Over the weekend, former John McCain campaign strategist Steve Schmidt told "60 Minutes" something shocking about McCain's former running mate, Sarah Palin. It seems that when Schmidt met Palin after McCain selected her, he was surprised that she was so calm. Schmidt apparently asked her how she could remain so tranquil in the face of such a monumental life change. She responded, "It's God's plan."
Naturally, the media went bonkers over this revelation. The New York Times approvingly reported comic Jimmy Fallon's one-liner: "God responded: 'What? Really? Don't bring me into this.'" The Week asked whether Palin was "simply devout -- or delusional?" The Nation suggested that Palin was "a little bit dimmer than we thought."
Nothing is quite as shocking to media establishment types as someone who actually believes that God takes an active part in individual human destinies. If you thought the media's reaction to this was absurd, think what their reaction would have been if they had been around during the days of Moses. One can envision the headlines from local newspapers: "Exiled Prince Claims God Sent Him to Free Slaves: Advisers Say Moses' Staff Flying at Half-Mast." (British newspapers would report it slightly differently: "Jewish Nut Job Invades Royal Palace On 'God's Mission': Pharaoh Tells Him to go Jump in the Bloody Nile.")
The truth is that it is a common article of faith in virtually all major religions that God guides the footsteps of each and every human being. Benjamin Franklin, a not-so-religious theologian, said that the American Revolution could be successful only with the direct help of God. As he put it, "The longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth -- that God governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without his notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without his aid?"
Yet nowadays, it is considered trite to point to the influence of God in human lives -- unless you are liberal. Then it is considered perfectly normal. How many athletes do we see who thank God after each touchdown? How many actors who win Oscars thank God?