What’s God Got to Do With It?

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I didn’t want to talk anymore about the election, but there’s something that’s been really upsetting me about the aftermath. I understand that there are a lot of people – 49% of the country, in fact – who aren’t happy with the outcome. And I understand that those people need to express their disappointment in the outcome, and need to do it in a way that makes sense to them.

 

What I don’t understand is why there are some who have to bring GOD into the conversation.

 

God

I’m not a religious person. I’m Jewish, but at the present time in the most uninspired way (another conversation all together). My current state of Jewishness is far more about the kugel and lox and bagels than it is about the Torah.
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I don’t consider god to be a player in election results – I pretty much assume that’s up to the voters. Apparently, god is pretty ticked off about things, according to some of my more conservative Christian Facebook friends.

A number of these friends – people I’ve never met in real life but know through the blogging community – made comments that stated one, if not all of the following:

1. God will punish us for having elected Barack Obama
2. Barack Obama is evil, and Mitt Romney is good
3. Because Barack Obama, not Mitt Romney, was elected, our country is going to fall into a deep crater of moral deviance and

corruption (which I must assume alludes to the issues of gay marriage and abortion, among other things). This opinion is shared by Franklin Graham, son of the famous (and previously non-partisan) Reverend Billy Graham.
4. That we must pray that our president will do the right thing – though I’m not entirely clear on what that right thing is, in their opinions.

 

 

 

This bothers me for a couple of reasons. Stating that your god is going to bring his wrath down on our country when discussing my president makes me very uncomfortable. Also, by defining Romney as GOOD and Obama as EVIL, there is the insinuation that one is godlike and one is the devil, if you will- those being the biblical representations of good and evil.

 

 

Let me add that many other more religious friends of mind made comments that stated that we should all pray for the president’s success and well-being. These are NOT the people I am talking about.
There is also a whiff of racism. In my travels across the internet I have read many comments referring to our president’s alleged secret Islamic fundamentalist ties. I’ve also read quite a few comments that take him to task for being a Muslim – which he isn’t. But if he was a Muslim, that would be ok too – as long as he didn’t invoke the wrath of his god upon the country for things he didn’t agree with. Like the people I mentioned above have done.

God Bless High Speed Internet

I am not a fan of Mitt Romney for a lot of reasons. But I don’t think he’s evil – just (as a human being) very conservative and a little too old-fashioned for my taste. Nor am I blind to the fact that President Obama has his shortcomings. What my friends who are sure that god is crying for our country don’t get is that this country is changing in a huge, monumental way - and it’s never changing back. Nor should it. It’s progress in the right – I mean correct – direction. Women will retain control over their bodies, gay couples can marry in four more states, and marijuana is legal in Colorado and (presumed) Washington State. There are women heading to Washington in record numbers, and the first openly gay senator, a woman, will represent Wisconsin – how about that? This is no longer the country of “old white men,” as one pundit on CNN put it.  There’s a lot that’s new, odd, different and, well, colorful. It’s spectacular.

 

 

There was nothing good or evil about this election. It was all about demographics. The Romney campaign missed this completely, and the Obama campaign embraced it whole-heartedly. That’s why Obama won – god had nothing to do with it.

 

 

Or maybe he did.

 

~ God's Promise ~

photos courtesy @creativecommons

48 Responses to What’s God Got to Do With It?
  1. Susan in the Boonies
    November 8, 2012 | 7:24 am

    For folks who believe that God is sovereign, and that He is still involved in the course of world events, it is inescapable that God allowed President Obama to be re-elected. I see no way to get around that.

    I’m praying for my president, as I have my entire life for every president this country has ever had, for him to have wisdom, and to guide our country well. I didn’t vote for President Obama, but that doesn’t mean I don’t respect and honor him. I disagree with him on certain issues, but then I disagreed with Romney on certain other issues.

    Anyway, that’s my take. God comes into everything, for me.

    But He gives us human beings a lot of leeway to make our choices.
    Susan in the Boonies recently posted..Heavenly Havarti and Black Forest Ham with Apple Butter, Aioli, AND A GIVEAWAY!My Profile

    • Sharon Greenthal
      November 8, 2012 | 7:29 am

      Thank you for such a well-put and intelligent explanation of your view, Susan. Ultimately we all have to work together and support our president if we are to make any progress in the areas where we are falling behind. Your faith is a wonderful thing and you’re fortunate to feel it so strongly.

  2. Pam Houghton
    November 8, 2012 | 7:27 am

    I hope what you describe are people on the fringe; most folks who are more moderate don’t tend to speak out as much so we tend to make assumptions that all right-wingers – or all left-wingers – are assholes. Don’t forget that that same self-righteousness is also apparent on the left: i.e. George Bush hates black people, Republicans are evil. It goes both ways. Maybe the moderates, the reasonable, need to speak out more – but damn if it doesn’t give me a headache! :)
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    • Sharon Greenthal
      November 8, 2012 | 7:30 am

      You’re absolutely right about the left-wing nutjobs. There are more than enough of them around – and quite a few on my FB feed.

  3. Lisa @ Grandma's Briefs
    November 8, 2012 | 7:28 am

    I *am* a Christian but I’m sick to death of the way so many idiots are acting like God is up there shaking his head at our lunacy for Obama’s win. And so many of those same idiots are being so hateful about the outcome. Yeah, that’s the Christian way to be, right? Hate one another?
    My thoughts on God’s part in it all is that he *is* part of it. I have faith that he—and Obama—will get things on the right track. IF the Christians-who-aren’t-so-Christian-at-all would just shut the hell up and get out of the way.
    (Yes, a bit of a rant. But again, I’m so tired of the hatefulness.)
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    • Sharon Greenthal
      November 8, 2012 | 7:33 am

      I think it was those Christians that you speak of that helped to alienate so many of possible Romney voters.

  4. Major Bedhead
    November 8, 2012 | 7:28 am

    Oh, I love this, so much. I’m an atheist and it drives me right around the bend (or, further around the bend, depending on the day) when god gets brought into the political conversation. God had nothing to do with Obama being elected.
    Major Bedhead recently posted..I must have killed babies in a past lifeMy Profile

    • Sharon Greenthal
      November 8, 2012 | 7:34 am

      I’m glad you liked it. Separation of church and state seems to have gone by the wayside for many republicans.

  5. Lois Alter Mark
    November 8, 2012 | 7:31 am

    This is a great piece, Sharon. This whole election has had too much God in it — our country was founded on the principle of separation of church and state. Religion has NO place in politics and religious freedom was intended for EVERY religion. I’m Jewish, too, and it makes me furious every time some conservative says we are a Christian nation. No, we’re not. We are a diverse melting pot, each with our own beliefs. The hypocrisy of those who spout about God is astounding. If God is all-powerful and makes no mistakes, well, face it, the right man won the election. I did find it ironic that it took an act of God — Hurricane Sandy — to wake people up to the differences in the candidates. You can’t use God at your own whim so if you think it’s all about God, you have to consider that there’s a reason Obama won, and that God has spoken.
    Lois Alter Mark recently posted..Congratulations, President Obama!My Profile

    • Sharon Greenthal
      November 8, 2012 | 7:34 am

      I too cringe when I hear that we are a Christian nation. It’s so alienating to me.

  6. Janie Emaus
    November 8, 2012 | 7:34 am

    My husband is not happy with this outcome, but he’s not blaming god, he’s blaming me! I wish I did have more power in things, but I’m just with the other half of the country.

    • Sharon Greenthal
      November 8, 2012 | 7:36 am

      Blaming you LOL! My husband and I cancel out each other’s votes every election, so there’s no one to blame!

  7. Jenn
    November 8, 2012 | 7:39 am

    I have my faith, I am Christian –more spiritual than religious–and some days my faith is stronger than other days. That said, I do not believe in a God who would condone this rhetoric of “This person’s good and That person’s evil.” I think my God would shun this way of speaking and He would say, “who made you judge?” I don’t pass judgement in this way– I do not pretend to know the mind of the God that I believe in.

    Here is something else I know. I know that my God wants me to seek Him first in all things. Does that mean I always do it?? No, very far from it. However, when I do this, it helps me to accept the things that are hard to accept, for example the results of the election. I did not vote for the President, I was disappointed when they announced he was re-elected. However, I am not wigging out and thinking the end of the world is here and we are forever doomed as a nation. I do know that it won’t alter His plan for his people–it somehow is all part of it. And therefore–I go on living my life like I have always done.

    I can only hope there are people out there that will see that not all Christians think along the lines of “this guy is good, that guy is evil.” Christians get a lot of flack for a few that go spewing off stuff that I think God would be totally ashamed of…some of us are clear minded-level headed people–and we don’t always preach as much as we try to show His love.

    Thanks for letting me have a say,
    Jenn
    Jenn recently posted..The Writers’ Post Blog Hop#54My Profile

    • Sharon Greenthal
      November 8, 2012 | 7:46 am

      Jenn, I don’t believe most people think all Christians are like those I talk about in this post – I certainly don’t. Unfortunately, when there is an extreme in any group of people, they tend to be the ones that are most visible and vocal. However, intelligent, thoughtful people know that these folks are in the 1% – well, not THAT 1%, but you know what I mean!

      Thanks for sharing such a thoughtful comment.

  8. Beverly Diehl
    November 8, 2012 | 7:44 am

    There’s a ?joke? ?aphorism? comparing religion to a penis. Something along the lines, if you have one, and are proud of it, good for you. Doesn’t mean it’s okay to whip it out in public and wave it around, and it is CERTAINLY not okay for you to try to shove it down other people’s throats.

    Declaring that you know who God likes or hates – that just makes your God look small and petty. I think people want to drag God into it because on a certain level, they know (and are ashamed of) an irrational feeling of hate/fear towards either Romney or President Obama. But you see, if GOD hates Romney, or Obama, or fags (see Westboro Baptist Church) then these feelings I have are actually RIGHTEOUS.

    It’s just sad. We are all people, the candidates and office-holders are just people. We all have many good traits and some bad, regardless of what God we might – or might not – worship. Can we all get along?
    Beverly Diehl recently posted..It Takes A Community #domesticviolenceMy Profile

    • Sharon Greenthal
      November 8, 2012 | 7:47 am

      Thank you for making me laugh out loud, Beverly! I must remember that quote!

  9. Yes and yes! Funny you should bring this up just when I’m reading Mortality by Christopher Hitchens, who is famous for asking: “What mere mortal is so damn sure that he knows the mind of god?”
    Laura Lee Carter aka the Midlife Crisis Queen recently posted..What’s happening at your house since the Great Recession?My Profile

  10. Grown and Flown
    November 8, 2012 | 8:05 am

    You have touched two of the live wires I usually avoid, politics and religion, largely because at this point I know how I feel and am much less interested in changing others minds than I once was (spent 2 years full time on a Presidential campaign). But I have to say I agree with you here. God has nothing to do with this—this is between men and women, without a deity involved. As you say there is no good an evil, just two very bright men with two very different world views. Love this Sharon, Lisa.
    Grown and Flown recently posted..Stages of Grief: Storm EditionMy Profile

    • Sharon Greenthal
      November 8, 2012 | 8:36 am

      Thanks Lisa- I usually avoid both also, but I just couldn’t help myself…

  11. Ronna Benjamin
    November 8, 2012 | 8:16 am

    Love this post Sharon! You expressed exactly what I am have been thinking.

  12. Carpool Goddess
    November 8, 2012 | 8:26 am

    I don’t think God was involved either. I do believe, as you suggested, that Obama fully embraced the demographic issue, which cost Romney of his election. I did not vote for Obama, but (and this IS where God comes in), I pray he will do well for our country and that there will be peace in the middle east (have I gone too far? I don’t usually talk politics publicly). As a Jewish girl, I’d really rather be enjoying that bagel and lox, too.

  13. Nina Knox
    November 8, 2012 | 8:36 am

    Sharon, I hope you get a chance to read my blog post today. Yes, I am one of the people that used the word Evil and I have since apologized for that. I am not a religious person and I in no way meant it in the biblical sense of Devil vs. God. I was just so angry at all the noise I was hearing about Mitt Romney being from a cult and I believe he is such a good man. I was not meaning that Obama was evil. It just seems like Mitt Romney was so hated by some and I just can’t understand that. I was very upset and angry yesterday and at 8 am yesterday morning I was going on pure emotion. Then I regretted it and felt bad about it all day. That is why this morning, after very little sleep, I posted again on my website. I know that had Romney won, much of this would be turned around and the words and the emotion and the criticism would be targeted in the other direction. Please read my post if you get a chance. I hope that acceptance and understanding can go both ways. I’m in a much better place today. I don’t pretend to know what God would have wanted in the election at all! I agree that the world is a different place and I also agree that Republicans need to make some changes. When my logical self gets a hold of my emotional and impulsive self, I know that we all want the same thing for our country. It’s just the path to get there is unclear.

    • Sharon Greenthal
      November 8, 2012 | 8:42 am

      Nina, I did read your post. One of the problems for me – and maybe you – with blogging is sometimes what I put out there doesn’t sound exactly like it did when I thought it! You were just one of many who used the word evil – it seemed to be a running theme. This has been a very emotionally charged election for so many of us, hasn’t it? Let’s move on and make our country better and stronger!

    • Beverly Diehl
      November 8, 2012 | 12:53 pm

      Hi Nina – not to stir up more noise, but as someone who *was* in a religious cult for several years, and who has studied the LDS faith and history, and listened to many stories of those who’ve left… IMO, it *is* a cult. Not because it’s new or because some of its beliefs are unconventional, but because of the ways it indoctrinates its members, proselytizes converts, and behaves towards those who’ve left. It’s very different than, well, non-cults. (Feel free to do your own research, there’s lots of info out there.)

      I don’t say this out of hate, or prejudice. Some of my best friends, even several family members, are LDS. I’ve taken lessons as an Investigator, with multiple sets of Elders (IMO, hilarious to call young men and women who are all of 18-19 “elders,” but whatever), played volleyball for months with a friend at a Stake House, attended several services and even a few baptisms and blessing ceremonies. I’ve read both the Book of Mormon AND Doctrine & Covenants cover to cover (plus I admit sneaking peeks at my friend’s “LDS married couples only” workbook). *Most* Mormon people are lovely, warm, friendly, and I would trust them with my life, or my child’s life.

      It is not exclusionary, however, to be a “good person” AND to be a member of a cult. I don’t think we should ever hate people who are in them, but I do think we should be cautious about putting people who are in – let’s just call them extremely powerful and controlling religious organizations – into public office.
      Beverly Diehl recently posted..It Takes A Community #domesticviolenceMy Profile

      • Nina Knox
        November 8, 2012 | 1:32 pm

        Hi Beverly, We will just have to agree to disagree on this. I don’t want to get into religion as far as Romney and Obama are concerned. That really opens up another whole can of worms that I just no longer have the energy to get into. I was a member of the LDS Church for several years. For my own reasons, my husband and I did decide to quit going, but not because we thought it was a cult. We were quite involved and also met some wonderful people. I, like you, do not equate all Mormons as being good people, necessarily. One has nothing to do with the other. My statement that I felt Romney was a good man was not because of his religion, but because of many of his good deeds, etc. I admire his morals and values. That is my own personal opinion of him. No need to debate that, it’s just my own personal opinion. I also do not feel that his religion, any more than Obama’s religion, has anything to do with them being President or holding public office. I really think we’re best off just to leave religion, as well as God, out of this. IMO!
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  14. Helene Bludman
    November 8, 2012 | 9:22 am

    I’m glad you addressed this, Sharon. Religion should not be part of a political agenda, and when it is, I simply tune out.
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  15. Haralee
    November 8, 2012 | 9:46 am

    Glad you posted this Sharon. Too much God was in this political season. I get immediately turned off and won’t even consider a person if they bring God into their platform or Christian values because I am not Christian and they are not talking about my God.
    Haralee recently posted..WelcomeMy Profile

  16. Florinda
    November 8, 2012 | 9:51 am

    My own opinion–which is based on fact–is that we don’t live in a theocracy, and that while this country was founded on a set of moral principles found in Christianity, those principles exist in other belief systems as well; therefore, this isn’t a “Christian nation.” I don’t think anyone’s god had much to do with Tuesday’s election outcomes…although considering some of the things that were said in God’s name during the campaign season, God may be looking for better spokespeople. That said, this country and its issues are diverse and complex, and I’d rather see them in the hands of people who accept that and move forward. And I loved this post!

  17. Pauline Gaines
    November 8, 2012 | 9:54 am

    I feel very strongly that politics and religion should be separate. I don’t like hearing either Obama or Romney talk about their faith, or about praying. And I say this as someone who grew up in a staunchly Christian family.
    Pauline Gaines recently posted..Franny’s First CotillionMy Profile

    • Sharon Greenthal
      November 8, 2012 | 10:07 am

      It’s such a personal thing – keep it out of the political discourse.

  18. Lori Jo Vest
    November 8, 2012 | 11:49 am

    You know you believe in a God of your own making when he hates the same people that you do. (My God? She loves everybody, no exceptions.)

  19. Mary Anne
    November 8, 2012 | 11:55 am

    You are so right-er correct. In my humble opinion, this election was for the Republicans to lose and lose it they did. They need a party overhaul big time.
    And I am still wondering about that separation of church and state thing…
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  20. Amanda Fox
    November 8, 2012 | 11:57 am

    Great post. Really, that’s all I have to say. You nailed it. Shared all around!
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  21. molly campbell
    November 8, 2012 | 1:40 pm

    Thank you for saying this.
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  22. Karen
    November 8, 2012 | 3:06 pm

    Sharon, as a Canadian, I feel a bit odd making any kind of commentary on the US election results, but I just wanted to note a couple of things. Canadians in general (about 75% of us) hoped that Obama would win, not because we’re godless atheistic health-care-lovin’ gun-hatin’ communists, but because he seems like a more moderate leader than Romney might have been. We’re Canadians. We like moderation.

    I do think most of the world (except the avowed theocracies) is shocked and mystified by the extreme divisiveness of US politics–and by the fact that a country founded on the principle of division between church and state would throw around so much religious invective during a political campaign. And yes, from the outside, it does look as though racial prejudice has a great deal to do with it.

    It’s easy for me to say this, though, as I don’t live in the US, and don’t plan to. However, I should point out that for those disappointed Romney fans who are now threatening to chuck it all and move to Canada–hope you enjoy our free universal healthcare, strict gun control laws, and state sanction of gay marriage! :)

    Karen
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    • Sharon Greenthal
      November 8, 2012 | 3:11 pm

      I agree that the world is looking at us with an expression of confusion and exasperation – especially with the election as a kaleidescope of our views. I also wonder how we have gotten to the point where god is such a big part of politics- I believe it started with George W. Bush. Canada sounds lovely, by the way!

  23. Walker Thornton
    November 8, 2012 | 3:26 pm

    Yes.. You nailed it. I try not to talk about my politics because I get so upset about what I see and can’t po….OOPS! About to go there.

    I love what Lois Alter Mark said in response to this blog! Thank you for putting this out there. I do think that sensible, rational people need to add their voices to the dialogue. I’ve run into a few blogs recently that I’ll not read again due to the negativity and judgmental, occasionally hateful language. Life is to short to waste my time with that.

    I want to be a part of a group that works for a positive agenda in life. Thank you for being one of those!
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  24. Stephanie, The Recipe Renovator
    November 8, 2012 | 8:10 pm

    Thank you for this. I have always thought it dangerous, and ill-considered, to think of the U.S. as a religious country… any thoughtful reading of the Old Testament/Hebrew Bible will tell you that the separation between church and state was THE smartest thing our founding fathers did.

    While I was very relieved at this particular outcome, I mainly felt sad at how divided we have become, how much hate there is in the rhetoric, and quite honestly, I have no idea how to solve that. I have many friends on FB on both sides who engaged in the kind of all-or-nothing statements you mentioned, and it bothered me.
    Stephanie, The Recipe Renovator recently posted..A letter to my 20-year-old selfMy Profile

  25. Ruby Begonia
    November 9, 2012 | 7:52 am

    God didn’t impact the election. He’s too busy watching everything that every person on earth is doing every day to make sure they follow his 15…10 commandments. However, the tooth fairy, the great pumpkin, Santa Claus…those fictional characters definitely had an impact.

  26. Karen Taylor
    November 9, 2012 | 1:49 pm

    Sharon, l couldn’t agee with you more. I am a Christian and some of the comments I have read are really disturbing, especially when you consider they are coming from people who profess to be Christians. What ever happened to patriotism and coming together for the good of the country. I have been very tempted to write a post on patriotism. Great job.

    • Sharon Greenthal
      November 9, 2012 | 2:23 pm

      Write it, Karen! I’d love to see what you have to say.

  27. Joy Weese Moll (@joyweesemoll)
    November 11, 2012 | 5:28 am

    You’re very brave to take this on. My Facebook wall sprouted gloating from one side and scary wrath of God statements from the other. I chose not to wade in.

    Well, except someone posted a purple map and I shared that. On the red and blue maps, we look like we should be three countries. On the purple map, we’re just many shades of purple. That was encouraging — and pretty.
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