“Well, it’s in God’s hands.”
I’ve heard that expression a lot lately. I’m hearing it from Catholics and Christians generally who are extremely worried about this presidential election. They pepper me with questions on polls, voter turnout, media bias, independents and moderates, Ohio, Florida, Pennsylvania, and how Catholics and evangelicals might vote. They are deeply concerned. “Well,” they sigh, “I guess it’s in God’s hands.”
But is it? I think it’s in our hands. I think God has left it in our hands. Just as God has given us free will, the power to choose right over wrong, good instead of bad, and even to accept or reject God, so, too, I imagine, God wants to see how we choose this November 6, 2012.
Consider a Scripture verse as precedent, 2nd Chronicles 7:14. It states: “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”
That Old Testament passage happened to be President Ronald Reagan’s favorite. It was so significant to Reagan that he literally had his hand on that verse at his inaugural ceremony in January 1981. The Bible he used was his mother’s. Next to the verse, his mother had scribbled: “A wonderful verse for the healing of a nation.”
In response, Reagan, as president, personally committed himself to helping advance a spiritual renewal in an America that had declined so precipitously in the 1960s and 1970s. Reagan believed that America was truly a blessed nation, that God had shed His grace on thee. He feared what might happen to such a nation that turned its back on that generous God. Those Americans had a choice, just as Jews did in that 2nd Chronicles passage. If Americans chose wrongly, then they earned whatever lack of graces or protections God might provide.
This November 6, 2012, it will be left to Americans, not to God, to vote for or against so-called “gay marriage,” for taxpayer funding of abortion and Planned Parenthood and contraception and embryo destruction, for violations of their own religious liberty, and much more. Those choices are left not to God but to Catholics.
This election isn’t in God’s hands; it’s in our hands.
Paul Kengor is professor of political science at Grove City College. His books include God and Ronald Reagan, God and George W. Bush, and God and Hillary Clinton. His latest is The Communist: Frank Marshall Davis, the Untold Story of Barack Obama’s Mentor.