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Divine Electoral Intervention?

Sarah Palin, emerging from the voting booth this morning, said: "Tomorrow, I hope, I pray, I believe that I'll be able to wake up as vice president elect and be able to get to work."

I've also seen a ton of e-mail calling on people to set aside some portion of today to pray that Barack Obama is elected president.

I'm sure Palin is doing just as she said she would and that she has asked the Good Lord to make her vice president of the United States.

I'm equally certain that a good many people are seeking divine intervention to achieve the opposite result.

But with all due respect both to Palin and those praying for her opponents: What do they expect god to do? Smite Republicans? Lift up Democrats? Grace the GOP? Banish the party of FDR?

Do they really believe the Almighty takes sides in American politics?

If we're going to ask for anything, let it be along the lines of this (inspired by something I read the other day, in Forward Day by Day): Pray for our nation and its government in periods of transition -- that the outgoing will leave gracefully and the incoming will build on past successes and make amends for past mistakes; and that if we are going to pray at all, then give thanks we can choose our own leaders.

And then let's leave it at that.

By Colbert King  | November 4, 2008; 5:27 PM ET
Categories:  King  | Tags:  Colbert King  
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Comments

Well, one of the candidates certainly has my prayers, even if he doesn't have yours, Mr.King!

Posted by: martymar123 | November 4, 2008 6:57 PM | Report abuse

I respectfully disagree, Mr King.
I'm praying for an Obama victory because thousands of lives, at a minimum, are at stake as is the quality of life for millions of Americans.

We need a Democratic President and a strong Democratic majority in congress.

And yes, I'm praying for it.

Posted by: svreader | November 4, 2008 7:00 PM | Report abuse

Whatever happens on this election day will affect the future. And we can only look at it as the will of the people. But I do believe people's faith and prayed-for guidance by God can have an effect. If the American people vote in a candidate who believes in legalized and federally sponsored baby killing such as abortion, I fear that the Almighty will feel we have left Him. If you believe in God, as many Americans profess to believe, how can you ignore the Old Testament which relates God's relationship with the Jewish people when they left Him and followed man's desires. They spent many years desolate. When they returned to God, he welcomed them and they prospered. He has given us free will to choose our direction. America's direction has not been good. Kill the unborn but then protest a death sentence of a rapist/murderer of a child saying that it is wrong to kill the murderer. Should not the same thought be with the child in the womb who has harmed no one. I am not a preacher but maybe this will give the athiest fodder. Lord knows, they need something to think about since they have no future. I do pray that whoever is elected will lead the country well but I am afraid if the democrats seize power in all branches, America will go on a downward cycle. The lefties call for tolerance, but they themselves are usually anything but tolerant to the views of others.

Posted by: johntu | November 4, 2008 7:05 PM | Report abuse

I imagine God is busy attending to pressing matters in some other galaxy, so our election will go unremarked upon by Him. The bed the voters make we all must lie in for at least four years president-wise. So, let the choice be a good one, this time.

Posted by: BlueTwo1 | November 4, 2008 7:06 PM | Report abuse

My prayers are that I will see "the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living." No, I don't need a particular candidate winning for that to happen, but in this case I think one of them does represent that more than the other. That said, no, I honestly haven't prayed for my candidate to win, haven't felt the need. And my prayers to see goodness in the land of the living have already been answered-- when I went door-to-door in a very red, historically "racist" area today, and was told time after time by people over 65, 75 or 80---I voted for "that one." I kept thinking, see their ages, "this must be the wrong house." And time after time they told me, "Yes, we did."

Now, you, Mr.King, though, you worry me.
It all seems a little too easy for you to dismiss faith and prayer as part of the equation. I will pray for YOU.

Posted by: martymar123 | November 4, 2008 7:13 PM | Report abuse

The answer to Colbert King's question is simple -- the people praying for divine intervention are indeed hoping (if not necessarily expecting) that the God to whom they pray will act to bring about the "right" result. Perhaps a more interesting question is whether someone who has prayed to God for divine intervention in this election will come to the conclusion that, regardless of his/her prayer, the outcome is what God wanted.

Posted by: taikan | November 4, 2008 7:24 PM | Report abuse

As a Person of Faith (or whatever us religious people call ourselves these days), I'm all about praying for the candidate of my choice, especially tomorrow. I get your point--the Almighty isn't rigging ballot boxes and He can't make everyone win. But He may bless our candidates and ourselves with courage, honesty, grace in victory, comfort in defeat, and guidance in the face of challenges large enough to swamp any person.

And there is this odd Christian tradition of praying for our enemies, which I cannot support enough, since it is all too easy to see the guy across the street with the other yard sign as my enemy, or think angry thoughts about the dedicated public servant who has spent untold hours following a personal vision through grueling conditions. But tomorrow, I hope to see the guy across the street as my neighbor and the public servant I don't want in office as a dedicated American hero (albeit one with whom I do not always agree.)

Posted by: krasni | November 4, 2008 7:52 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, Colbert, for your continued grace, dignity, and good sense. If there's a God, he's given us the intelligence to determine our own best interests, and to work diligently and cooperatively towards them. Maybe if we continue in this direction, it will become clear our political opponents rarely are our enemies, and our governmental leaders will govern with less strive than we have seen these past several years.

Posted by: jackson251 | November 4, 2008 9:54 PM | Report abuse

In a earthly nation like America in which its political parties have wasted (not just spent) 10 trillion dollars over thirty years with nothing really to show for it at the same time those parties have sold their souls to foreign pagans for another 11 trillion in national deficit, it is very likely that the Americans don't deserve 'divine intervention' no matter what their prayers are. For those in this blog who snicker at the idea of such intervention, don’t forget that your very advanced parietal cortex that allows you to write and read in this blog COULDN’T have been a random event of evolution.

Posted by: agapian | November 4, 2008 10:49 PM | Report abuse

Divine intervention would really depress turnout.

Posted by: raycrossley | November 4, 2008 11:44 PM | Report abuse

Mr. King - What a stupid thing to say. Prayer is a good thing and believe me.. Obama better pray.. because our country is going to hit rock bottom with him in office.

Another thing - Affirmative Action for the Black African man like yourself should no longer be available now that Obama has been elected. The African American man should be proud and its good for this country, but stopping the minority card is a must and the dicrimination against the white man.

Posted by: SAL3456 | November 5, 2008 8:02 AM | Report abuse

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