A candidate seeking the Republican nomination for a seat in the Texas Senate lost a primary election recently – despite her claims that God would carry her to victory.
As our friends at Right Wing Watch noted, Bianca Gracia was quite confident that victory was at hand.
“The Lord said, ‘I need my remnant to rise up and take your rightful place in the government.’ So, I decided to run for Texas senate in District 11,” Gracia told attendees at a far-right rally in January. “I literally am running against the establishment. But the Lord told me, ‘You’re going to the Capitol, and you’re gonna make those walls shake, and you’re gonna make the devil run!’”
Gracia also told a reporter, “I have conquered it already. It is mine. I am claiming the victory.”
On election night, Gracia came in second – but it wasn’t a close second. Mayes Middleton, who’s currently a member of the Texas House of Representatives, captured 56.4% of the vote. Gracia took 16.7%, and two other candidates split the rest.
Gracia is a big fan of former President Donald Trump and, like him, she refused to accept defeat with grace; she’s now dropping hints about some sort of voter fraud. (It would have to be pretty massive to cause her to lose by such a wide margin, and, since this was a Republican primary, she can hardly blame it on the Democrats.)
Claiming the ultimate endorsement – “God told me to run!” – is nothing new. Back in 1987, TV preacher Pat Robertson tossed his hat (halo?) into the ring and announced he was running for president as a Republican.
Robertson frequently stated that God wanted him to run. Speaking at church in New Hampshire just before the February 1988 primary, Robertson remarked, “This is where God wanted me to be. … Here I am in New Hampshire, before a major primary. I assure you that I am going to be the next president of the United States.”
Curiously, God ordered him to run for president – but apparently didn’t want the volatile televangelist to actually win: Two months later, Robertson’s campaign had collapsed, and he was out of the race.
During the 2012 Republican presidential primary, four hopefuls claimed God had told them to run – Herman Cain, Michele Bachmann, Rick Perry and Rick Santorum. (To be fair, God allegedly told Santorum’s wife that her husband should run. Close enough.) None of these White House hopefuls, you might have noticed, went on to become president.
The irony is, people like Robertson, Gracia, et al. who believe in God as traditionally defined – that is, a being who created the universe and is all-powerful – have relegated him to the level of powerful ward boss, wheeling and dealing in a smoke-filled room as he picks the next county commissioner or whatever.
Of course, candidates are free claim God’s support if they choose. But perhaps they should ask themselves if such an awesome entity would hand down political endorsements? Would he choose religious extremists to speak for him, only to then dash their hopes on election night?
It is said that God works in mysterious ways, but this situation isn’t so mysterious after all: The voices these hopefuls hear telling them to run are emanating from a non-heavenly source. Their own egos are the prime suspect.