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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. Mike

    Problem is God did not, will not talk to these idiots. They are not his gift to the world and they don't have his blessing either.
    Their delusional, incompetent and inaccurate beliefs of how the Christian Faith works is a true testament as to how little true faith in God they really have.

    January 5, 2012 at 6:33 pm |
    • American Voter

      Sorry Mike, but anyone believing in an invisible magical god is delusional. This means you.

      January 5, 2012 at 6:37 pm |
    • Andrew

      What makes one delusional by believing there's a being in the universe superior to us?

      January 5, 2012 at 6:39 pm |
    • marcus_d

      But if they are Christians in the least, in the very smallest way, they should at least ask God what He thinks of their running. Sharing their perception of God's answer is another matter. I suspect that often God might give them some assurance that He would like them to run; however, I doubt if He often gives strong assurances about winning. Afterall, only one person can win. And when a Christian does win, does the Christian say, "I never had the faintest clue that God intended this for me." ??

      January 5, 2012 at 6:41 pm |
    • God

      Mike,

      This is God speaking, my child. I do speak to these prophets and politicians. Pray to me and I will speak to you. Better yet, give me money and I will work miracles for you.

      January 5, 2012 at 6:42 pm |
    • American Voter

      @Andrew, Psych 101 and a dictionary, thats who.

      1. psychiatry illusion See also hallucination a belief held in the face of evidence to the contrary, that is resistant to all reason

      January 5, 2012 at 6:42 pm |
    • Andrew

      The dictionary and psychology say that humans are the most superior beings in the universe, and that nothing else exists beyond earth? And there's EVIDENCE that they don't exist?? Incredible! Tell me more!

      January 5, 2012 at 6:44 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      Because there is not a shred of factual, independent, verifiable evidence to support the existence of any god, therefore the belief in one is delusional.

      January 5, 2012 at 6:46 pm |
    • marcus_d

      Response to American Voter and Psych 101: the same definition applies to miracles. So I gues we can call such things illusions or miracles, embraced by unbelievers and believers according.

      January 5, 2012 at 6:48 pm |
    • Andrew

      @ HotAirAce – By definition, something has to contradict rational argument in order to be a delusion. There is no argument backed by evidence or facts that humans are the supreme beings in the universe, therefore it is not delusional to believe there is something superior to humans somewhere in the universe.

      January 5, 2012 at 6:54 pm |
    • American Voter

      @marcus, let me know when an amputee grows a new limb or my grandfather comes back from the dead to visit me. Until then, there are no such things as miracles.

      January 5, 2012 at 6:56 pm |
    • Andrew

      So American Voter, I'm assuming that "if it hasn't affected me personally, it must not exist" is your primary outlook on life. Do you know there are 7 billion people in the world now? Do you just assume that only a few thousand of them are real?

      January 5, 2012 at 6:59 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      Andrew, you are somewhat playing with words...

      The original context of the first use of delusional (in this post and replies) was relative to belief in a religious god that takes a personal interest in and speaks to earthlings. I believe the probability of such a being existing is virtually zero. That being said, I believe that it is highly probable that there are other planets with intelligent life, quite possibly more advanced than here. So, technically we agree, but I wouldn't stretch that agreement to mean support for any god or the jesus myth.

      January 5, 2012 at 7:13 pm |
    • Andrew

      "I believe the probability of such a being existing is virtually zero."

      How exactly do you determine the probability of such things?

      "So, technically we agree, but I wouldn't stretch that agreement to mean support for any god or the jesus myth."

      Do you believe in the possibility of multiple universes, other planes of existence, or dimensions that we're unable to detect?

      January 5, 2012 at 7:33 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      Andrew, given that believers have been proposing various gods for thousands of years and that no independent, factual, verifiable evidence of their existence has ever been produced it is logical to believe that the probability of any god existing is virtually zero. With respect to the other ent!ties you mentioned, they may exist and may be undetectable.

      You seem to be working hard to carve out room for a superior being. I have already agreed that there is room.

      We are discussing the existence of an involved god as described in The Babble. You have no proof of same. If your final position is that any proposed object exists, and cannot be disputed, simply because someone proposed it, then we have nothing left to discuss.

      January 5, 2012 at 7:52 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      Amazing how the truth stops the conversation. Or did Andrew have to go to bed?

      January 5, 2012 at 9:36 pm |
  2. Matt

    Kelly Oxford and Stephen Walsh both both incorrectly conclude that being called to "run for president" was an indication by God that the respective candidates were meant, by God, to win. Human minds, especially those lacking intelligence (see authors), can not understand the "butterfly effect" of God's purpose.

    January 5, 2012 at 6:31 pm |
    • God

      Matt,

      God here. I do not call it the butterfly effect. I refer to it as the "Unicorns, Hearts, and Rainbows" effect. Ok? Thanks, my chosen one.

      January 5, 2012 at 6:43 pm |
  3. marcus_d

    I wish God could blog. I wonder what He would say? Pretenders to the faith are easily dismissed. But what if He sent someone who wasn't a pretender? Oh yeah, He was dismissed too, even back in the days when people not only believed in God, but were earnestly looking for Him too. You know what? The Bible even claims that we may entertain "angels unawares." What if God considers the privilege of choosing the leader of the greatest nation the world has ever seen a exercise of some moral responsibility? How many Christians even ask God who they should vote for? Oh, I forgot, just asking would make them as delusional as the candidates supposedly are. Well..., as foolish as it may seem, I think I may ask God anyhow. Maybe He won't answer, maybe I'll mishear, but at least I'll go through the exercise of asking, and pray that He suffers my delusions.

    January 5, 2012 at 6:31 pm |
    • God

      Hey, Marcus.

      My son, I am right here. Where have you been?

      January 5, 2012 at 6:44 pm |
    • TomNPitt

      God's says vote Obama – DA!

      January 5, 2012 at 6:47 pm |
    • marcus_d

      God always gives the people what the deserve–even in a President. But sometimes God may conclude, "Too bad, they didn't deserve better, because I would have preferred to go with this other person for President" Wow!! what if that already has happened this year!

      January 5, 2012 at 6:54 pm |
  4. Rosslaw

    Are they completely sure it wasn't Satan? Easy mistake to make, particularly when dealing with such narcistic personalities.

    January 5, 2012 at 6:29 pm |
    • ARTRaveler

      I asked the same question when Mike Huckabee, who said he was called to the ministry, suddenly was very much into politics. Either, he was lying about being "called" to the ministry or he walked away from God's call. Either way, he, and others, don't come across as being "genuine".

      January 5, 2012 at 6:37 pm |
    • God

      Rosslaw,

      Satan has a raspy, garlic smelling breath. I whisper like a mellifluous Bach melody. Few can mix us up.

      January 5, 2012 at 6:45 pm |
    • Put The Gun Down

      Interesting that the bible tells that they will be decieved,
      but they never look at thier own pope.
      That man has the upside down cross in many pictures.
      If satan did exist, would that not be the perfect figure to take control of ?

      The last pope who died and was buried, is also an interesting story.
      His body was laid to rest in such a way that
      he will be ressurected.
      but in a satanic coffin.
      There are videos on the internet, the markings on the coffin,
      and the way the body was placed for burial had never been done
      before for any other pope.

      I offer no explanation or tin foil theories,
      but it is something that should be looked at,
      but you will never get a christian to question what they are sold.
      They baught it lock stock and barrel.

      January 5, 2012 at 6:59 pm |
  5. David

    And God told the Europeans to wage war against the Muslims during the Crusades? Yet, we have issue with them claiming that God told them to wage a Holy War on us? When are people going to realize that even IF there is a God, mankind has killed more people in the name of Gods than any other reason, so we would be better off without, and leave our decision-making to reason and logic, not blind faith.

    January 5, 2012 at 6:28 pm |
    • swamp fox

      So, when the Pope asks people to go to war, that means God said it? Stop confusing truth with false religion. Also, if one group was wrong a thousand years ago, does that make it right for the other to do the same today? Two wrongs don't equal a right. Two wrongs equal war. And as far as blind faith goes, it is exactly that. But there is a difference between faith and truth. Everyone believes in something, but the truth stands alone.

      January 5, 2012 at 6:39 pm |
    • closetiguana

      swamp fox – And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Avenge the children of Israel of the Midianites ... And they warred against the Midianites, as the LORD commanded Moses; and they slew all the males. And the children of Israel took all the women of Midian captives, and their little ones ... And they burnt all their cities.

      January 5, 2012 at 6:42 pm |
    • American Voter

      "When you march up to attack a city, make its people an offer of peace. If they accept, all the people shall be subject to forced labor for you. If they refuse and they engage you in battle, lay siege to that city. When the Lord delivers it into your hand, take the women, children, the livestock and everything else in the city. You may take these as plunder for yourselves and you may use the plunder the LORD your God gives you from your enemies. "

      Deuteronomy 20:10-14

      January 5, 2012 at 6:45 pm |
    • closetiguana

      God is such a kind soul.

      January 5, 2012 at 6:47 pm |
    • God

      David, David, David

      Great are the errors of thine kind, my child. I did not tell the pure, Aryan Europeans to make crusades. I told them to "play charades". I had a head cold that day.

      January 5, 2012 at 6:48 pm |
    • Conundrum

      God told the quarterback, you will get a touchdown.
      God also told the DB you will get a sack.

      I am confused, is god joking, or do we have more than one god ?

      You cant ask a christian, because they always use that lame excuse,
      god works in mysterious ways.

      Pathetic.

      January 5, 2012 at 7:07 pm |
  6. John Gabriel

    Since the creator has not made an appearance, this means we can't be too important and ...
    it's just as good as if there were no creator. I hate religious dimwits.

    January 5, 2012 at 6:28 pm |
    • American Voter

      @John, that is not entirely true. I remember seeing our Lord the Creator in a grilled cheese sandwich once.

      January 5, 2012 at 6:46 pm |
    • God

      John Gabriel,

      I did make an appearance. If you watch "Saved by the Bell", season 3 episode 8, I am the third guy who walks across the hallway and opens the blue locker near the water fountain. Thankfully they got my best side and the lighting was perfect.

      January 5, 2012 at 6:46 pm |
    • Conundrum

      Saw Jesus on a piece of toast, John.
      I think he was winking at me.

      January 5, 2012 at 7:20 pm |
  7. JaxGrimm

    What happens when CNN columnists troll?

    January 5, 2012 at 6:27 pm |
    • michael

      Did God tell them they would win? I doubt it.

      January 5, 2012 at 6:36 pm |
    • Kamal David

      God will recall the idiots sent to run against Obama!

      January 5, 2012 at 6:39 pm |
    • God

      They get punished for being naughty... if you know what I mean. Play on, my brother. 😉

      January 5, 2012 at 6:51 pm |
  8. Squirt South Carolina

    God does not pick presidents or candidates...if he did, after watching this latest Republican fiasco, he'd tear up the Bible,
    shut down the Churches and declare Sunday a new workday—then burn this world to a cinder!! (And he may still might do just that!!)
    As to the candidates and their claim to being "Christians" or "Mormons" or Barbarians, Hedonists, Deists or whatever....I've seen more true Christian acts at the mall than any of the current crop of politicians have shown....a pox on all their houses!!

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

      It seems to me that these candidates broke one of the 10 commandments, they used the name of god for the sake of their own vanity.... they illustrated their lack of god with their 1st steps. The US is largely devoid of god anyhow... he's most certainly not in the church.

      January 5, 2012 at 6:37 pm |
    • God

      Sunday already is a work day. Do you know how many people are chanting at me every Sunday. I hate working on Sundays. Sometimes I wish I could just watch my man, Tim Tebow, tearing it up on the field. Know what I mean?

      January 5, 2012 at 7:00 pm |
  9. IceT

    Ignorance is bliss & religions have heaven ... just sayin'

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

      And the wicked are cast into eternal torment. F you and your ilk.

      January 5, 2012 at 6:51 pm |
  10. jlsppw

    Stupid topic.

    January 5, 2012 at 6:24 pm |
    • closetiguana

      No it's not.

      January 5, 2012 at 6:34 pm |
    • Conundrum

      And yet, you could not resist making a comment.
      How sad for you.

      January 5, 2012 at 7:23 pm |
  11. Charles Bowen

    If God indeed created this universe, he she or it is long gone but the ego of the Republican Right is endless, and it is the whole problem in this country. To think that God is speeking to you is insane. Jesus did not ride on the back of a dinosaur, What were you thinking? Freedom of Religion meens that you have the right to worship whom, you choose. Freedom of Religion Does not give you or any canidate the right to impose your baseless beliefs on this Country or its Government. Soon we will be Iraq, syria, egypt , and it will be the Republican Right who will bring us there .........Charles Bowen Solomon Stone

    January 5, 2012 at 6:22 pm |
    • American Voter

      I wish a candidate would just come forward and say "what the hell people? there is no god. But, I know how to run a country" At least we would know he is operating with some sanity.

      January 5, 2012 at 6:32 pm |
    • God

      Chuck,

      Everyone knows Jesus did not ride on the back of a dinosaur. He hooked up a plow to dinosaurs. You don't ride work animals, sillyhead.

      January 5, 2012 at 6:53 pm |
    • Conundrum

      You are wrong Charles,
      Fred was always throwing bones to Dino.
      And what about Bamm Bamm and hoppy ?
      Silly boy.

      January 5, 2012 at 7:26 pm |
  12. Dino Droppings

    If there is a god, why hasnt he come down and straighten out this mess ?
    Any of you christians got an answer ?
    This should be good.

    January 5, 2012 at 6:22 pm |
    • Andrew

      Because God doesn't care about American politics, obviously.

      January 5, 2012 at 6:28 pm |
    • American Voter

      I really truly wish he would. I will film it and have the highest YouTube counts ever.

      January 5, 2012 at 6:48 pm |
    • God

      Dino excrement, this is God speaking.

      Until you sign over all your property, hot virgins, and life savings to me, I refuse to help you. Why are my commands so difficult for you to keep?

      January 5, 2012 at 6:55 pm |
  13. Jeff

    Easy answer to an easy question:

    God is imaginary.

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

      Well, Jeff, if you choose to imagine me, I want to be wearing a low-cut toga with sparkles. And, I like to be oiled up and perfumed. I'm told I have great legs... but those aren't my legs if you catch my drift.

      January 5, 2012 at 6:56 pm |
  14. jeremey

    I don't think that anybody can question God's intentions. Isn't it possible that running for president helped all of these people in some way, that it helped them move forward in their lives? Maybe the media scrutiny helped Herman Cain come to terms with his infidelity and is helping him move forward as a better person. Maybe something of the sort is happening/will happen with Bachman, Perry, and Santorum, even if they do not become president.

    January 5, 2012 at 6:21 pm |
    • Whisper To A Scream

      **** I don't think that anybody can question God's intentions...........

      Maybe you should think more.

      January 5, 2012 at 6:25 pm |
    • closetiguana

      Whisper To A Scream – Bingo!

      January 5, 2012 at 6:28 pm |
    • Charles Bowen

      Please Dont drink the Religious Kool-Ade Remember Jonestown, Wacko, ........ Charles Bowen Solomon Stone

      January 5, 2012 at 6:29 pm |
    • jersvette

      You line of thinking is interesting but wasted given the persons involved. Herman Cain has not bettered himself as a result of his infidelity, quite the contrary; he has and will continue to refute the accusations of his infidelity because he lives in a lie and that is who he really is. The other republican candidates are so similar that there is no need to go into specifics for each.

      January 5, 2012 at 6:33 pm |
    • Kamal David

      What, are you 12?

      January 5, 2012 at 6:34 pm |
    • Will

      Well said – what skeptics often do is imply that if there isn't a simple answer or divine manifestation, there must not be another more subtle or personal answer. God guides us with what we need to know to get to the next step and not with guaranteed rewards or prizes.

      People discussing this is pointless, the article is inflammatory and I'm very disappointed in a news network I've liked for a long time.

      January 5, 2012 at 6:43 pm |
    • American Voter

      @Whisper, I don't think he is intellectually capable of reason and logic on a much higher level. do you ?

      January 5, 2012 at 6:50 pm |
    • American Voter

      @Will, if there are no rewards or prizes given out by your god, why is everyone so obsessed with heaven ?

      January 5, 2012 at 6:51 pm |
    • charlie

      dude, you're reaching

      January 5, 2012 at 9:26 pm |
  15. closetiguana

    I stopped listening to god when he told me that the sun circled earth. He was obviously getting his facts from someone on the ground.

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

      God told you that? You're so lucky to be able to talk to him so directly!

      January 5, 2012 at 6:29 pm |
    • swamp fox

      The Bible never taught geocentricity. The Catholic heirarchy borrowed the idea from ancient Greek philosophers.

      January 5, 2012 at 6:31 pm |
    • closetiguana

      Andrew- That's right and he told me to run for president too.

      January 5, 2012 at 6:37 pm |
    • Andrew

      Oh good, so I can conclude that you pulled that all out of your butt. Good to know!

      January 5, 2012 at 6:38 pm |
    • closetiguana

      Andrew – What are you saying that god didn't tell me to run?

      January 5, 2012 at 6:44 pm |
    • Andrew

      I'm mostly just saying God nobody ever told anybody that the sun revolves around Earth. 😉

      January 5, 2012 at 6:57 pm |
  16. stjdsj

    The fool has said in his heart, "There is no God." They are corrupt, they have committed abominable deeds; There is no one who does good.
    The LORD has looked down from heaven upon the sons of men to see if there are any who understand, who seek after God.
    They have all turned aside, together they have become corrupt; There is no one who does good, not even one.
    Do all the workers of wickedness not know, who eat up my people as they eat bread, and do not call upon the Lord?
    There they are in great dread, for God is with the righteous generation. Psalm 14:1-5

    January 5, 2012 at 6:20 pm |
    • Jeff

      How do you know that?

      January 5, 2012 at 6:22 pm |
    • Kent

      "There is no one who does good, not even one."

      What a load of crap, it shows how corrupt your bible is because there are millions of atheist out in the world that do good things but stupid christians like you only want to spread hatred and fear.

      January 5, 2012 at 6:23 pm |
    • American Voter

      When you go to war against your enemies and the LORD your God delivers them into your hands and you take captives, if you notice among the captives a beautiful woman and are attracted to her, you may take her as your wife. Bring her into your home and have her shave her head, trim her nails and put aside the clothes she was wearing when captured. After she has lived in your house and mourned her father and mother for a full month, then you may go to her and be her husband and she shall be your wife. If you are not pleased with her, let her go wherever she wishes. You must not sell her or treat her as a slave, since you have dishonored her.

      Deuteronomy 21:10-14

      January 5, 2012 at 6:33 pm |
    • My Little Blue Butt

      And pappa Smurf said, pick more smurfberries,
      winter is coming,
      and all the little smurfs bowed to pappa smurfs wishes,
      And lo and behold the smurfiness off it all.
      As the smurfs did not starve that winter.

      Now, please put me in the white house, and dont forget to send me lots of money.
      Its my destiny.

      January 5, 2012 at 6:34 pm |
  17. John

    When a person makes a prophesy in God's name and it turns out to be false than that is proof the the person was a false poophet, according to the Bible.

    Kinda like what Joseph Smith told the Mormans.

    January 5, 2012 at 6:19 pm |
    • God

      John,
      I sent my son to the natives in North America to show them the light. Joseph Smith was my chosen prophet. I judge who is false and who is true.

      January 5, 2012 at 6:40 pm |
  18. Jesus Christ

    There aint no god, my dad was the mailman.

    January 5, 2012 at 6:19 pm |
    • God

      Son, why are you denying me? After all I did for you? I gave you the twelve, hot young men you wished to pal around with. I've made legions of followers dumb enough to buy your nonsense, despite no evidence. All the pure Christian girls salivate at the very thought of your sinewy, taught, exposed, well hung body that was beaten for them. My son... why?

      January 5, 2012 at 6:38 pm |
  19. laserrod

    Wisdom expressed in the hearts of His children (for them to quit the race) while foolishness and paganism to those who interpret it otherwise! Discretion is clearly spelled in the hearts of those who acknowledge the sovereignty of God with reverential fear in their hearts. To the fool, he misconstrue the acts of God as expressed in ignorance and depravity of conscience and brute reason!

    January 5, 2012 at 6:18 pm |
    • TheThinker

      What's your point?

      January 5, 2012 at 6:28 pm |
    • TomNPitt

      I can't believe how many people have claimed to have talked to God, and we still use that old book of stories to base our lives. Can't God just once talk to one of the millions of unemployed writers waitiing tables at Fridays??

      January 5, 2012 at 6:38 pm |
  20. Fritz

    God told them to run for president...not to win the nomination or the election. Maybe there is some sort of plan. I'm not for or against them or even care what they are saying. If God really told them to run for presidency then they listened and did as instructed. I don't think any of them claimed that God would lead them to the presidency. Just saying...

    January 5, 2012 at 6:18 pm |
    • closetiguana

      Or maybe god didn't tell them to run...I'm putting my money on the later.

      January 5, 2012 at 6:26 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.