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"We sometimes employ religious language to talk about the historic influence of faith on our country."
January 20, 2005 5:04 AM   Subscribe

Creating Bush's God Talk by Michael Gerson, Bush's chief speechwriter. According to University of Washington professor David Domke, author of "God Willing? Political Fundamentalism in the White House, the War on Terror", here's how Bush's God-Talk Is Different ("When Bush speaks of God, he positions himself as a prophetic spokesperson rather than a petitioning supplicant".)
Bonus: "On What Did They Solemnly Swear? Which president opened his inaugural Bible at random in haste? Which didn't swear at all?". Test your knowledge of presidential inaugural Bible use with this quiz.
And: Prayers of the Presidents -- From George Washington to George W. Bush, a sampling of personal and public prayers of America's presidents.
posted by matteo (14 comments total)

 
Carter's is great: I would like to have my frequent prayer answered that God let my life be meaningful in the enhancement of His kingdom and that my life might be meaningful in the enhancement of the lives of my fellow human beings.

As for Bush, the ending of Domke's piece is so true:...that criticizes the administration’s convergence of God and nation as constructing a “theology of war.”
All of this prompts the hope that, in these challenging times, a president who spoke after his re-election about his newly earned “political capital” not only speaks about God but also is one who listens.


Pride goes before a fall, no? (except the whole world falls with him.)
posted by amberglow at 5:50 AM on January 20, 2005


GW stands for God's Witness.
posted by effwerd at 5:53 AM on January 20, 2005


Carter admitted to "lusting in his heart" which awarded him ridicule and shame (all for thinking "her ta-ta's are hawt!").

Bush has admitted to...yeah, I can't think of anything either. He's such a meek peacemaker. I'm amazed why I don't pick up my cross and follow him today!
posted by Hands of Manos at 6:56 AM on January 20, 2005


I was just wondering about this. Seems like only one hasn't sworn on the Bible? I wonder if some of them feel like they have to swear on it, for appearances' sake - or if someone who would really object to doing it (like I would - it would be a lie) would never get elected in the U.S. anyway (now or historically).

Both articles were really interesting, thanks. Even if they do get my blood pressure up. Some days I go cross-eyed with rage over the idea of heads of countries saying things like "The liberty we prize is not America’s gift to the world, it is God’s gift to humanity.” FFS.
posted by livii at 7:04 AM on January 20, 2005


I think it would be much nicer to swear on a copy of the Constitution. Might help to focus his mind on his responsibilities and not his messianic fantasies. Of course, this is just wishful thinking...
posted by Beansidhe at 7:34 AM on January 20, 2005


(I would just like to commend matteo on his masterful tag-use).

oh, and bush sucks.
posted by contessa at 7:39 AM on January 20, 2005


more than 200 U.S. church and seminary leaders in October signed a petition that criticizes the administration’s convergence of God and nation as constructing a “theology of war.”

Interesting post. This is one of the things I like about Protestantism, there's no single central authority, and debate about worldy matters such as this is normal and accepted, as it should be.

Related to the different God talk point, I hope I'm not detecting a basic conceptual problem. As a follower of Christ Mr Bush is supposed to be asking himself whether he is on God's side, i.e. doing what He wants; he is most definitely not supposed to be thinking God is on his side. If you see the difference. It's a question of who is the leader and who the follower, whose will is being done.

Now, if the man is confusing his own will with that of God Amighty, then yes - Houston, we have a problem.
posted by scheptech at 8:21 AM on January 20, 2005


Sometimes I think that matteo's posts are the real reason that brings me back every day.

Thanks matteo for always having posts with a point.
posted by AspectRatio at 8:57 AM on January 20, 2005


http://www.bushislord.com/
posted by thirteenkiller at 9:29 AM on January 20, 2005


Oh yeah, I should have made that a link. Well I didn't! Sorry.
posted by thirteenkiller at 9:30 AM on January 20, 2005


I felt spears of ice in my spine when the congregants at the 9/11 memorial service sang "Battle Hymn of the Republic" in the National Cathedral and Billy Graham took the pulpit seething with anger and invoked God's blessing for the revenge to come. It's so very filthy and petty the way he has shanghaied God as his partner in all of this.

It's useful to recall Lincoln's Second Inaugural on this day, not least because it's probably one of the most eloquent of American speeches, and also for his more damning depiction of a religious lens on war:

If we shall suppose that American slavery is one of those offenses which, in the providence of God, must needs come, but which, having continued through His appointed time, He now wills to remove, and that He gives to both North and South this terrible war as the woe due to those by whom the offense came, shall we discern therein any departure from those divine attributes which the believers in a living God always ascribe to Him? Fondly do we hope, fervently do we pray, that this mighty scourge of war may speedily pass away. Yet, if God wills that it continue until all the wealth piled by the bondsman's two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash shall be paid by another drawn with the sword, as was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said "the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether."

And, hi Dom, didn't know you were Dr. Dom.
posted by planetkyoto at 9:37 AM on January 20, 2005


I'm watching the post-inauguration footage now on cspan. Jesus, now I'm fucking depressed. Seriously. Republicans.

And ya know, watching John Kerry ask intelligent questions to Condawhore Rice which she was incapable of answering? Jeez, I was for Dean, but Kerry would have been beyond capable.
posted by bardic at 9:44 AM on January 20, 2005


'Condasleeza' would be bit more euphonious, if less pointed.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 12:54 AM on January 21, 2005


even Peggy Noonan didn't like Bush's speech yesterday, btw, which is saying something.
posted by amberglow at 5:34 AM on January 21, 2005


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