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Heavenly Hatch

Published February 25, 2012 4:02 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Is Orrin Hatch the Chosen One?

Sen. Hatch says he wasn't claiming any divine backing last week when he made his now much-scrutinized statement that he was running again so as to not disappoint God?

His Republican opponent, former State Sen. Dan Liljenquist, in particular, jumped on it and it got some mileage on Twitter and Facebook, eventually landing in my colleague Paul Rolly's column and another classic cartoon by Pat Bagley.

For the record, Hatch's people say he was misquoted. Here is the actual quote from the event:

"I just want you to know that it's been such a privilege to represent you, and like I said, I wouldn't run this time if it wasn't for this Finance Committee. I would feel like I could really let my Father in heaven down, and all of you, and my family."

Hatch told me Friday that he doesn't see the big deal.

"If we can't mention that we believe in God, we've gotten pretty bad," Hatch said. "All I was saying is I feel like I'm there for reasons, and I don't want to let my family down, my country, my church, my constituents and I certainly don't want to let down my Heavenly Father either. And I think that's a statement that should not be criticized."

Hatch said he believes the United States and its Constitution are divinely inspired, and he's not ashamed of his belief in God.

"I don't claim any privilege from our Father in heaven, but I do want to act in accord with my Father in heaven's wishes," he said. "Generally that means: Be honest and straight and do a good job and work hard and do all the things I do. But for somebody to criticize that, they're way out of line."

Submitted for your consideration.

— Robert Gehrke Twitter: @RobertGehrke