while we are on the subject of god
June 30, 2003 12:02 PM   Subscribe

"God told me to strike at al Qaida and I and I struck them, and then he instructed me to strike at Saddam, which I did..." does this kind of talk coming from our president and the most powerful man in concern you? - or reassure you?
posted by specialk420 (46 comments total)

 
God also told him to fix the Middle East but ... without losing focus on the elections

Expect war cries about meta-bush-bashing-filter any time now
posted by magullo at 12:16 PM on June 30, 2003


What scares me the most is that he probably believes it. It's one thing to put a spin on something when you're talking to a particular interest group. It's much scarier when a leader is extreme on any issue.
posted by jeblis at 12:16 PM on June 30, 2003


God told me to solve the problem in the Middle East, but if you won't help, then God told me to focus on the elections. In other words, God said to do something only up until Bush loses interest. Did God have any thoughts on tax cuts?
posted by rschram at 12:20 PM on June 30, 2003


It honestly is concerning and a bit troubling. If a non-president told someone that God had instructed him to kill in the name of Good, that person would be locked up.

But what about the accuracy of the quotes? I know Ha'Aretz is generally a respectable paper, but this is third-hand reporting, no?
posted by cell divide at 12:21 PM on June 30, 2003


"While there's nothing wrong with a President trying to make the world a better place, when the man in the Oval Office feels divinely inspired to reshape the world through violent means, that's a scary prospect."

That's a quote from what I thought was a pretty good commentary on this subject:
Bush's Messiah Complex
"The Progressive", February 2003

posted by originalname37 at 12:26 PM on June 30, 2003


Consider the context. He's over working with cultures where life revolves around God and religion, and as cell divide points out, the quote comes from a reporter interviewing an Arab leader who is part of said culture.

The part about elections doesn't bother me so much. It could take the disdainful meaning that he'll have to sacrifice principle for re-election. But it could also simply mean that they're distracting no matter how you slice it. There really is only about another 6-9 month window in which Bush can focus on policy without having to campaign. And my guess is that the economy will still stink and Iraq will still be a problem and he'll have to do more than a little to make a decent showing.

And by the way, good gracious, MeFi really is GodFilter today.
posted by weston at 12:30 PM on June 30, 2003


If he were anybody else, he'd be heavily sedated in a padded room with no windows.
posted by freakystyley at 12:32 PM on June 30, 2003


I agree with Weston about the re-election comment. I actually find the candor almost refreshing.
posted by originalname37 at 12:33 PM on June 30, 2003


It makes you wonder if the agreement on the Israel-Palestine roadmap is simply born of fear of an irrational US government this time around.
posted by Cerebus at 12:44 PM on June 30, 2003


I'm with Weston, and I want to add that the elections comment is probably just a subtle way of setting down a timetable, like, "If you want onboard, we have to do this now. No more stalling."
posted by hammurderer at 12:46 PM on June 30, 2003


I find it troubling, if true. I'd really like some conformation, though. I'm not inclined to take Ha'aratz's report of leaked meeting minutes quoting the Palestinian Prime Minister quoting Bush when speaking to representatives of the militant factions as absolute fact. I'd be skeptical of any such fourth-hand (Bush --> Abbas --> Factions/Minutes --> Ha'aretz) recitation.
posted by pardonyou? at 12:47 PM on June 30, 2003


I don't find this terribly surprising in the context of Ashcroft's ritualistic anointing himself with oil when taking new office.
posted by ehintz at 12:47 PM on June 30, 2003


Frightening, if true. Even if it is not true, one could substiute any of his similar pronouncements. It is all fine and good if people need to believe in God and religion and all that, but isn't history just packed with examples of "God telling" people to do completely insane shit?

For my money, anyone who claims to talk to God is inherently not worth listening to. Its just a personal thing, similar to my prejudicial distrust of anyone with their own private army (like Ahmad Chalabi, who otherwise seems friendly).
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 12:59 PM on June 30, 2003


Bush believes he was called by God to lead the nation at this time, says Commerce Secretary Don Evans, a close friend who talks with Bush every day.
-USA Today 4/01/03
(I'll admit, not a paragon of journalism, but another confirmation that this is how he really feels.)
posted by originalname37 at 12:59 PM on June 30, 2003


"...and then he instructed me to strike at Saddam, which I did..."

Looks like a new strategy: it's not a not a lie if God Himself gave Bush false information about WMDs.
posted by Dirjy at 1:01 PM on June 30, 2003


I would like to know why this does not register as front page news -- so far as being a fantastic statement. I find this.... GWB & God ...scary indeed. What else is God gonna tell him to do?

Will we have the focus of determination as a people to rid the office of this deluded freak?
posted by RubberHen at 1:04 PM on June 30, 2003


Armageddon out of here.
posted by kirkaracha at 1:04 PM on June 30, 2003


By the way - this is SIMPLY going to fuel the extremist Arab view that likens the current struggles to those of the Ancient Crusades.
posted by RubberHen at 1:05 PM on June 30, 2003


what if Bush was right?
posted by shoos at 1:05 PM on June 30, 2003


...about what?
posted by ghastlyfop at 1:16 PM on June 30, 2003


,According to Abbas, immediately thereafter Bush
said: "God told me to strike at al Qaida and I
struck them


I have written newspaper articles that were edited, and I have been the subject of newspaper articles-and in both cases I have learned that what IS and what is PRINTED generally have a wide variability rate.
posted by konolia at 1:25 PM on June 30, 2003


-USA Today 4/01/03
(I'll admit, not a paragon of journalism,...)

You're talking about the USAT of the 1980s, originalname37. It's a pretty good newspaper today.
Pulitzer finalist in 2002 for beat reporting
No need to reflexively deprecate USA Today whenever you mention it.
posted by Holden at 1:25 PM on June 30, 2003



Bush believes he was called by God to lead the nation at this time, says Commerce Secretary Don Evans, a close friend who talks with Bush every day.


Maybe it's just semantics, but someone claiming they felt "called by God to lead the nation" is not nearly as disturbing as saying "God told me to strike..." The former I read as a general statement of their religion, and their belief that they were placed on earth for a reason -- a religious president might feel he was "called" by a higher power to lead the nation, while a hip hop artist might feel he was "called" by a higher power to create music. The latter, however, I read as claiming a direct instruction from God. I find it hard to believe that Bush would have made that claim at all, let alone to the Palestinian Prime Minister, but maybe I'm just naive.
posted by pardonyou? at 1:27 PM on June 30, 2003


Wanna know a wierd thing? Just the other day, God told me to go after al Qaida & Saddam. Then He said to get a sandwich & put my feet up.
posted by password at 1:29 PM on June 30, 2003


Scares the fuck out of me.

Newsweek cover story, March 10 (free version):

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.”
posted by gottabefunky at 1:35 PM on June 30, 2003


What scares me the most is that he probably believes it.

It honestly is concerning and a bit troubling.

I find it troubling, if true.

Frightening, if true.

I find this.... GWB & God ...scary indeed.

Scares the fuck out of me.


You guys are scary ME now.
posted by Witty at 1:54 PM on June 30, 2003


This is kind of like that movie Frailty, where people kill other people because they think God is telling them to... oh.
posted by insomnyuk at 2:00 PM on June 30, 2003


I would like to know why this does not register as front page news -- so far as being a fantastic statement.

Because I would posit that a good portion of the American population would have no trouble at all with a President who has been called by God to subdue evil in the world. I would imagine that many would cheer and applaud such a man. Although the 'Net in general, and MeFi in particular, has a tilt towards atheism, huge swaths of the American tapestry are still haunted by the myths of Scofield and Co. And more and more, they see their way of life threatened, and so they fight back, in their variety of ways.
posted by solistrato at 2:11 PM on June 30, 2003


Who is this "God" character in every other post today, anyway?
posted by signal at 2:23 PM on June 30, 2003


Signal, email me and I will send you directions to my church, where I will be happy to introduce you.
posted by konolia at 2:30 PM on June 30, 2003


Well, his dad did say athiests shouldn't be citizens; we shouldn't be shocked to learn the son believes similar things. Didn't we all know about this when he was elected?
posted by monju_bosatsu at 2:35 PM on June 30, 2003


Whoa, Bush was ELECTED?
posted by agregoli at 2:40 PM on June 30, 2003


I don't know quite what to make of it, but last month when Bin Laden and I got together for bacon-cheeseburgers and freedom fries, my man Osama was runnin' his mouth (as usual) about Allah's instructions and calling to him (although he piped down some when the disco music and college-girl strippers cranked up, and I began drinking him under the table just like always).

But today what happens? I log onto MetaFilter find that it's now Bush who is getting righteously called upon by the Big G.

Kinda weird....in a way, it's almost like The Holy of Holies is switching from AT&T to Sprint. Did Bush give Him free weekend minutes or something?

God....Bush....Bin Laden....guys like that must be really busy in these troubled times....working in their mysterious ways.
posted by fold_and_mutilate at 3:08 PM on June 30, 2003


Bin Laden does not claim to have spoken with God, he says he is justified because of words God wrote 1500 years ago. Osama may be evil, but he's not crazy. Whereas with Bush I think it's the other way 'round :)
posted by cell divide at 3:22 PM on June 30, 2003


Let's just say that GWB might not hold up so well on that philosophers.co.uk quiz...
posted by Zurishaddai at 3:25 PM on June 30, 2003


the lord works in strange ways. one wonders who's voice it is this man is really hearing??
posted by specialk420 at 4:26 PM on June 30, 2003


More on the quote from the Washpost.
posted by CunningLinguist at 7:18 PM on July 1, 2003


God also told him to fix the Middle East but ... without losing focus on the elections

Surely that's a misquote. It's probably meant to read "God also told him to fix the elections but without losing focus on the Middle East..."
posted by rushmc at 7:39 PM on July 1, 2003


he says he is justified because of words God wrote 1500 years ago...but he's not crazy.

Sounds like crazy to me.
posted by rushmc at 7:41 PM on July 1, 2003


Hmm... George "talks to God", and it so scares both the Israelis and the Palestinians (of course, Colin Powell offering to exterminate Hamas a day or two later helps, with a "nice Hamas you have there, it would be a pity if somethin' was to happen to it..." comment), that they both ALL OF A SUDDEN are really willing to cool their jets and do A LOT of what he says.
AND, the US leaks to Iran that Arafat double-crossed them to Saddam, just coincidentally right when Jack Straw, British Foreign Sec'ry happens to be visiting.
AND, the US lets Syria know that they are real close to offending the Shao-lin temple over the Lebanon thing, WHICH WOULD BE A BAD THING, Y'ALL.
AND, the US is getting enthusiastic about Pakistan coming to Iraq, but less so about India. India, coincidentally, getting all friendly with China all of a sudden...

These, and about two dozen other major hanky-pankies going on simultaneously have convinced me that this is one enormous 3-D chess game, where nothing is quite as it appears.

An enigma, wrapped in a mystery and smothered with mushrooms and onions.
posted by kablam at 7:48 PM on July 1, 2003


I would rather he listened to the American people. Ira Chernus has some good commentary on this emerging controversy.

Also semi-related is the most recent Tuesday Morning Quarterback concerning God in sports.
posted by euphorb at 7:51 PM on July 1, 2003


God told me to kill my children.
posted by iamck at 10:54 PM on July 1, 2003


but someone claiming they felt "called by God to lead the nation" is not nearly as disturbing as saying "God told me to strike..."

Maybe not, but don't most Christians have a problem with secular leaders claiming direct lines to God? Isn't that some kind of blasphemy? I don't remember Jesus having much good to say about secular rulers.
posted by Summer at 2:22 AM on July 2, 2003


The only question that remains is:

Which one is God, Karl Rove or Dick Cheney?
posted by nofundy at 5:16 AM on July 2, 2003


God speaks to him through his dog. Note the high station that Bush has granted poochy.
posted by Perigee at 11:06 AM on July 2, 2003


An opinion of how this can and must be used against Bush politically..
And my two cents: A man who says God told him to kill, whether he be a psychopath or a President, has abandoned the basic teachings of his religion.
posted by eperker at 10:14 AM on July 3, 2003


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