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. Nuwan

    Gods knows only Obama can help this country. So he has deviced strategy to divide the republican field and juice up extream conservatives who believe God with utter ignorance to support loosers. Gods plan is working out nicely. Republican field is in disarray. They are jumping from one person to another with complete confusion trying to find a candidate to support. Thanks God for giving us a chance to withness a political circus 🙂

    January 5, 2012 at 6:02 pm |
  2. Munin

    "Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful." – Seneca the Younger

    January 5, 2012 at 6:01 pm |
  3. Rich Walborski

    There is no evidence that any gods exist at all, and certainly no evidence that they "call" on people to do anything. Anyone who claims a god has personally called on him or her to do something has a screw loose, and has no business running the country.

    January 5, 2012 at 6:00 pm |
  4. Powercosmic

    Well, its just more evidence that the candidates are either deluded or lying.

    The fact of the matter is that there is absolutely no reason to believe in the intelligent, intervening, Biblical "god."

    No other "profession" is as tied to religious belief that is Politics, thus one can conclude that religion is a Political apparatus, and in the old days there was no possibility of governing a population without mutual adherence to their religious beliefs.

    I'll sum it up, There is no God, the evidence is overwhelming that Life and the Universe are the consequence of natural phenomena, if there is "something more" beyond what we can understand about these subjects, there is no evidence for it, just mystery, but a good mystery is only evidence of a good mystery.

    We're smart we humans, and one day politicians will no longer be able to get away with religious pandering.

    January 5, 2012 at 6:00 pm |
  5. Nonimus

    If God can "call" people to run but not win, since there may be a higher purpose behind the running, then why don't we believe people when they claim God "called" them to commit atrocities like the Jones Town or Charles Manson?

    January 5, 2012 at 6:00 pm |
  6. chiarrai

    I feel bad for God. He, or she, (pick one) gets the blame for all of the stupid things we humans do, for all the earthly disasters "it was an act of God", and hardly any credit for the good stuff. I tried to get His point of view on the Republican presidential candidates dropping out but, no comment. I concur…it's simply not worth talking about.

    January 5, 2012 at 6:00 pm |
  7. Patsy

    I hope all the candidates get a clear message that the public is really tired of the cries for a sky fairy. I want an intelligent person who can demonstrate they have the ability to reason and won't pray for an answer. Bachmann, Gingrich, Santorum, Cain, Paul are all nuts if they think I'll fall for their christian agenda and Romney and Huntsman are every bit as silly if they think their mormon faith means anything to me except that they've been duped! Leave christianity behind and show us what you're made of! A divorce worries me none (except in the case of Gingrich who handled his so poorly) and a marriage of 40 years just tells me that two people have learned to tolerate each other.

    January 5, 2012 at 5:58 pm |
  8. Locode

    most people who hear voices in their heads are put into psychiatric hospitals. why shouldn't the same thing happen to those who claim god talks to them? there is no god, get over it. godisimaginary.com

    January 5, 2012 at 5:57 pm |
    • IceT

      Because the religion industry is exempt from taxes and reality.

      January 5, 2012 at 6:04 pm |
  9. Iconoclast

    God told me to run, so I ran from the voices in my head.

    January 5, 2012 at 5:57 pm |
  10. mmsja

    uh, in fairness, none of them said God told them they'd win! It's possible that God, yes, can lead people in certain directions. Whether it happened in their cases is, well, I guess between them and God - and not all of our comments.

    January 5, 2012 at 5:57 pm |
  11. Tim Tebow

    God told me to run toward the end zone. I tripped.

    January 5, 2012 at 5:56 pm |
  12. jim

    If asked, and a candidate said he/she did NOT believe in God, I would vote for that person. He/'she is being honest.

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

      There have been a number of those opportunities in the past. Mao's China, Stalin's Russia, Castro's Cuba - nice spots to spend time.... Ok, to be fair, religion shouldn't be a prerequisite for candidates. But, it's not fair either to say that candidates who express a religious faith are being dishonest. That's a judgment no other person can really make.

      January 5, 2012 at 6:00 pm |
    • Dave

      Pretty low standards for a candidate.

      January 5, 2012 at 6:04 pm |
    • IceT

      I'm withya jim !

      January 5, 2012 at 6:06 pm |
    • Yep, what this world needs...

      MMSJA–ok, the problem is not religion per se, the problem is blind adherence to dogma. It's just more evident in the religious domain, because religion is all dogma.

      January 5, 2012 at 6:09 pm |
    • Sir Craig


      "There have been a number of those opportunities in the past. Mao's China, Stalin's Russia, Castro's Cuba – nice spots to spend time.... Ok, to be fair, religion shouldn't be a prerequisite for candidates. But, it's not fair either to say that candidates who express a religious faith are being dishonest. That's a judgment no other person can really make."

      Wow, talk about judgment...you come up with three totalitarian dictators who were/are alleged "atheists" and use that to paint ALL atheists. Tell me: How did these three so-called "atheists" manage to get so much power? How convenient you forget about the millions (most presumably NOT atheists) who helped them into power and then kept them there, unless you believe these so-called "atheists" have some kind of super mind control.

      January 5, 2012 at 6:10 pm |
  13. Charlie

    Whenever a candidate, religious or entertainment figure make a reference that god told them to run, take a political position or make a certain movie, et al, I know to ignore them and certainly not support them. After all, God told me that she will only speak to me;-)

    January 5, 2012 at 5:56 pm |
  14. a thought

    My thoughts might be unwelcomed by the meaness of narrow thinkers. Just because you do not believe there is a God, does not mean He does not exist.

    But concerning the topic of God's call. I do not doubt people's conviction that God called them to do good things like running for public office. But that call does not mean it is a call to win. There may be the call to run for office and still lose, while God accomplished His purpose through the process.

    God's call is often bigger than our puny minds can understand. He simply challenges us to believe Him and obey.

    January 5, 2012 at 5:55 pm |
    • Nonimus


      Has He ever "called" anyone to understand Him (with our puny minds)?

      January 5, 2012 at 5:57 pm |
    • Sir Craig

      I don't believe in your "God," you have nothing to offer as evidence I'm wrong, so I'm mean.

      You had a rough childhood, didn't you?

      January 5, 2012 at 6:04 pm |
    • Powercosmic

      "God's call is often bigger than our puny minds can understand. He simply challenges us to believe Him and obey."

      In the first part this statement says human minds can't understand what god wants. The second part unequivocally says that the poster KNOWS what god wants and "its simple."

      This statement begs the question, how does the poster KNOW what god wants? I guess our minds are too puny but his is not?

      Look, I hate to rain on your parade but god does not exist and there is no reason at all to even believe that "He" exists.

      If you had not been told that he exists in your childhood (guessing) I seriously doubt that you would have invented such a being.

      January 5, 2012 at 6:22 pm |
  15. Jim P.

    It's called "playing to the crowd." You tell beleivers their "god" chose you and you immedately get their attention because they want to do what their invisible buddy in the sky tells them to do. Heck, some of these people don't even blink when told someone once tied his son to a rock and was prepared to cut the boy's thoat because a voice in his head told him to so buying into some doffus in a three piece suit telling them god wants him to be President is easy to swallow.

    God seems to have a pretty lousy track record in "calling" candidates though. Which is notsurprising given the overall track record of the various gods thhroughout history.

    January 5, 2012 at 5:55 pm |
    • Mystery

      I believe in God, I also believe God is not likely to be concerned with who is the president, any more than who wins a Denver broncos game..god works in the way he sees us move towards of more open loving world.. Like revel the technology to man to develop the internet so I can hopefully inspire you Jim, to the Mystery that is God and the universe.

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

    Maybe God called them to run so they would split the evangelical vote, allowing Romney to win. Ever think of that?

    January 5, 2012 at 5:55 pm |
  17. chromigula

    Isn't it obvious? God told all three of them to run because he's planning 4 more years of Obama!

    January 5, 2012 at 5:53 pm |
  18. FreddieLloydCase

    In the OT, presumptuous prophets had rocks thrown at them 'til they died... today they get a gig on Fox News.

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

      Freddie Loyd Case is right when you get kick in the rear also folks means you still have the Lead, if God is in it, maybe one was Holy Spirit, the other Son, and God was just talking to the one that will win, and I hope God told Gingrich or Santa that they were his pick. Barnez

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

      I think the bible has been mistranslated. I don't think it says to "Stone" people. I think it says to "Get them stoned".

      January 5, 2012 at 6:04 pm |
  19. Sir Craig

    Let's see...if all these whackjobs said that "God" called on them to run (and oh no, it couldn't POSSIBLY be their own hubris), then it stands to reason that all but one is lying. However, how can you tell which one is lying? They are all equally valid (that is to say, not: They are so far out of the mainstream that any one of them will make Obama's re-election look like a cake-walk), so if "God" didn't pick all of them, it seems there is just as equal likelihood that this mystical magical sky-daddy chose none of them.

    Ergo, anyone running on a "God told me to run" platform should be viewed as insane. Possibly rabid.

    January 5, 2012 at 5:52 pm |
  20. Michael K

    Borrowing a little from Depeche Mode but I think it applies in this case:

    I don't want to start any blasphemous rumours
    But I think that God's got a sick sense of humor
    And when I die I expect to find Him laughing

    January 5, 2012 at 5:52 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.