The EFM Feature
Herman Cain, from Flickr user Gage Skidmore, used under a Creative Commons license

I’ve never met Jennifer Rubin, the Washington Post‘s conservative blogger, but I’ve been reading her stuff for some time.  She’s truly talented, and she’s not a partisan, some of the Perry camp’s gripes notwithstanding.  While there are some candidates for whom she’s lost all patience, she’s written many pieces critical of Gov. Romney (including one of her very first ever as she arrived on the political journalism scene) and she seems to have a continuing soft spot for Sen. Santorum.  Sure, she’s been pretty complimentary about our guy lately, but not uncritically so.

Having said that, I rise this morning to disagree with Ms. Rubin’s recent post on Mr. Cain accusing him of thinking he was “selected by God.”  What seems to have her so excised is the following statement by Mr. Cain on the campaign trail, as reported by National Journal:

I prayed and prayed and prayed. I’m a man of faith, I had to do a lot of praying for this one, more praying than I’d ever done before in my life. And when I finally realized that it was God saying that this is what I needed to do, I was like Moses. ‘You’ve got the wrong man, Lord. Are you sure?’

Here’s the thing, though:  God calling you to run the race doesn’t mean he’s called you to win it in an earthly sense.  In fact, sometimes he calls us to do things in which we will suffer great pain that will refine us.  Just ask Job, among many others.

I don’t see any evidence that Mr. Cain was arrogantly saying he’d won the “God primary.”  He was saying that God answers prayer and calls people to do certain things, and that when he does this, we are to respond in obedience.

Mr. Cain has given us many reasons to ask questions about his candidacy lately (most recently his comments on Libya and collective bargaining) but this is not one of them.  In fact, if what he’s said about God’s call on his life is objectionable, than every other future candidate from an evangelical background ought to take his ball and go home now.

About Charles Mitchell

EFM's resident Yankee, Charles Mitchell, works in the non-profit arena in his native Pennsylvania. He and his wife, Charissa, live near the state capital of Harrisburg with their daughter, Adeline, and are members of a congregation of the Presbyterian Church in America.

Comments and Discussion

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6 Responses to Mr. Cain and the “God Primary”

  1. Terry says:

    So God told Cain to run. Being a religious person myself, I’m not going to dispute that claim. In going public with his assertion however, I think he’s unnecessarily opening himself up to more grief. I can picture questioning headlines with the words “God’s Candidate” in them. As the article so accurately states, God’s stamp of approval for Cain’s presidency run doesn’t necessarily mean that God is also going to help Cain win. That’s a bird of another feather.

  2. Vineyard says:

    I agree with what Terry has said. Religious conservatives bring the scrutiny and distrust from others on themselves, but if that is why he decided to run, then I say, yell it off the mountain tops. And if he loses, so be it.

  3. gene says:

    First it was Michelle,then Perry,now it is Cain….getting a little confusing who God called. Myabe Mitt be he is
    keeping it quite?

  4. Rev. Ton P. Alcantara says:

    The only way to find out for a candidate that s/he is God’s choice is when the campaign and the elections are all over and s/he triumphed as the winner. Any rhetoric to that effect is premature. To make allegations that s/he is God’s favorite is willfully blocking God’s prerogatives and insults the voters’ intelligence and right to choose. As voters we know better…

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