Blasphemy picks up where chutzpah leaves off
Delaware GOP Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell told the Christian Broadcasting Network last week that that she believes it was God plan for her to campaign and ultimately, to win:
"God continued to strengthen and empower us when, you know, His strength is perfected in our weakness. And that's what's exciting because you see, that if it weren't for faith, when all logic said it's time to quit, we pursued. We marched on because we knew God was not releasing us to quit. And now with such an important lame duck session you realize why we were to endure all that stuff."
How should constituents interpret statements by politicians who see their campaigns and causes as part of God's plan? How do you decipher God's intentions for you?
Inspiration comes to all, by whatever name. It impels us to stand taller, reach farther, see beyond. Sometimes it overtakes common sense and wisdom, and some other times it energizes baser impulses. I like to think that when inspiration urges me to live my life consistent with the mandate of Jewish tradition to be righteous beyond the letter of the law, then I am doing God's will.
When a human being claims to have private access to God's will, that's chutzpah. When he or she claims God's endorsement for a sports team, an investment strategy, an achievement award or, most of all, a partisan political cause, that's blasphemy.
Criticism of Ms. O'Donnell for her trivialization of faithful people's ultimate concerns ought to be coming from within her faith community. Whether I agree or disagree with her stands on the issues of the day, were she a member of my community, I'd send her back to Religious School for some instruction in theology...and humility.
October 4, 2010; 3:02 PM ET
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