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Did God Save House Speaker John Boehner's Job?


"He’s not a God of chaos, he’s a God of order."

House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio listens to a reporter's question during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, May 23, 2013. Credit: AP

Did God save House Speaker John Boehner's job?

Sure, it's an odd question -- but one that begs to be asked in light of recent report by the Washington Post.

Here's the background story: Some House Republicans, according to news reports, were apparently hesitant to re-confirm Boehner to his position earlier this year. Debate over his handling of the nation's financial issues and the so-called "fiscal cliff" caused quite a riff among the GOP.

But these lawmakers who were reportedly considering waging a coup in an effort to see him lose his position had a last-minute change-of-heart, the Washington Post reports.

In an article on Monday that detailed Republican in-fighting, this paragraph caught the attention of a plethora of media outlets:

Barely 36 hours after the caustic New Year’s Day vote, Boehner faced a coup attempt from a clutch of renegade conservatives. The cabal quickly fell apart when several Republicans, after a night of prayer, said God told them to spare the speaker. Still, Boehner came within a few votes of failing to secure his speakership on the initial vote, an outcome that would have forced a second ballot for the first time in nearly a century.

Considering the proximity of the "fiscal cliff" vote to his re-confirmation, it's no wonder emotions were running high. If you'll recall, Boehner voted "yes," leaving many conservatives outraged. But the notion that God instructed these Republican leaders to leave the House leader in his post is a fascinating one.

GOP Rep. Steve Southerland, as Salon notes, had previously spoken openly about praying over the vote to re-confirm Boehner. Here's how the outlet recaps the internal struggle and reliance upon his faith that Southerland faced, as his fellow lawmakers sought to unseat Boehner:

Southerland, who has previously talked about his role only with the conservative Weekly Standard, said he read the Old Testament the night before the vote. He read the story of Saul and David, as the king of Israel tried to kill the future king. David wins and, with a chance to kill the king, decides to spare Saul.

Southerland woke up convinced that Boehner should be spared. Others, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said they, too, prayed before siding with Boehner.

“He’s not a God of chaos, he’s a God of order,” Southerland said.

So, there you have it. Did God save Boehner? You decide -- and let us know your thoughts in the comments section.

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