Now that the election is over, I’d like to offer a suggestion to politicos of every party and creed - Democrats and Republicans, conservatives and liberals, the whole lot of yous.

You really ought to leave God out of it next time around.

By my way of thinking, using God as a political tool, or to bolster your political capital doesn’t really help. It’s actually a great example of “ ...taking the Lord’s name in vain.” Using God as a campaign strategy simply doesn’t help, and it might be really annoying to God.

Look, during the 2012 campaign season everybody but everybody felt a need to trot out God at some stage or the other - mostly Republicans, but Dems as well.

There was a lot of rather odd theology tossed about in a rather higgly-piggly fashion.

It seemed as though when any politician felt they were coming up a bit short in almost any argument, playing the God card could be depended on to save the day.

For example, at some point or the other almost every Republican presidential candidate including Rick Perry, Herman Cain, Rick Santorum, and Michelle Bachman all claimed that God had specifically chosen them to run for president.

I’m sure they were sincere in their belief of being “called.” That sincerity in itself is kind of scary.

Michelle Bachmann was a real doozy. She suggested God was causing all sort of natural disasters because politicians - other than herself - weren’t listening to him. “I don’t know how much God has to do to get the attention of the politicians,” she said. “We’ve had an earthquake; we’ve had a hurricane. He said, ‘Are you going to start listening to me here?’”

Ms. Bachmann must have misinterpreted God’s call to her. She never even made it to the final cut.

There’ve been all sort of whacky usage of God in the political world of late.

Whacky and disturbing.

After Todd Akin, a candidate for the U.S. Senate from Missouri commented on the female reproductive system following a sexual assault noting “If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways of shutting that whole thing down.” he was pretty universally castigated.

Except by Mike Huckabee.

Huckabee said criticism of Akin was little more than a test of faith, noting: “‘This could be a Mount Carmel moment. You know, you bring your gods. We’ll bring ours. We’ll see whose God answers the prayers and brings fire from heaven. That’s kind of where I’m praying: that there will be fire from heaven, and we’ll see it clearly, and everyone else will too.”

Yowsuh!

Then there was the dude who suggested that even in cases of rape, getting pregnant was in some bizarre way the will of God.

“I struggled with it myself for a long time, but I came to realize life is that gift from God,” said-Indiana GOP Senate candidate Richard Mourdock. “I think that even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that God intended to happen.”

No, you dimwit. God didn’t “intend” either the rape or the conception. Don’t try and foist your stupid, ignorant ideas off as inspired by God. You are not privy to His supposed intentions. God isn’t as malicious or mean-spirited as you seem to think.

Even vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan has a rather strange view of God and politics.

Discussing the role of government in the public square, Ryan declared: “Our rights, they come from nature and God, not from government.”

Well. I must disagree. Civil law, including “our rights” come from the civil authroity. “Then saith he unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s.” - Matthew 22:21 One can hope the civil leadership is spiritually inclined, but our rights, nevertheless, emanate from an enlightened world view, not divine fiat.

Still, it is so, so easy to trot out the God thing when you want to make points with the electorate.

But Jesus wasn’t all that impressed, and since most of the politicians so frivolously using God to wedge up their campaigns are followers of Jesus, I’d think they’d pay a little more attention to what He said.

When politicians make a point of out God-ing the next guy, it might be wise for them to remember the story Jesus Himself told about two men praying in the Temple.

“Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, (read: religious right politician), and the other a publican.

“The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess.

“And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.

“I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.”

No few of our politicians would be much better off smiting their breasts and crying “God be merciful ...” rather than claiming to be interpreters of the will of God.

Next time, leave God out of your sordid little political poop slinging.