God and American Elections

During Pres. George Bush’s eight years there has never been a dull moment — 9/11, invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan, Libya and North Korea turning a new leaf, economic crash and nationalization of banks  and now the election of Sen. Barack Obama’s as the President of United States. All these are historic events about which books will be written and PBS documentaries made.

While the pundits are busy with their 800 word op-ed pieces analyzing why Joe the Biden trumped Joe the Plumber, one angle that may not get attention is the role of God in the campaign. In spite of the separation of church and state, often there was mention of our God versus theirs, godless people and various humans telling others what God wants.

At a rally, a pastor Arnold Conrad said in his invocation that Sen. McCain’s opponents are praying to their Gods — Hindu, Buddha, Allah — that Sen. Obama wins. The pastor portrayed the election as a battle between his God and other Gods. He wanted his God to do some magic so that his (God’s) reputation is maintained.

In California too few of God’s people told people what to do in a full page ad in various newspapers. The issue  was Proposition 8, which if passed would eliminate the right of same-sex couples to marry. While Google, AppleBrad Pitt, Steven Spielberga vast majority of newspapers and mayors were against the proposition, various churches were for denying equal rights for same-sex couples.

Pastors around the country encouraged their followers to give up solid food for 40 days. One editorial writer quoted Genesis 1:26-28 and wrote, “The Constitution (of the U.S. and state) does not give lawmakers, judges or the people any right (so-called rights) to change the definition and responsibilities and joys of the marriage institution God established his way and in his ultimate wisdom.”

In the Senate election in North Carolina, it was not the presence of God, but the absence that was a campaign issue.  Sen. Elizabeth Dole (R) released an ad attacking her opponent for being “Godless.”

Dole’s opponent Kay Hagan is a church member and taught Sunday school, but no one asked the question: What if she is godless? There were accusations that Sen. Obama was a Muslim and he came out explaining his Christian roots. What if he is a Muslim? Does that make him a lesser American?

The most eloquent response to this question came from Colin Powell, while endorsing Obama.

Finally as the results came out, Sen. Obama won, which in Pastor Arnold Conrad‘s world means, Hindu, Buddha and Allah triumphed over God. The “Godless” Kay Hagan beat Elizabeth Dole, but Proposition 8 passed in California which for some people means that God’s will triumphed over man’s.

By the way, the year now is 2008.

2 thoughts on “God and American Elections

  1. Open Letter to all who voted for prop 8.
    The founding fathers of this country were very clear that they did not want religious opinion to ever influence law and civil rights. Thomas Jefferson is rolling over in his grave right now. Here is what he has to say about prop 8.
    “Some men look at constitutions with sanctimonious reverence, and deem them like the ark of the covenant, too sacred to be touched.”
    “Because religious belief, or non-belief, is such an important part of every person’s life, freedom of religion affects every individual. State churches that use government power to support themselves and force their views on persons of other faiths undermine all our civil rights. Moreover, state support of the church tends to make the clergy unresponsive to the people and leads to corruption within religion. Erecting the “wall of separation between church and state,” therefore, is absolutely essential in a free society.”
    “All, too, will bear in mind this sacred principle, that though the will of the majority is in all cases to prevail, that will to be rightful must be reasonable; that the minority possess their equal rights, which equal law must protect, and to violate would be oppression.”
    “An honest man can feel no pleasure in the exercise of power over his fellow citizens.”
    “It behooves every man who values liberty of conscience for himself, to resist invasions of it in the case of others: or their case may, by change of circumstances, become his own.”
    “If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be.”
    “The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as are injurious to others.”
    You are tearing down the foundations of this country to suit your personal agenda. Shame on you. We will fight until we have equal rights.

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