In the last post, Barack Obama and "The Magic of Reality," we made the point that: We all have the possibility of being magical, depending on how much of our whole selves we can get to download from outer or inner space. If we wanted to put a religious spin on it we could easily have said: We all have the possibility of invoking the magical (or miraculous) power of God, depending on how well we are able to get in touch with God in heaven or the indwelling spirit of God in each of us.
With religious language. the title of the piece would have been: "Barack Obama and The Miraculous Power of God." But there is entirely too much God-talk in the 2012 election. And it is narrow-minded to believe that God favors one American political party over the other.
From scriptures used by evangelicals themselves we learn that the power is in the quality and not in the name. By no matter what name you call it, call it forth. It is also true that even if you call it God, that does not mean you have called it forth.
In one way or another, Republican Presidential candidates Rick Santorum, Michelle Bachman, Herman Cain, and Rick Perry all said that God told them to run for President. I believe them. It just depends on who you take God to be and what you take "told" to mean.
Their Bible, and mine, says: "God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth" (John 4:24 of the King James Bible). Since God is spirit, one way of getting a handle on all of the God-talk that is filling the political arena at this time is to look at what spirit is.
From a standard dictionary we get: Spirit. 1. The vital principle or animating force within living beings. Okay! 2. The soul, considered as departing from the body of a person at death. Okay, but that means it was with or within the body when the person was alive.
And 3. A being inhabiting or embodying a particular person, place, thing, or natural phenomenon. I definitely believe that God does that. 3. The Holy Spirit or divine, eternal, universal presences out of which all things are created. The Holy Spirit then is who (or what) spoke to candidates Santorum, Bachman, Cain, and Perry, and also to me. Many times!
I've been spoken to, and strongly; and when the calling is loud enough, I obey. Nothing as lofty as calling me to run for President, but I was certainly called to be a preacher. I was not the only one who sensed the call. Women in my father's church in the rural South during the 40s and 50s verified: "God wants that boy to be a preacher."
I was also called to be a singer, like Sam Cooke, but without a great voice I forsook that calling. Bachman, Cain, and Perry also forsook the Presidential calling, and Santorum is likely to forsake. But that does not mean they were not called.
The Holy Spirit being the intangible, un-manifested spirit out of which all things are created is not too far from what scientists are talking about when the speak of Unified Field Theory. These scientists say the entire universe is a big unified field of energy from which objects in the world collapse into manifestation.
Sounds like the same story as the one in Genesis in the Bible. I like the Genesis story better because the unified field version is full of a lot of math and numbers that takes a life-time to master. And how do you sing a Spiritual if what you must say is "Nobody knows the trouble I've seen. Nobody knows but the united field." So I let Genesis sum creation up for me, without believing that creation literally happened like that.
God is not all about finding formulas into which to fit numbers that give us some understanding of the un-manifested world. There is something more and that something more is us--our subjective experience of love, hate, fear, curiosity and an infinite number of tangible and intangible factors that make different parts of un-manifested world, the unified field, or Holy Spirit meaningful to each of us.
So I believe Rick Santorum when he says: "America belongs to God." But then he states a number of President Obama's political initiatives--the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, the financial sector bail out, universal health care coverage, contraception and birth control, and equal rights for gays--that apparently his subjective experience of God does not support.
He seems not to give much respect to President Obama's subjective experience of God, or mine, or, say, hundreds of millions, or billions, of people whose experience of God is different than his. Santorum said that God has to "hit me over the head harder than everybody else to get me to see. . ." Okay, I believe that God speaks that way.
Rick Perry's wife said that God spoke to her about her husband's candidacy. She said for her it was like Moses in the Bible seeing the burning bush as a sign from God. "He (Perry) felt like he needed to see the burning bush," she said. "I said, good, let me tell you something: 'You may not be seeing that burning bush but there are people seeing that burning bush for you.'" You know, like the women in my father's churches were seeing it for me.
Herman Cain said on a call-in radio show that his granddaughter sent him a text: "I love you Pa Pa. You're awesome." Cain went on to say that this was one of the messages that convinced him to run for President. "Do you know that had to be God" Cain said. "That wasn't playing. . .I think that God was speaking to me through my granddaughter."
My granddaughter said on the telephone that she loved me and she wanted me to buy her a toy for her birthday. It was too late. God had already told me to buy her a book.
George Davis is professor emeritus at Rutgers University and the creator of the five-book, interactive, world-sourced, digital series, Barack Obama, America and the World.