By Matthew Bulger
This article originally appeared on TheHumanist.com on March 22, 2016
The presidential race is nearing its final stage. The GOP’s smorgasbord of candidates for the presidency has finally been reduced to three contenders, with Donald Trump as the clear frontrunner within reach of the party nomination. Trump’s apparent victory is particularly interesting, not only because of his notoriety and appeal to prejudice, but also because he has triumphed over Republican candidates who apparently hold divine favor.
The idea that God wants candidates to run for the presidency is nothing new. Still, records from recent times show that the Almighty’s endorsement may be the kiss of death for politicians who seek the nation’s highest office.
Take Dr. Ben Carson, who recently dropped out of the race after a lackluster showing on Super Tuesday. When considering running for the presidency back in 2013, Carson stated, “I believe that God will make it clear to me if that’s something that I’m supposed to do.”
Wisconsin governor and former presidential candidate Scott Walker was even more explicit about why he was in the race, claiming, “This is God’s plan for me, and I am humbled to be a candidate for President of the United States.”
Even more “mainstream” candidates claimed God’s guidance in jumping in to the race. Senator Ted Cruz purportedly prayed for six months before announcing his candidacy, and his father claims that the senator only decided to run after God spoke through Cruz’s wife.
And that’s just the start of the heavenly mandates. Other politicians, from Michelle Bachmannto Rick Santorum to Mike Huckabee, all claimed that God either wanted them to run or supported their candidacy—yet they went on to lose the nominations battle.
God is either a bit of a prankster—or the world’s worst campaign manager. By “calling” on politicians to run for the presidency and then neglecting to work a miracle or two so that the preferred candidate wins the general election (or even the nomination), God has effectively left his many chosen politicians out to dry.
Strangely enough, the Republican Party doesn’t seem to respond well to these calls from on high to run for office, even though the GOP is the primary force behind weakening the separation between church and state. Mitt Romney, who won his party’s nomination in 2012, never claimed a divine inspiration as the basis for his campaign, and even Donald Trump has realized that claiming he is God’s candidate would be too crazy even for his carnival of a campaign.
The lesson to be learned from all of this is that either God only chooses candidates he knows won’t win or that no such message was ever sent from heaven to earth. Either way, if you want to support a candidate for the presidency that actually has a chance of winning the election, my advice to you would be, don’t support the candidate endorsed by God.