There are some who giggle when they hear politicians exclaim that they're being called by God to run for public office, but to others this spiritual endorsement of sorts is a very real and meaningful sentiment. Today, the Washington Post published an online "conversation" that recaps some opinion on this intriguing subject matter.
Deepak Chopra, though somewhat skeptical about some of the individuals who claim that God has endorsed their candidacy, believes that human beings are, indeed, able to connect with God. He writes:
Is there such a thing as having an intention or performing an action that is dictated by God? It would surprise modern unreligious people to hear that the answer is yes, according to almost every tradition. But finding God's blessing isn't a matter of hearing a voice in your head from on high. Nor is it a matter of the ego's ambitions, which of course play a large part in the kind of political decisions in question here.
Yet, Atheist Herb Silverman takes a staunchly negative view:
Question: Does God endorse candidates?
I wish even those who aren’t atheists would answer as I did, but apparently not. Any politician whose answer is different from mine has the potential of being downright dangerous. If a candidate says God endorses his or her run, I will run in the other direction and vote for only those who take personal responsibility for their own decisions.
Chicago Theological Seminary professor Susan Brooks Thislethwaite says that the Lord doesn't pick favorites:
The answer to that question can be decisively answered: no, God does not pick favorites among political candidates and effectively “throw” the election toward the candidate who prays most fervently. In the same way, God would not work to defeat Huckabee, should the governor have chosen to run anyway, without divine endorsement. That’s not the way divine providence, in the Christian tradition, actually works.
You can read all of the perspectives for yourself. What do you think? Does God call politicians to run for public office?