In the remarks he made immediately after stunningly upsetting Eric Cantor in Virginia’s Republican primary new Tea Party star David Brat said that his win was a ‘miracle’ and he opened his remarks by quoting the Book of Luke in the Christian Bible. Brat seemed to be implying that God wanted him to win the election, that God chose him over Eric Cantor.
That kind of thinking – that a person knows what God is ‘thinking’ – always makes me nervous. As far as I know, God is not a registered Republican in the Commonwealth of Virginia, so God did not enter a voting booth to choose one candidate over another. God doesn’t vote. And God doesn’t endorse candidates either. (Neither do clergy, by the way. From the pulpit at least it is illegal for a member of the clergy to tell parishioners to vote for a particular candidate.)
If you begin to believe that God prefers certain candidates, it follows that God also supports certain policy positions. That God, for example, prefers the Tea Party’s policies to those of the Democrats’, or Republican’s views to Libertarians. This is a blurring of religion and politics that is dangerous. It is not a stretch from there to say that God prefers policies that are ‘Christian’ and not ‘Jewish’ or ‘Muslim’ (or from any other faith tradition, for that matter).
Lets be a bit more humble if we can. God doesn’t pick or choose candidates. God does not endorse certain policy positions while disparaging others. And any person who thinks they know with any degree of certainty what God wants or ‘believes’ (if these are even terms that we can apply to God) is delusional. So lets leave what God believes to God. And lets leave the voting to us. Provided, of course, we are properly registered.