So, I'd like to get a little...religious...here for a minute. Yes, I know. Don't run away screaming, pweese?
Christine O'Donnel, the new Republican/Tea Party darling, has definitely stated that God wanted her to run for public office. And do something.
And He came to you in a cloud and told you this, did He not?
You see, I really don't buy into that kind of thing. Something tells me that God, at the heart of it all, just...really doesn't care who is in office. I'm reading an excellent book right now, "The Myth of a Christian Nation" by Greg Boyd. Wonderful book. In it, he talks about the kingdom of the world (Satan's world, which he owns and rules) vs. the kingdom of God- the heavenly kingdom God runs and owns. His whole point is that God doesn't concern Himself so much with the kingdom of the world because it's all fundamentally Satan's. He's more concerned with Christians showing Calvary love to those around them and showing the kingdom of God in everyday life.
Add to that the fact that Jesus Christ never once encouraged political action. In fact, he discouraged it, and refused to talk about political issues of the day. When people tried to get him to take a stance on taxation by the Roman empire, he pointed out that since, according to the people around him, Caesar was an idolatrous phoney, why not give the idolatrous phoney what he wants- that is, his money back?
As a Christian myself, I get antsy when people claim God's endorsement when they're running for office, mostly because I see it as superficial. As this gentleman pointed out, it's a copout on some level, because it makes it so that the candidate doesn't have to take a stance. "Where do you draw your inspiration?" "The Bible." "Who's your hero?" "Jesus."
Really? Are we in Sunday School now?
More than that, I regard it as using God. Politicians use God to reach a goal. They know that by appealing to the broadest base of public support- religious Americans- they can get power. Because, after all, what will get you more votes- answering the question of why you want to be in office with the honest "Power and money" or "Because I want to turn America back to her roots, back to God"?
Which is sad, of course. Americans eat it up, not realizing the fundamental hypocrisy that goes on there. American politicians who call for God's endorsement also often seem to support the most contrary things- they support big business, which keeps millions of people the world over in bondage to a system of virtual enslavement. They support wars that are unjust and that foster rhetoric like "kill them all and let God sort them out."
Somehow- and this might just be me- I don't think that Jesus Christ, the same man who said that the greatest should become least and that all should love their enemies, would quite approve.
So perhaps it isn't so much that politicians use God...they just create their own that approves of everything they do. As Anne Lamott said- "You can safely assume that you've created God in your own image when it turns out that God hates all the same people you do."