Did God Intervene to Elect Bush?

A lot of evangelicals seem to think so:

"This was Providence," evangelical leader and presidential adviser Charles Colson told Beliefnet. "Anybody looking at the 2000 election would have to say it was...a miraculous deliverance, and I think people felt it again this year." By allowing Bush to stay in office, Colson said, God is "giving us a chance to repent and to restore some moral sanity to American life."

Richard Land, a leading Southern Baptist who participates in a weekly strategy call between the White House and evangelical leaders put it this way: "Whoever won, it would have been God's will." But because Bush won, Land told Beliefnet, God has clearly shown America his blessings. If Kerry had won, it would have proved God was cursing the United States. "The Bible says godly leadership is a sign of God's blessings and a lack of godly leadership is a sign of God's judgment. I don't see Kerry as a godly leader."

Meanwhile, Paul Weyrich, founder of the Free Congress Foundation and one of the original engineers of the conservative Christian political revolution, wrote an essay claiming that "God gave this President and this President's Party one more chance...God heard the fervent prayers of millions of values voters to keep His hand on America one more time despite our national sins of denying the right to life, despite ignoring the Biblical injunction against acts which are 'an abomination unto the Lord' and despite the blatant attempt to remove God from the public square."

Jim Rogers of the group Mission America sent out an email the day after the election saying, "Yesterday America cried out and He heard from heaven and answered our prayers. PRAISE GOD!!"

I have to confess that I always get a good belly laugh out of such nonsense. The most amusing part to me is how little they have obviously thought these claims through. There are really only two possibilities. Either everyone who would have voted for Bush did vote for Bush, in which case there's no point in thanking God for it and pretending that he made it happen; or God did intervene to make sure that Bush would be elected, which would of course be an obvious violation of that whole "God gave men free will" idea that they repeat so often. So how do you think God did it? How did he make sure that Bush would be elected? There are lots of possibilities.

Maybe God just told a bunch of people that they had to vote for Bush whether they liked it or not. Nah, not subtle enough. Maybe he just made them think that they really wanted to vote for Bush even if they didn't. But wait, if God plants thoughts in people's heads and changes their mind for them, free will goes out the window, doesn't it? Hmmmm. Okay, maybe he just redirected a few cars here and there to run over people who might not vote for Bush. Well that wouldn't be a very nice God, now would it? Okay, maybe he sent natural disasters to kill off people who might vote for Bush. That seems more God's style. The bible is full of examples of that sort of thing. Hmmmm. I wonder if all those Florida hurricanes just happened to hit disproportionately in Democratic strongholds? We may be on to something here. But wait, that doesn't explain Ohio, does it? Wait, I've got it. Maybe these people are just full of shit? Yeah, I think I'll stick with that one.

And they are not, of course, the first group of fundies to be full of shit on this issue in America. Their forefather fundies at the time of the Constitution were equally full of shit, declaring that if the Constitution passed as it was written, with no mention of God and a ban on religious tests for office, it would bring down the wrath of the Almighty upon us all. Rev. John Mason of New York declared that if the Constitution were ratified:

We will have every reason to tremble, lest the Governor of the Universe, who will not be treated with indignity by a people more than by individuals, overturn from its foundations the fabric we have been rearing, and crush us to atoms in the wreck.

And when Jefferson was running for President in 1800, the pulpits were filled with blustering sermons declaring that if this French infidel were elected, God would render America to ruins for our rejection of his divine rule. You gotta give the fundies credit on this one. Their predictions may be absurd, but they've stuck to them for well over two centuries now!

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"Whoever won, it would have been God's will." But because Bush won, Land told Beliefnet, God has clearly shown America his blessings. If Kerry had won, it would have proved God was cursing the United States.

Wow. It must take a great deal of effort to believe such ridiculous horseshit.

By Matthew Phillips (not verified) on 09 Nov 2004 #permalink

God also gave us Bill Clinton for eight years, clearly proving that He was testing our faith. We survived the dark time, and lo! the light is upon us.

Clearly, Mr. Brayton, you do not understand the Calvinist doctrine of divine election. (Snare tap, cymbal crash.)

"How did he make sure that Bush would be elected?"


By Ilkka Kokkarinen (not verified) on 09 Nov 2004 #permalink

And you'd think God would have whipped up something more like Reagan '84 in the mandate department.

Maybe He wanted it to be more of a challenge.