Did God Intervene?

Evangelicals are crediting God with securing re-election victory for George W. Bush.

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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

website

, 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."

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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."

Now that God has given America extra time from which to be spared his wrath, evangelicals feel some urgency to buckle down to God's business. That is why, for example, a group called Christian Response has already sent out an email with the subject line "EMERGENCY!" to induce supporters to blast Capitol Hill with faxes condemning Sen. Arlen Specter, the Republican Pennsylvania senator who said last week that judicial nominees who oppose abortion would face difficulty getting Senate confirmation. The

Family Research Council
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Deborah Caldwell
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