For weeks, Republican presidential candidates have been a running a gauntlet of ever-more draconian pledges put forth by party purists. Grover Norquist's anti-tax oath, the Susan B. Anthony List anti-abortion manifesto , the "Marriage Vow" and the "Cut, Cap and Balance" pledge are just some of the multiplying litmus tests now demanded by social and economic conservatives alike.
But as the 2012 primaries approach, another de facto requirement for GOP White House hopefuls is emerging. That is, candidates must not only (a) proclaim that they have been called on God to seek the presidency, but (b) declare that divine intervention is the cure for what ails America. Call it the Divine Right Pledge. And so far, it's one most of the GOP field seems more than willing to take.
Of course, the GOP has long been parodied as "God's Own Party." But now, the Party of Lincoln is rapidly turning Honest Abe's mantra ("My concern is not whether God is on our side; my greatest concern is to be on God's side.") on its head.
"I'm not ready to tell you that I'm ready to announce that I'm in. But I'm getting more and more comfortable every day that this is what I've been called to do. This is what America needs."
If the Lord is calling on Rick Perry to lead the United States, Perry plans to call Him back when it's time to actually run it.
On August 6th in Houston, Governor Perry will tunnel under the wall separating church and state to lead The Response, an evangelical day of prayer and fasting seeking divine intervention for America. As Perry put it:
"I sincerely hope you'll join me in Houston on August 6th and take your place in Reliant Stadium with praying people asking God's forgiveness, wisdom and provision for our state and nation. There is hope for America. It lies in heaven, and we will find it on our knees."
Perry, whose faith-based policy like the governors of Georgia and Oklahoma includes asking residents to pray for rain for their drought-stricken state, later explained that the solutions to America's woes are above his pay grade:
"I think it's time for us to just hand it over to God and say, 'God, You're going to have to fix this.'
(That Perry may now skip the August 6 event in Houston may just be confirmation that God wants him in Washington DC instead.)
Rep. Michele Bachmann may not know much about history, but she does know that God is on her side. The self-proclaimed "fool for Christ," who in 2006 warned that "we are in the End of Days" and counseled "wives, you are to be submissive to your husbands," has been also called on by God.