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He maketh me to lie down in green pasture
March 2, 2003 1:40 PM   Subscribe

George W. Bush is Jesus Christ. Bush delivers, he sets free. He liberates. He is the 21st century incarnation of Psalm 23. As the HAZMAT suit becomes the American burka, Bush is praying, and we will do the same.
posted by the fire you left me (56 comments total)

 
Lets not demonize the incompetant. Lets just Impeach his ass, or vote him out, 'kay? (Although my initial urge was to quote Revelations concerning the evil that is the false christ, but I think that would occur to most people anyway...)
posted by Wulfgar! at 1:57 PM on March 2, 2003


the fire you left me may have used incendiary language in his FPP, but the article itself is fascinating.
posted by five fresh fish at 1:59 PM on March 2, 2003


Fascinating and Frightening!
posted by bas67 at 2:03 PM on March 2, 2003


...Bush is praying, and we will do the same.

As a non-christian who has been scared by his constant interjection of bible quotes in his public addresses, and the fundamentalist company he keeps, i pray that he'll be a one-term president, and that i will still exist (along with my hometown of NY) when his term is over.
posted by amberglow at 2:03 PM on March 2, 2003


very very creepy.
posted by kickingtheground at 2:06 PM on March 2, 2003


I can't prove it, but I'm ceratin that his faith is as fake as his southern accent. Old-money New Englanders are overwhelimgly secular, and quiet and dignified about their religion if they aren't.

He wouldn't be the first politician to be opportunist about religion. Reagan didn't belong to a church until he enetered politics, and even then he never went.
posted by Mayor Curley at 2:11 PM on March 2, 2003


but the article itself is fascinating.

for me the article is a quite appalling 50's-style White House press release -- the photo, on the other hand, is pretty good (Ommanney was the official W campaign photographer in 2000)

anyway, since we're kicking the old dead horse: when too many Muslims are crying "Crusade" it would be wise for the West to tone down the religion thing -- faith should be a personal thing not a politcal tool (Bill Bradley said something very honorable about this in 2000)
Bush does not need to flaunt his "good Christian" thing: he'll run unopposed in the primaries, and no Democrat can compete for the Religious Right vote, so there's no point. he also gave them Ashcroft in charge of Justice, they should feel vindicated enough already

*kicks stupid dead horse*
posted by matteo at 2:12 PM on March 2, 2003


When U.S. Foreign Policy Meets Biblical Prophecy
posted by homunculus at 2:16 PM on March 2, 2003


The real tragedy is the inability for some to see through this for what it is. Faith in God, as I was brought up at least, is a private relationship. Though free to share your faith with others, the best form proselytization is that through your deeds and goodwill.

I remember it like a mantra while growing up, "People will ask why we are so so calm, so happy. And we reply, because we have the grace of Jesus in our hearts."

At some point in my life I realized that these people weren't happy at all (including myself), but rather, felt confident in ceasing to ask any more questions. Some issues are just better left off for others to decide.
posted by crasspastor at 2:47 PM on March 2, 2003


I'm watching you...
posted by Nicolae Carpathia at 2:47 PM on March 2, 2003


when too many Muslims are crying "Crusade" it would be wise for the West to tone down the religion thing -- faith should be a personal thing not a politcal tool

Interesting point.

However, there are plenty of Muslims and Muslim leaders who certainly don't keep their faith as a "personal thing", and unabashedly make it into a political tool.

Oh, but bringing that up is not as cool or PC right?
posted by reality at 2:53 PM on March 2, 2003


Good piece on the question of Bush & god from the Economist.
posted by ednopantz at 3:01 PM on March 2, 2003


Faith in God, as I was brought up at least, is a private relationship

Real faith isn't private, but to each his own.

Congress shall make no law as respecting religion, so George is free to practice his, just like the rest of us.
Meanwhile, we all have the right to campaign for and elect whom we would like. If you can think of a better President, knock yourself out. Choose wisely as your daughters may wind up wearing burquas(sp?) if you don't.
posted by konolia at 3:05 PM on March 2, 2003


Hogwash, konolia.

I sure hope you're not one of those evangelists who thinks armageddon is around the corner and that Bush could potentially fulfill prophecy by bringing it on.
posted by five fresh fish at 3:07 PM on March 2, 2003


Holds up wolfbane

Nope, I'm not, 5fish, perish the thought. And let me state for the umpteenth time I am NOT for war in Iraq if it can be helped.

I don't know why anyone in his or her right mind would want to be President. Forget the pressures of the job itself-it's the four or eight years of constantly getting ragged on about anything and nothing...
posted by konolia at 3:18 PM on March 2, 2003


Apparently Joe Lieberman is less open about his religious affiliations.
posted by homunculus at 3:20 PM on March 2, 2003


However, there are plenty of Muslims and Muslim leaders who certainly don't keep their faith as a "personal thing", and unabashedly make it into a political tool

that's exactly the reason why secular Western democratic leaders should not act like the mullahs: to show that it's about democracy and individual rights, not about religion.
if the idea is to "export democracy" (a very cool catchphrase but pretty complicated to accomplish) we should not export religion as well (the West did that already in the past, it's probably time for a change). unless of course your final goal is to convert the Muslims -- if that's your goal, good luck, there's a lot of them to convince

Choose wisely as your daughters may wind up wearing burquas(sp?) if you don't.

right on: those Muslims are also conspiring to pollute our precious bodily fluids, steal our women and throw in the garbage all our bacon
posted by matteo at 3:20 PM on March 2, 2003


Choose wisely as your daughters may wind up wearing burquas(sp?) if you don't.

do you honestly think that america is under the even the most minutest amount of danger of being taken over by fundamentalist islam?
posted by mcsweetie at 3:24 PM on March 2, 2003


W as prophet. :-) Actually, more like The Onion being able to see the future: check out the date on the original piece.

As an aside, I thought this was a strange comment as well:

Choose wisely as your daughters may wind up wearing burquas(sp?) if you don't.

Just this week I received a piece of political spam from a crank on my wife's side of the family. In it contained photoshopped images of the Statue of Liberty wearing the chador, and the skyline of New York (circa 2006) dominated by huge mosques. Very strange. As much as this clearly was an attempt to arouse a kind of xenophobia in the hearts of those who received the mail, even then, I had to ask: Who in the right mind thinks that a possible outcome of this "war" on terror is the transformation of the US into an Islamic republic?
posted by psmealey at 3:30 PM on March 2, 2003


"At Opryland in Nashville—the old “Buckle of the Bible Belt”—Bush told religious broadcasters that “.....and that the United States was called to bring God’s gift of liberty to “every human being in the world.”

"Aides say the president’s quiet but fervent Christian faith gives him strength but does not dictate policy. "

Well, it sure seems like it dictates policy.
posted by ?! at 3:36 PM on March 2, 2003


Separation of Church & State?
U.S. Department of Labor
Department of Health & Human Services
Housing & Urban Development
U. S. Department of Education
U. S. Department of Justice
White House
Faith and Community Liaisons by State
posted by madamjujujive at 3:40 PM on March 2, 2003


As Nietzche said "those who want happiness, believe. those who want the truth, seek."
posted by drezdn at 3:41 PM on March 2, 2003



posted by quonsar at 3:42 PM on March 2, 2003


those Muslims are also conspiring to pollute our precious bodily fluids, steal our women and throw in the garbage all our bacon

Well, we already know some of the more radical of them conspired to destroy the Twin Towers and take a big chunk out of the Pentagon. Of course I don't think every single Moslem thinks that way but fundamentalist radical Islam is most certainly a force to be reckoned with.
posted by konolia at 3:45 PM on March 2, 2003


mcsweetie: "do you honestly think that america is under the even the most minutest amount of danger of being taken over by fundamentalist islam?"

I can answer that. Yes.

On preview: Opps, sorry. I misread. I didn't see "islam" the first time. I stopped at fundamentalists.
posted by ?! at 3:47 PM on March 2, 2003


Not really anything new in there that I could see. The history of his faith was covered pretty extensively in the 2000 campaign and the relationship between his personal faith and his feelings about Iraq should be obvious to anybody who's ever heard him speak about the subject. It is helpful to be reminded though that as much as I dislike the man's policies, he is actually a human being and not Evil Incarnate.

Also, I don't think I could have come up with an FPP less condusive to reasoned discussion if I tried. Good work!
posted by boltman at 3:56 PM on March 2, 2003


five fresh fish: aren't you the voice of tolerance. Someone says something radical like "to each his own" and they're a raving fundy?

ps: this is a TERRIBLE FPP. A link to a interesting article ruined right from the start by needlessly inflammatory commentary. But who am I to complain, it's par for the course these days.
posted by turbodog at 4:00 PM on March 2, 2003


Commentary in the FPP itself, I mean.
posted by turbodog at 4:01 PM on March 2, 2003


I don't think a "theocracy" would be a good idea even if it were my faith in charge. Unless God Almighty Himself were at the control seat, it would get really legalistic and crappy immediately. Even God would puke.

What I AM for is the freedom for even governmental officials to be what they are-and if they happen to be people of faith I don't think they should have to hide it. If they are atheists or agnostics or druids, same standards. If being a person of a particular faith means not being elected, that is the price one pays for being true to him/herself.
posted by konolia at 4:04 PM on March 2, 2003


But who am I to complain, it's par for the course these days.

"turbodog has been a member since: September 7, 2002"
bwahahahahahahahaha! next you'll be telling us mefi is dying because it was so much better in the old days.
posted by quonsar at 4:07 PM on March 2, 2003


Later that day, the president did so. At Opryland in Nashville - the old "Buckle of the Bible Belt"- Bush told religious broadcasters that "the terrorists hate the fact that ... we can worship Almighty God the way we see fit," and that the United States was called to bring God’s gift of liberty to "every human being in the world."

So does this mean Bush is terrorist? After all, I don't think Bush tolerates any other way to warship but his own. I can't think of more religiously intolerant man than Bush, enforced by Lt. Aschroft.
posted by Bag Man at 4:19 PM on March 2, 2003


I don't think Bush tolerates any other way to warship but his own.

Not being a spelling nazi : I just think that's funny as all getout.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 4:27 PM on March 2, 2003


What I AM for is the freedom for even governmental officials to be what they are-and if they happen to be people of faith I don't think they should have to hide it. If they are atheists or agnostics or druids, same standards.

In an ideal world, this would be fine. But when one is in a position of leadership, leading all Americans, it's probably the infinitely more pragmatic thing to simply keep quiet about your personal religious beliefs, especially, if like Bush, you are a religious bigot. And I quote:

"I don't think that witchcraft is a religion. I wish the military would rethink this decision."

-- George W. Bush to ABCNEWS, June, 1999
posted by irix at 4:45 PM on March 2, 2003


quonsar: nice of you to sidestep the issue I raised and try (not successfully) to ridicule me instead.
posted by turbodog at 4:52 PM on March 2, 2003


boltman, you make a good point, but Bush differs from any other president I can think of. It's no secrete that every president that has ever been president has had religious convictions. Like Clinton, etc. Bush is allowed to express is beliefs. However, the difference is that unlike many other presidents Bush Administration got elected largely by the votes and money of religious zealots, and Bush has repaid them by taking a hyper active approach to combing his beliefs with the instruments of government; that's what is clearly wrong.

Will religious crazies take over the US? Unlikely, because most American are not religiously conservative, the US still extremely secular (for example the US and no official religion and many groups are devoted to keeping it that way) and the entire American government has too many checks and balances to allow that to happen too easily.

Should we remain vigilant? Yes. We should also employ smart strategy to ensure the instrumentality of government it not used to destroy America's secular government. In my opinion some fights are worth fighting an some are not (Note: Of course this deviates the MIFI manifesto and I have been excoriated for this in the past; however, I maintain one can principled and know how to win a fight too. Just because I believe in employing smart tactics does not mean I do not hold strong convictions – the righties know this well, that’s how Bush got elected) However to be true to our beliefs about tolerance and upholding the Constitution we must also ensure the right of every American to express their religious beliefs free from interference.

Not being a spelling nazi : I just think that's funny as all getout.

Who said it was a "mistake?"
posted by Bag Man at 4:55 PM on March 2, 2003


I don't think Bush tolerates any other way to warship but his own.

best freudian slip ever.

turbodog: you raised no issue. if i wanted whining about crap FPP's, MeTa is full of them. 'the issue you raised'.... bwahahahahaha!
posted by quonsar at 5:01 PM on March 2, 2003


"quonsar: nice of you to ... try (not successfully) to ridicule me instead.

But he did successfully ridicule you. Saying that he didn't doesn't change the reality of it!

As for your "someone says something radical like "to each his own" and they're a raving fundy?" comment to me, I say No. It's when they say something radical like "choose wisely as your daughters may wind up wearing burquas" that I figure there's a chance they're a raving fundy.

I am pointing and laughing at you.
posted by five fresh fish at 5:38 PM on March 2, 2003


boltman, you make a good point,

I think you might have meant konolia perhaps?
posted by boltman at 6:02 PM on March 2, 2003


"We don't have to protect the environment, the Second Coming is at hand."

-- James Watt, Former Secretary of the Interior under Ronald Reagan
posted by larry_darrell at 6:19 PM on March 2, 2003


So what Nelson, er quonsar says must be true? Whatever.

But, then again, I've only been a member for 6 months. What do I know. Maybe one day quonsar will let me sit at the grownups table.
posted by turbodog at 6:31 PM on March 2, 2003


Elitist academic perspective, anyone? I'll take it!

Bellah has written extensively about a fascinating concept, civil religion.

I love sociology.
posted by statisticalpurposes at 7:11 PM on March 2, 2003


Interesting link statistical, but he made an (unsubstantiated) comment that surprised me right off the bat:

We forget that "love of country" is not usually a mark of citizenship in world politics.

I always assumed the opposite (except maybe in brutal dictatorships) although I only have ancedotal evidence to back it up. Isn't nationalism itself a result of irrational love of country? 'cause there's certainly plenty of that to go around in the world.

Still, I do like the guy's overall thesis. I'm just not convinced that Americans are unique in possessing a civil religion.
posted by boltman at 8:06 PM on March 2, 2003


boltman, you make a good point,

I think you might have meant konolia perhaps?


No boltman, you made an excellent point. I am unclear as to why you would assume I was talking about konolia.

best freudian slip ever.

It was no slip. quonsar, not all leftiers are trollers; I am proof of that. (Nevertheless I am need to get in some trollers jabs at Bush from time to time jus to keep the teeth sharp) quonsar, even I don't need to me so serious all the time.

More on point, Bush is religious zealots or at least owes those that are (and everyone knows it), that's what was so true about boltman's statement. However he has the right to be that way, and I believe it's my right and obligation to make sure that he does not cross the line to oppress others. I merely feel there is smart way to go about doing so, it can only help use achieve our ultimate goal. It’s not crime to believe in a religion, and it’s my obligation to make sure that that belief does not so pervade the instruments of government. What’s so nuts about that?
posted by Bag Man at 8:26 PM on March 2, 2003


oh, well thanks then. Your comment seemed directed at konolia's point about people in government being allowed to express their religious beliefs. I was just saying that I thought the article was mostly fluff.
posted by boltman at 9:48 PM on March 2, 2003


No one else has mentioned it, so I guess I will. Isn't it fascinating how we always know what George Bush is reading these days? It's not just his religion this guy can't keep to himself.
posted by Gilbert at 9:52 PM on March 2, 2003


quonsar: I was reading MeFi for a good year before ever becoming a member. Anyway... carry on with Christ n' stuff.
posted by Witty at 2:58 AM on March 3, 2003


well, thats all fine and dandy. turbodog apparently hasn't been reading before becoming a posting member, or he would have realized that "crap posts" are a dead horse "issue" whose foul carcass belitters metatalk, and that he's only about the 16,999th member to "raise the issue", and that he is a great person anyway and now that i have been nasty to him it's highly likely that i shall kiss his behind generously in the future. :-)
posted by quonsar at 4:33 AM on March 3, 2003


nofundy loves five fresh fish and quonsar. they make nofundy laugh. they make great posts. fundies are bad, bad people. nofundy doesn't like them. thanks for the link.
posted by nofundy at 5:35 AM on March 3, 2003


Somebody throw the ring in the crater, please.
posted by konolia at 5:46 AM on March 3, 2003


is that something i would have had to go see a movie to understand? because i don't go to movies.
posted by quonsar at 5:57 AM on March 3, 2003


I don't see how they can claim his faith doesn't dictate his policy. Ignoring Ashcroft entirely, ignoring his Faith-Based Charities initiative entirely, Bush put Dr. D. David Hager on the FDA Panel for women's health policy- a man who recommends readings from the Bible and prayer as a remedy to PMS and headaches. I guess women of other faiths just deserve to suffer.

I honestly think faith is really all Bush has to cling to- and I don't mean that as a snide strike. He doesn't have a lot of political experience on a national/global level, he's not a particularly gifted communicator, and whether he meant to or not, he's walking around trying to fill his dad's clothes. The presidency is an overwhelming position on the best of days; I guess if I were in Bush's place, I'd want to have something bigger than me directing me and bringing order to the chaos, too.

Nevertheless, I hope upon hope that he's a one-term president, because with this inevitable march toward war, his various Patriot Acts grinding away at civil liberties, and faith healers in charge of women's health, I'm terrified of what this administration might do next.
posted by headspace at 7:38 AM on March 3, 2003


We can at least be thankful that so far, Bush keeps himself to himself.

I just had the most horrifying visual image of George Bush Jr., the Oval Office, and a young intern. My god. How did that man manage to end up with children?! Why would Laura do such a thing?
posted by five fresh fish at 7:44 AM on March 3, 2003


Justice Scalia agrees with GW and the fundies that God controls the leaders of government. Here's the article with the quote:
All this, as I say, is most un–European, and helps explain why our people are more inclined to understand, as St. Paul did, that government carries the sword as “the minister of God,” to “execute wrath” upon the evildoer.
posted by nofundy at 7:50 AM on March 3, 2003


Another viewpoint regarding Bush and religion with another selected quote:

Bush's religious supporters are his greatest cheerleaders. Rather than his spiritual guides, they are his faithful disciples. He is the leader of the America they think God has ordained. Contrary to popular opinion, the religion that this group espouses is Triumphalism, not Christianity. Theirs is a zealous form of nationalism, baptized with Christian language. The German theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer, who was martyred by the Nazis, foresaw the rise of a similar view in his country, which he labeled "joyous secularism." Joyous secularists, said Bonhoeffer, are Christians who view the role of government as helping God to establish the Kingdom of God on Earth. He viewed this as human arrogance and a denial of God's sovereignty; but joyous secularism has an appeal that crosses religious boundaries, and now has added force in the United States because it has found its political messiah.

Nailed it. (and not to the cross)
posted by nofundy at 7:59 AM on March 3, 2003


Bush may have irritated his religious supporters with this concession to the Saudis.
posted by homunculus at 9:28 AM on March 3, 2003


Your comment seemed directed at konolia's point about people in government being allowed to express their religious beliefs.

Now that you mention it, that is a good point. A person should not be deprived of their constitutional rights just because they work for the government. Of course, that person may not use the official instrumentalities of government to further their beliefs. Many things that Bush has done or hopes to do are extremely questionable at best, but his faith and right to express it are protected. I know it's a fine line and dam hard to draw, but I hope the U.S. continues the debate on this issue and perhaps some day the contours of the Constitution will be found, or at least better articulated.

Also what Headspeace said.
posted by Bag Man at 2:30 PM on March 4, 2003


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