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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. Anne Smithe

    “When Bush was president of the United States he claimed, on more than one occasion, to be in dialogue with God. If he said that he was talking to God through his hairdryer, this would precipitate a national emergency. I fail to see how the addition of a hairdryer makes the claim more ridiculous or offensive.” ― Sam Harris

    January 5, 2012 at 3:40 pm |
  2. Lindy

    This is just hilarious. I would never vote for anyone who had the audacity to say god spoke personally to them to run. Imagine the gall to then quit. Wouldn't that be like slapping god in the face?

    January 5, 2012 at 3:40 pm |
    • Independent_me

      OMG!!!
      This is hilarious!!!

      January 5, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
  3. Jason

    Maybe God really wants Romney to win and these others need to help split up the rest of the Republican base to make this happen.

    January 5, 2012 at 3:39 pm |
    • Independent_me

      For an evangelical to vote for a Mormon would be tantamount to heresy...I think God put them in this spot because they have been using God'to promote their own political agendas.

      God told me that (s)he is fed up with their shenanigans...

      January 5, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
  4. Clyde Farris

    God told me not to run, and sometimes I think he doesn't like Tim Teabow either. I wonder, how does Teabow hear God over the crowd noise? Maybe the faithful just hear what they want to hear. I wonder if God told Cain and Bachmann to withdraw?

    January 5, 2012 at 3:39 pm |
  5. Michael Theis

    Many are called but few are chosen.

    January 5, 2012 at 3:39 pm |
    • Independent_me

      Great point!!!!

      January 5, 2012 at 4:16 pm |
  6. jobeycarl

    "George Bush says he speaks to God everyday, and Christians love him for it. If George Bush said he spoke to God through his hair dryer, they would think he was mad. I fail to see how the addition of a hair dryer makes it any less absurb."

    January 5, 2012 at 3:39 pm |
  7. Anne Smithe

    Um...there is no god! These people are politicians, therefore they are complete liars. They either really believe god wants them to win which makes them dangerous and delusional or they know they have to ham it up to get the inbred, middle- of- the-country bible-believing delusional people's votes. Either way it's pathetic and an embarrassment to this country! http://www.curefaith.com

    January 5, 2012 at 3:38 pm |
  8. Jim K

    When The Blues Brothers (in the movie of the same name) claimed they were "on a mission from God," it was hilarious. It was good, sardonic comedy.
    When a 21st century presidential candidate makes the same claim, however, it makes my skin crawl. It's sad, frightening and kinda creepy. I wonder if (by divine intervention) such a candidate might win the election and shortly thereafter hear voices in the oval office telling him (or her) that the seven horsemen of the Apocalypse are on their way.
    Kennedy's stance on secularism was just one facet of his sober approach to political leadership. Since his time, though, it seems much of American politics has gone from a bit strange to completely insane.

    January 5, 2012 at 3:37 pm |
    • Independent_me

      You know...we are assuming that the God who called them to run is the one most Christians pray to... maybe it was the god of confusion (aka the devil) who was talking with them!

      January 5, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
  9. Opeyemi Gbadero

    Well God might have told them to run, but none of them said GOD told him/her they would win.

    January 5, 2012 at 3:37 pm |
  10. Zed

    The only thing that made me laugh more than the actual tweet, was the serious tone of this articles and the questions at the end. Hahaha, I'm still laughing...I'm sorry.. I just can't help it.... hahahaha

    January 5, 2012 at 3:37 pm |
  11. Chris B

    God may have told them to run. What I didn't read was that God told them they were going to win. Big difference.

    January 5, 2012 at 3:37 pm |
    • Independent_me

      I think God wanted to expose them for what they really are on a national stage...

      January 5, 2012 at 4:16 pm |
  12. atypical

    some people build sand castles.
    some people move in.

    January 5, 2012 at 3:36 pm |
  13. LIsaM

    Wow... I'm glad God told them to run and loose. God has always had a horribly sick, twisted sense of humor.

    January 5, 2012 at 3:36 pm |
  14. Nyarlathotep

    God told them to run; Great Cthulhu told me to mock them without mercy. Given the results, whose deity is more powerful?

    January 5, 2012 at 3:36 pm |
    • Independent_me

      hehe! I love it!!!

      January 5, 2012 at 4:14 pm |
  15. v_mag

    I don't want a faith-based candidate. I want a reality-based candidate.

    January 5, 2012 at 3:36 pm |
  16. Independent_me

    They dropped out because God did not call them to run.
    That was simply their hook to get the evangelical base to support them.
    Unfortunately, they did not read the part of the Bible that says "Do not be deceived; God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows" Galatians 6:7.

    January 5, 2012 at 3:36 pm |
    • KC

      There is also a little spot in John 17 that says Gods people are to be no part of the world. How much more a part of the world can you be than to become the leader of the largest and most powerful country in the the world? Makes me shake my head....

      January 5, 2012 at 4:53 pm |
  17. Chris In California

    We spend billions fighting theocratic/dictator governments in other countries in order to introduce a more secular/democratic system but the Republican right contradict all of that by espousing God in all forms of decision making and laws. Makes my head spin.

    January 5, 2012 at 3:35 pm |
    • Independent_me

      Last year on Republican Senator boasted that they were the American Taliban...maybe the Republicans want to introduce Christian Sharia law in America... They sure seem to enjoy screwing the poor and the middle class!

      January 5, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
  18. Norm

    God told them to run for office.
    He didn't tell them they would win.
    He just wanted the 1% to throw millions of their ill gotten gains down the tube.

    January 5, 2012 at 3:35 pm |
  19. Punisher2000

    I speak to God regularly. Funny, He never told ME to run for anything. I was hoping Tanty Liz would tell me to run, but I wasn`t even invited to the wedding. Blast!

    January 5, 2012 at 3:34 pm |
  20. Cliff

    The experiences and the learning that a candidate or anybody goes through in decisions they make far out way whether or not a candidate wins the nomination or "success" as the world defines it is achieved. Failure is part of the human experience and if dealt with correctly helps one become the person that God hopes they can be. I never heard one of the candidates say "God told me to run because I am supposed to win."

    January 5, 2012 at 3:34 pm |
    • Robin

      Well put. While I am neither Evangeical or a Christian Conservative (and I found all of these candiates, frankly, offensive to my beliefs), I do have faith and I believe in respecting other people's faith. Your answer is respectful. – unfortunately, the candidates mentioned were not respectiful of others' faiths and beliefs.

      January 5, 2012 at 3:40 pm |
    • v_mag

      Clearly, each of these people implied that they expected God to give them victory, and that people should support them because otherwise, God would be mad. You can't really believe that they were all sincere, can you? The kindest way to look at it is that they all misunderstood what God said. The more realistic way to see it is that they were all using the name of God to manipulate weak-minded people. That's a sin, isn't it? Taking the name of the Lord in vain?

      January 5, 2012 at 3:43 pm |
    • Church of Suicidal

      Sigh. Outweigh, not out way.

      January 5, 2012 at 3:47 pm |
    • Kael

      @Church of Suicidal nothin' better to do but spellcheck? I guess if you sit at mom's house all day with nothing to do this is what happens

      January 5, 2012 at 3:56 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.