Herenton defends Ophelia Ford's God comment

Ophelia Ford's words were still ringing Friday after she claimed God chose her for a role in the District 29 election controversy.

"He chose little, old me to use," Ford said Thursday. "I don't know when y'all are gonna get that. It's not about me. I'm just little, old me and I've been chosen. I've been chosen to get in this election by the lord that I serve. I didn't want to get into this controversial election but the lord I serve chose me."

Two years ago, Mayor Herenton remarked that God had chosen him to lead the city of Memphis.

"I believe that God called me for this moment in history," Herenton said.

Today, Mayor Herenton said he felt for Ophelia Ford. He thought some media outlets ridiculed her.

"To me it is not something for the media to ridicule," he said.

Instead, the Mayor said there is a cultural and religious disconnect. He says those who lack faith may not understand what Ford was trying to say.

"If you're not from a deeply religious, faithful background then you think when someone says that, they're either crazy or you don't understand them," said Herenton.

New Olivet Pastor Kenneth Whalum disagrees.

"I just think it's a real disservice when we play to the whole notion of religion to cause people to look beyond the real facts," he said.

Whalum said it comes down to how we believe God acts in our lives. Does he have a plan for us or do we act on our own free will?

"As far as God choosing us to run...I don't know man," said Walum. "God has never told me to run for anything. He's allowed me to run and that's where there's some confusion."

The Mayor also told me his speech of two years ago was misunderstood. He said he sometimes gets the feeling there are lots of atheists in the media.

As for keeping politics and religion separate, Pastor Whalum says that will likely never happen.