Belief Beat

Belief Beat

Do Politicians Need Prayers? O’Donnell, Obama, & Others Say ‘Amen’

posted by Nicole Neroulias

Christine O’Donnell and Michelle Obama don’t agree on much, but they do believe in the power of prayer — specifically, at the polls. 

Though trailing Democrat Chris Coons in Delaware’s U.S. Senate race, O’Donnell says God wants her to win this election. In an interview with the Christian Broadcasting Network this week, the Republican candidate and Tea Party favorite explained:

“God will give you what you want, but He will create those desires in you so that you have a passion to do what He is calling you to, so through this whole campaign that’s what I pray: God, you gave me this desire. You gave me this desire of my heart to serve the people of Delaware, to go in there and be your voice in Congress. Help me here!”

Earlier this month, the First Lady, making media appearances on behalf of endangered Democratic candidates, encouraged prayers for her husband and his agenda:

“Everybody I know in our communities are praying for us. Every day we feel that and let me just tell your listeners it means the world to us to know that there are prayer circles and people who want to keep the spirits clean around us.”

Of course, let’s not forget all the religious leaders and faith-based organizations urging people to pray and vote a certain way (flirting with that tricky “separation of church and state” concept that may or may not be in the First Amendment, depending on whom you ask).

As we get closer to Election Day, these kinds of stories raise interesting questions, some pointed out by USA Today religion reporter Cathy Lynn Grossman: What happens when opposing groups pray? What does it mean for your faith if you lose? Does God take sides? (For what it’s worth, I have similar questions whenever I see athletes praying for a big win, singers thanking God at awards shows, etc.)

What do you think? Share your thoughts in the Comments section below.

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Comments read comments(18)
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posted October 27, 2010 at 11:02 am

Hard to find much love in your post.
When I read you post, I get lost in the prejudice and bigotry.
Please help me understand your point.

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posted October 27, 2010 at 11:25 am


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posted October 27, 2010 at 3:17 pm

Sometimes I feel alienated by politicians who speak out about their religion if I’m not a member of that religion.

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Joe Gonzalez

posted October 27, 2010 at 6:39 pm

Prayer is a serious thing. It is like an indispensable walking staff for all on the Path to God.
But everything can be trivialized. There was a time when it was quite fashionable to philosophically and intellectually doubt God’s existence.
Now it seems the pendulum has hit the other side. It’s really not ‘ do you believe ‘, but ‘ why you believe.’ It’s – sad to say – a fad now, to say ” I’m with Jesus “, or ” The Lord is my Light.” And, tomfoolery aside, it’s good for the world at large to recognize that,
on his own, man can do nothing.
So, knowing that there is a God ; and that He’s no fool – that would be antithetical and an oxymoron – God knows who’s praying and why. And God doesn’t really have time for faddists, He who can’t be flattered or bribed.
So, let whomever wants to pray, pray. That’s always good. Perhaps, in answer to their plaints, God will show them that need it that there’s a Path.

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Jack West

posted October 27, 2010 at 6:51 pm

I would like to address the situation where a singer or an athlete thank God for their win. As wonderful as they give a public expression of their belief system, they are in error. Jesus told the crowd not to behave that way in public but to thank God in private and that your Heavenly Father will reward you IN public. As you hint in the article, many have been given their “gift” so almost many are equal with their talents. God is no respecter of man, so the outcome of said situations are based on the talents of people, not divine intervention. That applies to elections as well: people choose their leaders,God doesn’t show up in the voting booth. But we are to pray for those who have been elected to govern us.

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Robert C

posted October 27, 2010 at 8:19 pm

May 31st, 2008 was a day when Hillary Clintion supporters flew to Washington in large numbers to stand outside the Marriott near the National Zoo, where the Rules & Bylaws Committee Meeting of the Democratic Party was held, to shout for the DNC to count all the votes and operate the nominating process fairly. They refused. The anger over that day has never abated. In fact, it’s grown considerably since then.
This was the determining factor in millions of registered Democrats leaving the Party for good. This was the day when the P.U.M.A. movement began — in response to Donna Brazile’s calls for “party unity” following the Rules & Bylaws Committee Meeting, Hillary supporters said “Party Unity My A$$” (or People United Means Action, depending on how you want to phrase it). Exit polls showed 8 million PUMA voted Republican for the first time in the fall of 2008.
I’ll end the history lesson by noting the people alienated by the Democratic Party during the primaries in 2008 — where it was clear the party and the media colluded at great lengths to push Obama while hammering Hillary Clinton into the ground — never came back to the Democratic Party. This video by GiGi Gaston lays it out. Obama doesn’t need prayers. He needs a new job cause he is out. The revenge of the PUMA is near at hand.

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posted October 28, 2010 at 6:19 am

Our prayer to our Holy Father is a very personal thing which we can do at any time. Our prayer should be, I believe, a request for His guidance and our strengthening of acceptance of the outcome, whether we win or lose that which we seek. God knows us and He gave us the ability to accept whatever road we find ourselves on. We don’t need to have people see us pray unless the act is to impress someone and not to actually commune with Him. This is, of course, my personal opinion.

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Your Name

posted October 28, 2010 at 2:34 pm

“people who want to keep the spirits clean around us”
Kinda reminds me of when Sarah Palin had that excorcist come in and cast out demons.
Unclean spirits and demons – sounds medieval to me.
Oh, wait … it is.

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Robert C

posted October 28, 2010 at 5:59 pm

you mean O’Donnell. If your going to be misogynist about it at least be accurate.

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posted October 28, 2010 at 6:20 pm

Anyone who is in the public eye needs all the help they can get, and if they think that help comes from a god, who cares?

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posted October 28, 2010 at 7:08 pm

New Age ghost chasers chase bad spirits, too. Isn’t there a TV show of this?

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posted October 28, 2010 at 9:47 pm

If I thought it would do any good I’d pray for politicians to keep their religion to themselves and talk about the business of governing.

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Your Name

posted October 29, 2010 at 10:09 am

No, Robert C, I didn’t “mean O’Donnell”. I was referring to the video of Mrs. Palin and the exorcist that went to her church to rid her of unclean spirits. It was widely shown during the 2008 elections. Perhaps you either forgot or never bothered to check before attempting to ‘correct’ me.
It isn’t “misogynist”; it’s accurate. I’d have said the exact same thing if a male politician had had an exorcism done at his church too.
If you’re going to comment on other people’s posts, “at least be accurate” yourself!

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Robert C

posted October 29, 2010 at 11:26 am

Why should I “Do Better” ( or is it do bitter ) with you Grumpy? You live on such a high and arrogant self made pedestal it’s not worth the time to even bother. If I had to always “correct” you it would waste too much time fruitlessly. And if your referring to this comment
please tell me where she refers to an exorcism? She had an exorcism? attended an exorcism?
By the way most religious traditions have some form or another of exorcism in their beliefs. So not so accurate, and because it joins in the liberal usual and pointless hating gang banging of this and other women who don’t politically agree with the left, yes of course it’s Misogyny. And exorcism may not be such a bad thing. Perhaps you could have one said for you.

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Grumpy Old Person

posted October 29, 2010 at 11:21 pm

No (again) Robert C. I wasn’t referring to that clip or comment. I was referring to this one …
When Huckabee has his excorcism, I’ll add him to the list of demon-repellers. His gender would be as irrelevant as Palin’s and O’Donnell’s.
I was simply highlighting the trend to infuse politics with religion, the desire to, as I said, cast out “Unclean spirits and demons” which I found medieval. America really needs to let go of the 17th century.

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Robert C

posted October 30, 2010 at 2:58 am

LOL you want to streeeeetch that saran wrap real taunt to try to make that point fit dear. DO BETTER.
Besides if you want to go on a “witch” hunt you can start on this site. Beliefnet has several pagan sites that are more than entertaining; and I believe that several regular posters here will be celebrating Samhain. I am sure you could draw a connection somehow to the nearest coven, but that would be a tad Misogynistic too.

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posted October 31, 2010 at 6:03 pm

Yes, it’s been a good day, Robert C!

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Robert C

posted October 31, 2010 at 8:26 pm

Good for you Pagan. Good for you.

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