it's possible that some people really do think they receive personal, silent, un-dis-provable messages direct from "heaven" ... (cue the Twilight Zone music).

    January 5, 2012 at 5:45 pm |
  12. toldyaso

    I think God answered millions of prayers to protect us from these looney teabaggers.

    January 5, 2012 at 5:44 pm |
    • Jesus'srevenge


      January 5, 2012 at 5:45 pm |
    • Idaho

      Why did they name themselves teabaggers, didn't they know they would be mocked?

      January 5, 2012 at 5:46 pm |
  13. Idaho

    God created the universe then he walked off.

    January 5, 2012 at 5:44 pm |
    • PraiseTheLard

      Which "god" would that be? There have been so many...

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

      Doesn't matter which God. He walked off so who cares.

      January 5, 2012 at 5:51 pm |
    • Between The Hammer And The Anvil

      How do you walk off in the universe ?
      I want to try that.

      January 5, 2012 at 5:56 pm |
    • Idaho

      With God all things are possible.

      January 5, 2012 at 6:04 pm |
  14. Change

    You know how these revivals usually go. After things don't go their way, they all gather together and drink Kool-Aid. Just hope you invite the following people: Sarah Palin, Michele Bachmann, Rush Limbaugh, Andrew Bribert, Jack Cafferty, Donald Trump, John Boehner, Eric Cantor, Mitch McConnell, John Cornyn, Mitt Romney, GWB, Donald Rumsfeld, Dick Cheyney, Condaleeza Rice, Colin Powell, Herman Cain, Rick Santurum and Newt Gingrich. If I miss any, please help me complete the list. May you all drink Cool-Aid and rut in hell.

    January 5, 2012 at 5:44 pm |
  15. WilliamP

    Given the record so far, when a candidate claims that god told him or her to run, it's an indication that he or she is probably not very competent, will run a poor campaign, and will drop out of the race early.

    January 5, 2012 at 5:44 pm |
  16. Ed

    Maybe God told them to run to insure a second term for Obama.

    January 5, 2012 at 5:43 pm |
    • Kathleen


      January 5, 2012 at 5:46 pm |
    • Between The Hammer And The Anvil

      Could be something behind that Ed.
      Republicans wont believe it, but it seems funny that they offer up
      a group of complete nutballs and lunatics that cant possible make it to the white house.
      Now i get all tin foil hat about this, but could this have been the plan all along?

      Heck, god told me to get drunk last night....
      mission accomplished !

      January 5, 2012 at 6:12 pm |
  17. Mike Nicoletti

    I’m sure that the authors of the bible thought that god was talking to them also, just like Cain, Perry, Bachmann.

    January 5, 2012 at 5:42 pm |
  18. ariel

    if God (not my choice to anthropomorphize the divine mind of creation) truly worked so elementary no one would have free will. I'm surprised at the spiritually stunted and unwise state of many today. Looking at any formative mythologies or philosophies one would think that indeed, there is something in the water – because it just don't werk that way. You are called out here to your challenges, if you were merely selected, told then exalted I'm not sure what purpose that would serve. Most of you remember being taught by your parents, guided, not just told? Or is that the problem – the authoritarian thought automation has stifled any free form of thinking. People merely do as they are told, instead of becoming inspired, make a goal, set a personal challenge – connect with the creative forces and their own internal strengths and do their best – learn, and continue this process. We have returned to thought kindergarten. THAT, is hilarious. ./.

    January 5, 2012 at 5:42 pm |
    • Left Is Right - Right Is Wrong

      Tim Tewbow thanks god after every touchdown,
      but he doesnt blame god when he fumbles the football.
      How nice to have it both ways.

      January 5, 2012 at 6:16 pm |
  19. Mac 22:14

    Now, when I talked to God I knew he'd understand
    He said, "Stick by me and I'll be your guiding hand,
    But don't ask me what I think of you,
    I might not give the answer that you want me to."

    January 5, 2012 at 5:42 pm |
    • Left Is Right - Right Is Wrong

      Seems like a dream, its got me hypnotized.

      January 5, 2012 at 6:17 pm |
  20. Bruce

    I believe God called the three to run for the presidency; he knew each needd a big dose of humility. Sometimes God works in mysterious ways and his plan is not what we originally thought.

    January 5, 2012 at 5:42 pm |
    • Lindsey

      THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      January 5, 2012 at 5:52 pm |
    • Kent

      "Sometimes God works in mysterious ways and his plan is not what we originally thought."

      You have to love the excuses people have to come up with to justify their non-existent god.

      January 5, 2012 at 5:54 pm |
    • Fookin' Prawn

      Well, they didn't learn the lesson, apparently. He may need to use a bigger stick.

      January 5, 2012 at 6:28 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.