God and the Candidates

God and the Candidates May 6, 2016

This primary has been fascinating, as someone who studies (among other things) the intersection of religion and the public sphere.

Several candidates confidently asserted that God told them to run for president. None of them are continuing their campaigns at this stage. And so we’ve seen clear evidence yet again that political conservatives will happily try to use God to garner votes. Is the fact that people didn’t vote for them evidence that voters are wising up to such pandering? Or will all this be forgotten in four years’ time?

We also have two of the least religious candidates in recent memory still in the running – Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders. I wonder whether Republicans who are religious will prefer to support the devout United Methodist Hilary Clinton, or will choose the at best extremely nominal Presbyterian Donald Trump, whose own denomination is opposed to his words and policies.

And all the while, many are suggesting quite plausibly that the Jewish socialist is the “most Christian” candidate in many respects.

Whatever happens, it’s a fascinating testament to changing views on religion, economics, and politics in the United States.


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  • Phil Ledgerwood

    In fairness, God didn’t say they would actually win. Maybe He wants a Democrat in the White House and having that particular set of Republicans run was the best way to do it.

  • Dan

    I believe many of the religious conservatives are looking for a 3rd candidate.

  • John MacDonald

    It’s interesting to see this from the point of view of being Canadian, since our Politicians’ faith, or lack thereof, doesn’t come up in our political campaigns (at least as far as I’m aware).