Did God Intervene?
Evangelicals are crediting God with securing re-election victory for George W. Bush.
BY: Deborah Caldwell
On the day after President Bush was re-elected, he gave much of the credit to his political adviser, Karl Rove, whom he called "the architect" of his campaign. But in evangelical churches, on Christian radio, and in voter precincts dominated by conservative Christians, the credit is going instead to someone a whole lot more powerful: God.
The Almighty intervened in the U.S. election, these evangelicals believe, to allow Bush to remain president. They say God has "blessed" America with Bush--and had Sen. John Kerry been elected, God would have "cursed" the U.S. By allowing Bush to be re-elected, God has given America "more time" to stop its slide into evil.
"This was Providence," evangelical leader and presidential adviser
told Beliefnet. "Anybody looking at the 2000 election would have to say it was.a miraculous deliverance, and I think people felt it again this year." By allowing Bush to stay in office, Colson said, God is "giving us a chance to repent and to restore some moral sanity to American life."
, a leading Southern Baptist who participates in a weekly strategy call between the White House and evangelical leaders put it this way: "Whoever won, it would have been God's will." But because Bush won, Land told Beliefnet, God has clearly shown America his blessings. If Kerry had won, it would have proved God was cursing the United States. "The Bible says godly leadership is a sign of God's blessings and a lack of godly leadership is a sign of God's judgment. I don't see Kerry as a godly leader."
Meanwhile, Paul Weyrich, founder of the
Free Congress Foundation
and one of the original engineers of the conservative Christian political revolution, wrote an essay claiming that "God gave this President and this President's Party one more chance.God heard the fervent prayers of millions of values voters to keep His hand on America one more time despite our national sins of denying the right to life, despite ignoring the Biblical injunction against acts which are `an abomination unto the Lord' and despite the blatant attempt to remove God from the public square."
Jim Rogers of the group
sent out an email the day after the election saying, "Yesterday America cried out and He heard from heaven and answered our prayers. PRAISE GOD!!"
On Nov. 3, the president of Bob Jones University wrote an open letter, posted on its
, to the president. It said, in part, "God has graciously granted America-though she doesn't deserve it-a reprieve from the agenda of paganism.
Plenty of ordinary American evangelicals also believe that by allowing Bush to be re-elected, God has given the United States another chance. For months leading up to the election, many Christians nationwide prayed and fasted, in an effort led by
Intercessors for America
, to assist in Bush's re-election.
Among them was Diana Sheehan, a mother and housewife who led a weekly prayer group at her Pennsylvania church whose sole task was to pray about the election. For 40 days ending on Nov. 2, she also participated in a no-sugar fast. On Election Day, Sheehan paced back and forth reading the Bible in her church,
Dove Christian Fellowship
in Ephrata, Pa., as part of a round-the-clock 48-hour prayer vigil for the president. His reelection, she said, was God's signal that "he's giving us more time to get our act together. I think this nation is going down the tubes very quickly."
Across town at a local polling place, Republican committeewoman Anna Mae Ressler said Bush's re-election would mean that God has "answered our prayers and given us another chance." Ressler said she had been reading the Book of Jeremiah, which she believes parallels American history. "When that nation got so bad, the Lord sent them into captivity," Ressler explained. "We've done an awful lot of things in this country that are displeasing to God."