Political God Talk #2

Last week I posted about Sarah Palin's speech to ministry students saying that I am not comfortable with this kind of God language used by political leaders. The Washington Post recently asked religious columnists about it this way:
Republican VP nominee Sarah Palin recently suggested that a gas pipeline is "God's will" and the Iraq war is "a task that is from God." Are you concerned about these or any other candidate's religious views?
Here are a few of the responses they got:

When politicians of any party or persuasion claim to know the will of God in any detail and to be following it in such detail, "better duck!" would be the best advice. Trouble ahead. Obsession, self-righteousness, and fanaticism follow. -Martin Marty

All politicians, Democrats and Republicans alike, love to use God to baptize their political agendas. In August, 1994, President Bill Clinton addressed an African-American congregation in Maryland. Clinton told them it was "the will of God" that Congress pass his anti-crime bill. He didn't say if God would accept any amendments. -Cal Thomas

I am not interested in a candidate's religious views. From the outside looking in, the beliefs of another's faith community often seem very strange, weird, and even frightening. The issue of concern for me is not what a candidate believes about God but whether a candidate believes in the separation of church and state. -Rabbi Irwin Kula

I am concerned about anyone who claims the ability to speak with certainty about the will of God. When that claim is coupled with partisan politics, my concern turns into fear. -Welton Gaddy

I am concerned, not about this candidate's religious views (that particular political decisions might be in accordance with God's will) but about her political judgment. Christian political decisions need to be made in wisdom, and these decisions seem to me unwise for reasons that are obvious to some, opaque to others, but would take too long to spell out. -Bishop N.T. Wright

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