'Thank God I Had the Sabbath!'
A talk with Joe Lieberman

Excerpts from the interview of Sen. Joseph Lieberman, the Democratic vice presidential nominee, by Steven Waldman, editor in chief of Beliefnet.

Beliefnet: How did your faith help sustain you during the campaign and recount period?

Lieberman: Generally speaking, my faith orders and gives perspective and hopefully purpose to every day. You have a faith in a benevolent God. If things work out, great, but if they don’t work out, they weren’t meant to be.

Beliefnet: You say if it wasn’t meant to be, it wasn't meant to be. Do you think that in essence, it was God's will that Bush win the election?

Lieberman: That's where I cease orating. You accept the judgment. Obviously, those are questions beyond my understanding. Every day that we have is a gift, and we should make the most of it and understand that if things didn't workout the way we hoped, well, today gives us another chance.

My mother embodies all sorts of wisdom for me. The night of the election, when we thought we'd lost, I went to her hotel room in Nashville because I wanted to tell her myself before we conceded. Her line to me was, "Don’t worry, we're proud of how well you did, and remember you didn't lose a life, you lost an election." Which is another way of putting an essentially spiritual insight into effect.

Beliefnet: What was the nature of your prayers during the recount period?

Lieberman: Well, that a just result be achieved, and that I should be clearheaded in the judgments that were being made, and strong and willing to take risks or do some things that were controversial if I thought it was in pursuit of justice. But then [that] whatever happened, I accept it and move on.

I would never get so specific in my prayers as to pray for a victory.

Beliefnet: No? Why not?

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