Scott Walker claims God’s endorsement in launching presidential bid

It’s become a Republican tradition. Every election cycle, conservative lawmakers line up to tell conservative voters that their conservative God wants them to run for president. Last year, God gave assurances to no less than five candidates — Newt Gingrich, Herman Cain, Michelle Bachmann, Rick Santorum and Rick Perry — that they had a divine mandate to seek the Oval Office.

This year, John Kasich and Ben Carson have already invoked God when talking about their prospective presidential bids.

So it should come as no surprise that, in his first day as an official candidate, Scott Walker sent an email to supporters claiming that he is certain — beyond reasonable doubt! — that God has endorsed his 2016 bid. As Walker wrote (emphasis his):

My relationship with God drives every major decision in my life. Each day I pray and then take time to read from the Bible and from a devotional named Jesus Calling.

As you can imagine, the months leading up to my announcement that I would run for President of the United States were filled with a lot of prayer and soul searching.

Here’s why: I needed to be certain that running was God’s calling — not just man’s calling. I am certain: This is God’s plan for me and I am humbled to be a candidate for President of the United States.

Walker went on in the faith-themed email to tout his newly-passed 20-week abortion ban, along with his support for a constitutional amendment allowing states to define marriage as being between one man and one woman.

Of course, Walker’s assertion that he delayed announcing his candidacy because he hasn’t prayed hard enough is patently absurd. He delayed his announcement for purely secular reasons: notching a few more far-right victories in the Wisconsin legislature — including that 20-week abortion ban he’s so proud of — along with having a little extra time to raise money for his affiliated super PAC and avoiding having to file a second quarter campaign finance disclosure with the FEC.

Those are all smart reasons for announcing, although I can imagine God wouldn’t be too pleased with a candidate they so recently endorsed bearing false witness in claiming he was the motivating factor instead.

It’s unclear what Walker will say, or how he will approach his faith, if and when he loses. Although having God and the Koch brothers in your corner would seem to be enough to make one a seriously formidable candidate on their own.

In any case, election season serves as a semi-regular reminder that, despite being frequently asked to do so, God does not take sides in American politics. And if Jesus did, we’d have already seen him come down from the heavens and tell us all to vote for the pot-smoking socialist.

Jon Green graduated from Kenyon College with a B.A. in Political Science and high honors in Political Cognition. He worked as a field organizer for Congressman Tom Perriello in 2010 and a Regional Field Director for President Obama's re-election campaign in 2012. Jon writes on a number of topics, but pays especially close attention to elections, religion and political cognition. Follow him on Twitter at @_Jon_Green, and on Google+. .

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