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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. Wilson James

    Love the tweet. If there is a god, he darned well has to have a sense of humor. He created conservatives and evangelicals to hear him, and the rest of us to wonder. What a great con.

    January 6, 2012 at 10:38 am |
  2. Rheamer

    God told me to skin you alive little girl; suffer the little children to come unto me.

    January 6, 2012 at 10:36 am |
    • JesusLives

      Take Greek and Hebew.

      January 6, 2012 at 11:23 am |
  3. bobalu

    It makes sense to me. God very well may have told these republican candidates to run. God works in mysterious ways and by making these callings he is working to ensure 4 more years for Obama.

    January 6, 2012 at 10:35 am |
  4. Abinadi

    I see this question a lot and thought I would talk a little about it. If there is a God, why is the world such an awful place? Why does he allow bad things to happen? The fault isn't God's, it is ours. The whole thing can be understood in Deuteronomy 28. I will just quote the first verse here, "1 And it shall come to pass, if thou shalt hearken diligently unto the voice of the Lord thy God, to observe and to do all his commandments which I command thee this day, that the Lord thy God will set thee on high above all nations of the earth:

    2 And all these blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee, if thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy God."

    Before Moses was taken, he called Israel together and gave them God's vision for the earth. His original intent was for Israel to conquer the whole earth and then rule it in righteousness. Eventually the prince of peace, Jesus Christ, would be born and reign over the earth in justice for ever.

    That never happened. Why? Because Israel sinned and instead of worshipping God Almighty, they worshipped Idols and actually became worse than the pagans they were supposed to rule over! So God had no choice, but to give the earth a new plan based on our rebellion from him – he called Nebuchadnezzer and Babylon to take dominion over the earth and then a succession of other pagan peoples which brings us to today. But, the promises to Israel are still in effect. He caused the reformation and again brought light and knowledge to the earth in preparation to restore Israel to its rightful place. In Daniel 2 he speaks of a little stone rolling forth and filling the whole earth and this time it will never be taken away. This is the true gospel of Jesus Christ and if we will repent and return to God, he will return to us! This is really abbreviated to not take too much space. If you would like to know more about this little stone, you can go to mormon.org.

    January 6, 2012 at 9:16 am |
    • jerrygergich

      What the deuce are you talking about, gospel of christ? All you quoted was old testament BS. Not that it would have made any more sense/difference if it was NT.

      January 6, 2012 at 10:05 am |
    • Abinadi

      Sadly, you will never understand.

      January 6, 2012 at 10:19 am |
    • GDChampions

      The world is not an awful place, and God does not allow bad things to happen. He allows us to make our own decisions, and with bad ones, we create bad situations. The world is a beautiful place, and many times great things happen. God does not allow "bad" things to be as bad as they could be, he always puts an end to it at some point.

      In God, we are all champions.
      http://www.YouTube.com/GDChampions

      January 6, 2012 at 11:26 am |
    • TR6

      “That never happened. Why? Because Israel sinned and instead of worshipping God Almighty, they worshipped Idols”

      But god is suppose to know everything past, present and future. How come the Israelies messing up came as a surprise to him?

      Didn’t foresee Adam and Eve messing up, didn’t foresee the world going so bad he had to wipe it out with a flood, didn’t foresee his presidential candidates failing.

      Just a few more pieces of evidence that god doesn’t exist

      January 6, 2012 at 12:05 pm |
  5. 4 more years

    "Dominionism is a term used to describe politically active conservative Christians that are believed to conspire and seek influence or control over secular civil government through political action, especially in the United States, with the goal of either a nation governed by Christians, or a nation governed by a conservative Christian understanding of biblical law."

    How does Shaira Law sound to everyone in the US? Our country bombs and is at war with countries in the ME who have Sharia Law...but it's o.k. here because we have the "real" religion: Fundamental Christianity. The thre candidate who have already dropped out and Rick Santorum believe in "Dominionism" and Rick doesn't hide from it, he preaches it.

    How many elections are Americans going to be duped into thinking that this is anything more than the 1% trying desprately to hold onto the 90% of the wealth in America. Religion, the right to bear arms and abortion are just a few of the smoke screens these ultra rich people (the ones really pulling the strings) will throw out there to confuse the poor, weak minded and religious people into voting for them instead of looking at the real issues. Wake up America. It's about control of trillions of dollars and how and what to spend it on. Not religion, although if you believe in Dominionism, you are part of a really scary trend in this country.

    Our country is going down the tubes because the 1% doesn't care about anything but taking, taking and more taking from the rest of us and the injection of religion into politics in the US.

    January 6, 2012 at 8:28 am |
    • 4 more years

      Sorry about the "book" i wrote above...had to get that off my chest.

      I loved the tweet, though.

      January 6, 2012 at 8:31 am |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      Makes you wonder what happens to everyone in this country who doesn't believe exactly the same as fundamentalist christians if one of them terrorists get any real power in the country. Although, most people over-estimate how much power the president actually has to change laws.

      January 6, 2012 at 8:35 am |
    • Abinadi

      I don't think you need to apologize. I think you hit it right on the head. The American revolution, the French revolution, our imigration problems, and the Arab spring are all about class warfare – the 1% grabbing and controlling all of a country's resources while the rest....get nothing. What right do they have? Les Miserable was about a man stealing a loaf of bread because his family was starving and the upper class being totally unconcerned – "Let them eat cake!" I see it happening in America every day!

      January 6, 2012 at 8:54 am |
  6. Lucifer's Evil Twin

    god told me to flip all of you the bird, especially that dou.chebag santorum

    January 6, 2012 at 8:23 am |
  7. PsiCop

    I think that such claims by religionist candidates are evidence of their arrogance, egotism, and self-centeredness. They genuinely believe that their universe is God's universe, and that the Almighty is concerned solely with them. It's a dysfunctional mindset, at best immature, and at worst delusional. Unfortunately, this is precisely the sort of rhetoric that appeals to religionist voters, which is why so many GOP candidates have espoused it. You'll hear more, not less, of this as time goes on.

    January 6, 2012 at 8:17 am |
  8. hysteriabuster

    When something good happens to us, we say we are blessed and believe God smiled on us (as I did in 2010 when after a lifetime I felt blessed by briefly seeing my second love only to find that he died in 1995); when things go wrong or our prayers are not answered, we wonder why God abandoned us. We hear and see what we want to see and hear. Being God is a thankless position. We like to think we are special in his sight, but there are 5 billion just like us, that puts God in a bind. All of us are special, we just don't act that way.

    January 6, 2012 at 8:09 am |
  9. JustMeNOTyou

    God just had me read this article and then told me to tell you the following. It's all about me, only I matter, HE only talks to me and those that say otherwise are lying. He created all of you for my amusement. He sits on my every word, just waiting for little ole me to call. (No call waiting, because he ONLY talks to me, I told you that!) He does what I ask Him to do so you better be nice to me. And we....I mean He...is all powerful, all knowing, and He lives two inches below my rib cage (down in my heart). Now... if I could only figure out where He hid my pills....oops...got to go... the nurse is coming...

    January 6, 2012 at 6:56 am |
  10. Barry

    It seems the discussion lost it's original thread. I believe these folks meant well in their hearts. I know at times I've felt compelled to say "God told me..." But one thing for sure, the God of my understanding is probably grinning at all of us right now, as to how finite we make Him to be. Anyway I look around & know this place didn't make itself accidentally. And I trust Him for the final outcome. Better to love than to hate each other. I just trust He knows better than I for the final outcome. {And no, God didn't tell me to say this.] I'm just proud to live where we can speak openly like this. I'll just let God be God & not try to mess it up.

    January 6, 2012 at 3:03 am |
    • Mike S

      Maybe God just ignored them, or does not care or does not exits.
      Or maybe they are "hearing voices" and should stay on their meds or be committed

      January 6, 2012 at 5:02 am |
    • northern light

      For Barry and Mike S

      "Maybe God just ignored them, or does not care or does not exits.
      Or maybe they are "hearing voices" and should stay on their meds or be committed"

      It is the last part of the first sentence...... and all of the last sentence.

      January 6, 2012 at 7:58 am |
    • Nonimus

      "Anyway I look around & know this place didn't make itself accidentally."
      Don't you also look at God and know that He didn't make Himself accidentally?

      January 6, 2012 at 11:08 am |
  11. Sahari

    If we truly believe that winning is the only legitimate reason for any undertaking, we are in more trouble than we know. Does it not occur to anyone that God COULD prompt people to run for reasons other than achieving the office?

    January 6, 2012 at 2:55 am |
    • Mirosal

      It looks like you're about a nanosecond from telling us that 'god' works in mysterious ways and all that jazz.

      January 6, 2012 at 2:57 am |
    • TR6

      “God COULD prompt people to run for reasons other than achieving the office?”

      Well, it’s a very good tactic if you’re trying to make people think you are either impotent or non existant

      January 6, 2012 at 12:14 pm |
  12. mickwoof

    God told Pat Robertson that all rich men should sell their treasures and give the money to the poor. That's why he's keeping it a secret. God wants a Buddhist to be president.....Tina Turner! Shhh, don't tell enyone!

    January 6, 2012 at 2:11 am |
    • Joseph Smith

      Mormons believe they will be gods...so Mitt told HIMSELF to run. Go Mittens!

      January 6, 2012 at 2:36 am |
  13. haystackcommentary

    As one who might be classified as being from the "right" (a term that still eludes understanding) I dont pay any attention to it when a candidate says "God told me to run." Its not likely that any of these people are having long walks with God in a garden and talking over dinner, though one might get the impression that is what they are trying to imply. There is a demographic that buys it, and maybe that is what they are playing to. It's like "Hey, God chose me, so you have to vote for me." Pat Robertson always seems to be getting messages from God....it doesnt seem to help his credibility. Robertson has announced that God told him who is going to win this election, but it is a secret. Thats a s secret he could have kept to himself then. Now...if I was to give theses candidates the benefit of the doubt and accept that they "heard from God" then I would have to weigh it by the results. God told them to "run"...but didnt say they were going to win. One of those seemingly exercises in futility that God is so famous for. But maybe it gave a soapbox to a subject that would not have been introduced otherwise. Just some added thoughts on the subject.

    January 6, 2012 at 1:08 am |
    • Smedley Underfoot

      But shouldn't it matter? You don't think it displays a disturbing amount of megalomania, delusion or cynacism (any one or more of the three) to state to people that you've been directed by God to run for President? I know, ALLLLL politicians are evil liars and cheats... Can I suggest that you test that assumption? Sort out the ones who are obviously playing you (stating they know they have Jesus in their corner is an easy place to start, next are the ones who've been pain millions of dollars by companies to be "historians") and look at the alternatives. Are they really lying to you or are you misunderstanding them? Are you accepting from others that they are lying to you, without testing the facts?
      Don't get me wrong no one is perfect. But use your own brain and you may find a whole lot of the equivalence to be false.

      January 6, 2012 at 1:26 am |
    • HotAirAce

      So which one of the "god told me to run" set spoke about a subject that would not have otherwise been spoken of, and what was the subject? Or are you just throwing up some "god works in mysterious ways" fluff?

      January 6, 2012 at 2:25 am |
    • captain america

      Whatever is being said it is being said by Americans for Americans hotair is canadian and should butt out of American politics its opinion of our people is not worth dog sh it.There's your sign

      January 6, 2012 at 4:50 am |
    • northern light

      For Captain America
      "captain america
      Whatever is being said it is being said by Americans for Americans hotair is canadian and should butt out of American politics"

      If Canadians did that..... where would we get our laughs from.....you people down there are a never ending source of humor for us up here and the rest of the world for that matter.

      A country in which 85% believes that a god created the earth 6000 years ago and that the process of evolution is untrue deserves to be mocked.

      You call yourselves the leaders of the free world ....but the most important part of you that is not free is your....mind.
      You claim to be a beacon of good and justice ....yet look at what your banking system has done to the world ....yet no American banker is in prison yet.

      People who live in glass houses should not throw stones...........ooooh I think that might be from a little book you folks think so fondly of......call me if you like to talk about this Captain .....the number is .....666-666

      January 6, 2012 at 8:11 am |
    • tony

      cap, we know you're canadian too.

      January 6, 2012 at 3:43 pm |
  14. Suburbanbum

    I've been shouting about this for months now! There is an "Agenda" that the extremist Christian Right (Santorum, Perry, Bachmann) have planned for America's future. This Agenda has a name and it's found in Wikipedia, I quote:

    "Dominionism is a term used to describe politically active conservative Christians that are believed to conspire and seek influence or control over secular civil government through political action, especially in the United States, with the goal of either a nation governed by Christians, or a nation governed by a conservative Christian understanding of biblical law."

    If that doesn't scare you, remember our Founder's words:

    "...those who live by mystery & charlatanerie, fearing you would render them useless by simplifying the Christian philosophy, the most sublime & benevolent, but most perverted system that ever shone on man, endeavored to crush your well earnt, & well deserved fame." – Thomas Jefferson.

    January 6, 2012 at 1:06 am |
  15. Blessed Geek

    I had a divine calling to brush my teeth last nite, but I forgot to brush.

    January 6, 2012 at 12:58 am |
  16. Reality

    Dear Herman, Rick and Michele,

    A prayer you forgot about:

    The Apostles' Creed 2011: (updated by yours truly and based on the studies of historians and theologians of the past 200 years)

    Should I believe in a god whose existence cannot be proven
    and said god if he/she/it exists resides in an unproven,
    human-created, spirit state of bliss called heaven??

    I believe that there was a 1st century CE, Jewish, simple,
    preacher-man who was conceived by a Jewish carpenter
    named Joseph living in Nazareth and born of a young Jewish
    girl named Mary. (Some say he was a mamzer.)

    Jesus was summarily crucified for being a temple rabble-rouser by
    the Roman troops in Jerusalem serving under Pontius Pilate,

    He was buried in an unmarked grave and still lies
    a-mouldering in the ground somewhere outside of
    Jerusalem.

    Said Jesus' story was embellished and "mythicized" by
    many semi-fiction writers. A descent into Hell, a bodily resurrection
    and ascension stories were promulgated to compete with the
    Caesar myths. Said stories were so popular that they
    grew into a religion known today as Catholicism/Christianity
    and featuring dark-age, daily wine to blood and bread to body rituals
    called the eucharistic sacrifice of the non-atoning Jesus.

    Amen

    January 5, 2012 at 11:57 pm |
    • .........

      Dear sane people everywhere hit report abuse on all reality garbage

      January 6, 2012 at 4:51 am |
    • 4 more years

      Not bad Reality. I usually don't read the long posts, but why in the world would someone want to "report abuse" for telling the truth? Extremists who can't accept anyone elses point of view, like the idiot who replied to your post 1st.

      January 6, 2012 at 8:17 am |
  17. John M

    why would a bunch of atheist empty heads spend time mocking on the belief blog ???
    Enjoying validating your depraved minds ???

    January 5, 2012 at 11:20 pm |
    • sam

      Wow, someone's new to the internet...

      January 5, 2012 at 11:38 pm |
    • yikesboy

      "...why would a bunch of atheist empty heads spend time mocking on the belief blog ???
      Enjoying validating your depraved minds ???"

      John M,
      You're certainly not being very charitable. Sadly there are many studies indicating that the opposite of your eloquent argument is true- atheists and non-believers tend to be more intelligent. And please stop implying that all of us who aren't' interested in the various brands of religion out there, are somehow grouped together in a common front against the likes of you. There is no organization or tribalism going on, simply people who look on in horror at the silliness and abuses that all too often accompanies supernatural 'faith'. I share the same fear as the writer of this blog about Santorum – this man wants to beat us back to the stone age with his folksy insanity.

      January 5, 2012 at 11:46 pm |
    • Abinadi

      Because they feel guilty and they are trying to justify themselves.

      January 5, 2012 at 11:48 pm |
    • John M

      for yikes "I share the same fear as the writer of this blog about Santorum – this man wants to beat us back to the stone age with his folksy insanity.

      Like I said...empty headed atheist calling someone insane that you cannot understand or relate to.

      Charity had nothing to do with my evaluation of the rants here. Someone else would call you vipers to your face. Snakes, depraved ....hey, but chatting very nicely among yourselves...

      January 6, 2012 at 12:29 am |
    • sam

      How's it going, viper?

      January 6, 2012 at 1:04 am |
    • wow

      John, are you insinuating you relate to Santorum? Because that's all anyone needs to know about you, buddy.

      January 6, 2012 at 1:06 am |
    • Nonimus

      While I think there is plenty of mocking happening on both sides of the argument, e.g. "atheist empty heads", many non-theists are simply trying to explain why some arguments are just illogical, i.e. straw-man, ad hominem, non-sequitor, etc.

      January 6, 2012 at 11:14 am |
  18. Chevy Demo

    It ought to be genuinely obvious that the Republican party is the least religious of all parties. No sense of putting humans and environment before money and the foremost party for starting wars. Religion is one of the only topics Republicans have that can appease a large demographic by sugar coating their greed. It is hilarious to watch them fumble around, itching to sell religion without looking like evangelists because their true motives reveal their sincerity as a thin veil. Someone must have told Romney to avoid religious speak. As plastic-faced and out of touch he is with the crowd, he seems like the type to do the same thing.

    January 5, 2012 at 10:32 pm |
  19. PDEngineer

    Those who shout out God's name the loudest are the ones furthest from Him.

    January 5, 2012 at 10:29 pm |
    • Violent Communion

      Everyone is the same distance considering god doesn't exist.

      January 5, 2012 at 10:32 pm |
    • sam

      Or getting laid.

      January 5, 2012 at 10:34 pm |
    • Violent Communion

      In the butt.

      January 5, 2012 at 10:36 pm |
  20. farbarb

    Only Pat Robertson knows for sure.

    January 5, 2012 at 10:28 pm |
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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.