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Bewildered, Jacque Chirac did not react immediately.
May 31, 2009 6:21 AM   Subscribe

“This confrontation is willed by God, who wants to use this conflict to erase his people’s enemies before a New Age begins”. Chirac is said to have been stupefied and disturbed by Bush’s invocation of Biblical prophesy to justify the war in Iraq and “wondered how someone could be so superficial and fanatical in their beliefs” according to Jean-Claude Maurice in his book Si vous le répétez, je démentirai... published by Plon

As this is a mostly English site - the only other English link I found was here.

During those private interviews, Jacque Chirac had purportedly confessed to the journalist some personal remarks regarding the faith of George W. Bush that seemed quite daunting. He told the journalist that the latter called him twice beseeching him basically, in the name of their common “spiritual faith”, i.e., “Christianity”, to join the collective effort of the coalition being formed to wage a preemptive war against Iraq. In his first telephonic call he reportedly said to Jacque Chirac: “Gog and Magog are at work in the Middle East” and then added that “the biblical prophecies are being fulfilled”. Bewildered, Jacque Chirac did not react immediately.

I look forward to the 'surely this will .....' posts which have been missing after mid Jan 2009.
posted by rough ashlar (133 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite

 
Yeah, we all kinda wondered that.
posted by Stonestock Relentless at 6:31 AM on May 31, 2009 [1 favorite]


Forgot to knit in a link to Donald Rumsfeld's biblical quotes on the front of his reports to the boss.
posted by rough ashlar at 6:38 AM on May 31, 2009 [3 favorites]


I wonder if the fact that the skies didn't open up, and nothing particularly miraculous happened, and now the opposition is in the White House, has made Bush question his original thinking.
posted by Meatbomb at 6:39 AM on May 31, 2009 [1 favorite]


From what I hear it's been Gog who's been doing all the work, and Magog's just been taking credit.
posted by washburn at 6:43 AM on May 31, 2009 [11 favorites]


One of these political cultures is different from the founded Enlightenment values, one of these things is not the same...
posted by jaduncan at 6:47 AM on May 31, 2009 [1 favorite]


I wonder if the fact that the skies didn't open up, and nothing particularly miraculous happened, and now the opposition is in the White House, has made Bush question his original thinking.

I don't imagine ol' George questions much of anything, and that would include his own thinking.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:49 AM on May 31, 2009 [5 favorites]


If you can call it thinking.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:50 AM on May 31, 2009 [1 favorite]


Chirac is said to have been stupefied and disturbed by Bush

Then he can get in line.
posted by orange swan at 6:59 AM on May 31, 2009 [13 favorites]


"President Bush said to all of us: 'I am driven with a mission from God'. God would tell me, 'George go and fight these terrorists in Afghanistan'. And I did. And then God would tell me 'George, go and end the tyranny in Iraq'. And I did." - former Palestinian foreign minister Nabil Shaath re a 2003 summit.
posted by CunningLinguist at 7:02 AM on May 31, 2009


The Republicans have been seeing apocalyptic signs for a while.

"Ezekiel tells us that Gog, the nation that will lead all the other powers of darkness against Israel, will come out of the north. Biblical scholars have been saying for generations that Gog must be Russia. What other powerful nation is to the north of Israel? none. But it didn't seem to make sense before the Russian revolution, when Russia was a Christian country. Now that Russia has become communistic and atheistic, it does. Now that Russia has set itself against God, it fits the description of Gog perfectly."

- Ronald Reagan
posted by Houstonian at 7:02 AM on May 31, 2009


Al, you really should have tried harder back in 1999. Literally, the world would be better for it.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:12 AM on May 31, 2009 [1 favorite]


Religions make religious tolerance very difficult.
posted by srboisvert at 7:13 AM on May 31, 2009 [25 favorites]


He really said "superficial in his beliefs"?

I wish I could remember where I read it. But someone said that in France, religion is only for holidays and grandmothers.
posted by Joe Beese at 7:18 AM on May 31, 2009


"Bush had reportedly said to the Palestinian foreign minister that he was on 'a mission from God'”

I had not realized that the end of days would be so littered with Blues Brothers references.
posted by 1-2punch at 7:22 AM on May 31, 2009 [5 favorites]


Gog what an asshole.
posted by Sailormom at 7:28 AM on May 31, 2009 [10 favorites]


In other news from the war front
http://crooksandliars.com/john-amato/gen-petraeus-believes-our-values-and-co
Gen. Petraeus joined FOX News and Martha MacCallum today and gave a blockbuster interview, but probably not the one Fox expected. Once again, he called for the responsible closure of the military prison at Guantanamo Bay. He also said that mistakes were made after 9/11 and that the Army Field Manual is all that we need to use to interrogate prisoners. In addition, he said that we have to have faith in our judicial system and we should try the Khalid Sheikh Muhammads in a court of law.
posted by rough ashlar at 7:29 AM on May 31, 2009 [2 favorites]


1-2punch: "I had not realized that the end of days would be so littered with Blues Brothers references."

Read your Bible. Revelation 21:6...

I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. Country, and Western.
posted by Joe Beese at 7:30 AM on May 31, 2009 [9 favorites]


He left out the full list: Gog, Magog, Pagog, and baby Gog (also known as Balrog).
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 7:33 AM on May 31, 2009 [1 favorite]


I prefer our new fact based leader.
posted by caddis at 7:35 AM on May 31, 2009 [3 favorites]


I wonder how the U.S. and British forces in Iraq interfaced, what with the religious mission and all. (Recently)
posted by acro at 7:52 AM on May 31, 2009


“wondered how someone could be so superficial and fanatical in their beliefs”

When one is a gullible nitwit, all things are possible.
posted by mikelieman at 7:53 AM on May 31, 2009 [1 favorite]


The Bush quotation in the article is suspicious. Where does it come from? Do they have a transcript? A recording? If not, why the quotation marks? Is this someone's (who's?) recollection of what Bush said? And Chirac didnt' "confirm" Bush said it, unless "confirm" means "claimed he said it."

That said, he probably said it.
posted by MarshallPoe at 7:53 AM on May 31, 2009 [1 favorite]


Gen. Petraeus joined FOX News and Martha MacCallum today and gave a blockbuster interview, but probably not the one Fox expected.

I am gratified by this, but I am still creeped out by the sight of politicians - the ones who are supposed to be in charge - deferring to the military on questions of policy and grand strategy. Petraeus is a smart guy, and a good general but you really need to keep the civilians in charge.

Also, It just seems like the only hope for the republicans is a one two punch of a terrorist attack (more or less inevitable, no matter what we do to protect ourselves) in the US followed by a Petraeus presidental run.
posted by shothotbot at 7:55 AM on May 31, 2009


"confirmed" in that context meant "confirmed a previous report saying the same thing."
posted by CunningLinguist at 7:56 AM on May 31, 2009


What worries me about this is that whacko types like this are waiting around at tipping points here and there, ready to push the scales towards apocalypse, just to fulfill that prophecy.

Joe, not to take a shot at you, but I think that Chirac meant studying your bible is no substitute for actually thinking. I mean, in the West, religion is just the starting point, if that, for real examination of how societies should be run.
posted by atchafalaya at 8:02 AM on May 31, 2009


I look forward to the 'surely this will .....' posts which have been missing after mid Jan 2009.

???
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 8:13 AM on May 31, 2009


I wonder if the fact that the skies didn't open up, and nothing particularly miraculous happened, and now the opposition is in the White House, has made Bush question his original thinking.

Well I"m going to go with Colbert on this one:

He believes the same thing Wednesday that he believed on Monday, no matter what happened Tuesday. Events can change; this man's beliefs never will.

Reading over the transcript of that roast in context of this, all I can say is an understated marvelous.
posted by juiceCake at 8:14 AM on May 31, 2009


I mean, in the West, religion is the starting point, if that, for real examination of how societies should be run.

Everyone forgot to tell the Republicans, I guess.
posted by Huck500 at 8:15 AM on May 31, 2009


This is a pretty thin post- an allegation by a journalist from a corrupt ex-president of an at least slightly hostile nation (who was personally involved in the nuclear arms programs of the regime in question), reported in counterpunch and a palestinian propaganda site.

While I'm certainly willing to agree that Bush has a core of religious belief that informed his thinking, it seems a bit of a stretch to tie him into some mysterious christian doomsday cult, at least on the strength of this "evidence". Sure seems like we've wandered into a mirror image of the Vince Foster suicide theories, and are looking for the illuminati-style cult behind the scenes secretly orchestrating everything.
posted by jenkinsEar at 8:21 AM on May 31, 2009


You really think Chirac is lying?
posted by caddis at 8:23 AM on May 31, 2009 [3 favorites]


In related news -- Sarah Palin's home town newspaper discusses whether the anti-Christ will be gay .
posted by ericb at 8:25 AM on May 31, 2009


ericb: "In related news -- Sarah Palin's home town newspaper discusses whether the anti-Christ will be gay ."

Not only that. He'll be French.
posted by Joe Beese at 8:26 AM on May 31, 2009


No, I think it's a second hand description of a conversation reported by a journalist who may or may not have verified it, that happens to support a lot of people's biases. Adding in potential translation errors and the dubious provenance of the story, I'm skeptical of the conclusion.
posted by jenkinsEar at 8:27 AM on May 31, 2009


it seems a bit of a stretch to tie him into some mysterious christian doomsday cult

They're called Methodists. And yeah, it's Counterpunch, but Chirac at least is a reliable source.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 8:29 AM on May 31, 2009


My brother the Iraq War I vet has refused to communicate with me AT ALL (including acknowledging the birth of my son 5 years ago) since the start of Iraq War II (WMD Boogaloo) because I disagreed with him on on the fundamental justifications for war, called George W. Bush pretty much every name in the book and wrote "Chirac is right" for refusing to participate even though the French did (and still do) participate in Afghanistan.

Bush is making is REALLY FUCKING HARD for me to find a way to "apologize" and patch things up.
posted by planetkyoto at 8:30 AM on May 31, 2009 [4 favorites]


jenkinsEar, it's not a mysterious doomsday cult. Every fundamentalist believes in this, basically--which is what people who have never been around such people can understand.
posted by sonic meat machine at 8:35 AM on May 31, 2009 [1 favorite]


France is not a "slightly hostile" nation, and Chirac's corruption is not the sort that really matters here. And it perfectly fits the observed pattern of things -- see Rumsfeld's pandering to his boss by quoting scripture in official reports. Do I have to look up more examples? Are you really denying that Bush saw world events in very simplified religious terms?
posted by creasy boy at 8:36 AM on May 31, 2009 [2 favorites]


cannot understand.
posted by sonic meat machine at 8:36 AM on May 31, 2009


Surely this will be the most delicious glass of iced mint tea that I've ever tasted.
posted by box at 8:41 AM on May 31, 2009 [1 favorite]


Remember how Ronnie always seemed like a lying, evil bastard, but then his lies stepped up to a whole new level, and it turned out later that he hadn't actually gotten more evil, he had started literally loosing his mind to Alzheimer's?

I wonder if, 5 or 10 years from now, we'll find out that George the Second was privately battling with schizophrenia, or something like that. It wouldn't be an excuse for the shit-head things he's done, like it wasn't for Reagan, but it would sure explain a hell of a lot.
posted by paisley henosis at 8:47 AM on May 31, 2009 [1 favorite]


it seems a bit of a stretch to tie him into some mysterious christian doomsday cult, at least on the strength of this "evidence".
It's not a mysterious cult. It's the mainstream in Protestant North America at this point. The assumption that biblical prophecy predicts the final confrontation between the righteous followers of God and the forces of the Antichrist in the middle east, and the corollary beliefs that swam around it, are not up for debate in 'Real Christian' circles.
posted by verb at 8:48 AM on May 31, 2009


Wow, I'm gonna have to call bullshit on the idea that end-of-the-world millenial doomsday cults are mainstream protestant thought at this point, and I'm certainly no Christian.
posted by jenkinsEar at 8:50 AM on May 31, 2009 [3 favorites]


The Baptists are the largest protestant denomination in the U.S., jenkinsEar, and I promise you that the "doomsday cult" is mainstream Baptist belief. I'm sorry that it's hard to believe this, but it's true.
posted by sonic meat machine at 8:52 AM on May 31, 2009 [3 favorites]


Surely this will...be a 'surely this will' comment.
posted by m0nm0n at 8:52 AM on May 31, 2009 [1 favorite]


And to think more than half of the United States re-elected this amoral fundie asshole.
posted by kldickson at 8:56 AM on May 31, 2009


More than half? How about just over thirty percent of eligible voters?
posted by box at 9:07 AM on May 31, 2009


No, I think it's a second hand description of a conversation reported by a journalist who may or may not have verified it
I'm not sure that I understand what you mean by this.

The linked article, by Clive Hamilton, says "The story has now been confirmed by Chirac himself in a new book, published in France in March, by journalist Jean Claude Maurice."

Are you saying:posted by Flunkie at 9:11 AM on May 31, 2009 [1 favorite]


Last Things
God, in His own time and in His own way, will bring the world to its appropriate end. …Jesus Christ will return personally and visibly…the dead will be raised; and Christ will judge all men in righteousness. The unrighteous will be consigned to Hell. …The righteous… will receive their reward and will dwell forever in Heaven with the Lord.


From the Southern Baptist Convention website, Basic Beliefs section...

Also interesting:

Religious Liberty
Church and state should be separate. The state owes to every church protection and full freedom in the pursuit of its spiritual ends. …A free church in a free state is the Christian ideal.


And on the front page:

Resources for Sex Abuse Prevention

An assortment of records and links to better equip you to exercise diligent scrutiny when hiring staff or choosing volunteers in an attempt to protect your church from the devastating effects of sexual abuse and other moral failures of those in ministry.

posted by Huck500 at 9:11 AM on May 31, 2009


Sure seems like we've wandered into a mirror image of the Vince Foster suicide theories, and are looking for the illuminati-style cult behind the scenes secretly orchestrating everything.

You do know that the image on one side of the mirror is real right?
posted by srboisvert at 9:13 AM on May 31, 2009 [9 favorites]


Wow, I'm gonna have to call bullshit on the idea that end-of-the-world millenial doomsday cults are mainstream protestant thought at this point, and I'm certainly no Christian.

it's a pretty common belief - hell, i think you might be able to find catholics who believe it
posted by pyramid termite at 9:14 AM on May 31, 2009


Crap. I slept in and somebody already took all the Gog and Magog jokes.
posted by bigskyguy at 9:14 AM on May 31, 2009 [1 favorite]


People from Gog drive like this: Bom bom bom bom BAUM, BAUM, chikchikchikchik BAUM BAUM

But people from Magog drive like this: Deedle deedle deedle dee, deedle dee, deedle dee
posted by Flunkie at 9:23 AM on May 31, 2009 [9 favorites]


I think it's pretty funny that the default state selection from the SBC email and contact forms is Georgia.

I also can't get through this whole idea that there's a god that's so insecure as to need our unwavering adoration to just get by. What's in it for him? (I stuck with "him" in this case, as it's just like a man to be insecure, despite omnipotent powers and, well, the ability to smite us all if he really got pissed, just to get accepted by a bunch of inferior insects that barely notice his existence.)

Bush? Disgusted. Chirac comments? Annoyed that it doesn't really matter.
posted by michswiss at 9:33 AM on May 31, 2009


a corrupt ex-president of an at least slightly hostile nation (who was personally involved in the nuclear arms programs of the regime in question

Quite a bit of claims there. Which of the parties/nations did you mean?

"corrupt" and "ex-President" can be applied to plenty of leaders.
"slightly hostile" depends on which end of the gun you were at and who you ask. Is it better if the nation is hostile or really, really, hostile?
As for nuclear arms - my memory and google didn't fail - That was quite evident from a US State Department memo dated May 9, 1984, which said that the US was reviewing its policy "on the sale of certain dual-use items to Iraq nuclear entities" and that "preliminary results favor expanding such trade to include Iraqi nuclear entities".

I'm not really sure that nations with corrupted elected officials, hostile actions, and in the business of selling things that can be used in nuclear weapons programs is all that effective a filter to apply.
posted by rough ashlar at 9:37 AM on May 31, 2009


Bush: God told me to invade Iraq
"President George Bush has claimed he was told by God to invade Iraq and attack Osama bin Laden's stronghold of Afghanistan as part of a divine mission to bring peace to the Middle East, security for Israel, and a state for the Palestinians.

The President made the assertion during his first meeting with Palestinian leaders in June 2003, according to a BBC series which will be broadcast this month.

The revelation comes after Mr Bush launched an impassioned attack yesterday in Washington on Islamic militants, likening their ideology to that of Communism, and accusing them of seeking to "enslave whole nations" and set up a radical Islamic empire "that spans from Spain to Indonesia". In the programme Elusive Peace: Israel and the Arabs, which starts on Monday, the former Palestinian foreign minister Nabil Shaath says Mr Bush told him and Mahmoud Abbas, former prime minister and now Palestinian President: "I'm driven with a mission from God. God would tell me, 'George, go and fight those terrorists in Afghanistan.' And I did, and then God would tell me, 'George go and end the tyranny in Iraq,' and I did."

And "now again", Mr Bush is quoted as telling the two, "I feel God's words coming to me: 'Go get the Palestinians their state and get the Israelis their security, and get peace in the Middle East.' And by God, I'm gonna do it."

Mr Abbas remembers how the US President told him he had a "moral and religious obligation" to act.

....He told Bob Woodward - whose 2004 book, Plan of Attack, is the definitive account of the administration's road to war in Iraq - that after giving the order to invade in March 2003, he walked in the White House garden, praying "that our troops be safe, be protected by the Almighty". As he went into this critical period, he told Mr Woodward, "I was praying for strength to do the Lord's will.
posted by ericb at 9:40 AM on May 31, 2009 [1 favorite]


Bush wasn't and isn't a Southern Baptist. He's a member of the United Methodist Church, the same as Hillary Clinton. That he has an evangelical bent and is still a member of what is often described as a mainline church shouldn't be surprising, given that such significant religious conservative figures as Donald Wildmon are UMC affiliated. It has a Christian right/evangelical subculture or wing, whatever you want to call it.

The SBC is only one church among many in the south. Its numbers are in decline, actually.
posted by raysmj at 9:46 AM on May 31, 2009


Los Angeles Times | August 22, 2007: Not so fast, Christian soldiers -- "The Pentagon has a disturbing relationship with private evangelical groups."
posted by ericb at 9:47 AM on May 31, 2009 [1 favorite]


American perspective on religious "tolerance" has jumped the shark. We are so "open minded" we think it's okay to elect the equivalents of a Bond super-villain or character from a Stephen King book to president. And hey. It's just his "belief system." We GOT to respect that, right?
What the fuck is wrong with this country. It's bad enough that in order to hold any powerful public office we essentially require people to still believe in this Magical Sky Santa Claus in the first place. But now we can't even laugh the loonier ones off the plank. Or we'll be "intolerant?"
It's a disgusting sad state of affairs when a person with an openly rational fact based belief system CAN'T ever be elected president of this country because 75% of the electorate in this country are fanatical idiot children afraid of the dark.
posted by tkchrist at 9:58 AM on May 31, 2009 [9 favorites]


The Baptists are the largest protestant denomination in the U.S., jenkinsEar, and I promise you that the "doomsday cult" is mainstream Baptist belief. I'm sorry that it's hard to believe this, but it's true.

Yes, Baptists and many others believe in a final battle between the armies of God and Satan. But while Baptists might be the largest Protestant denomination in America, Catholics are in the largest denomination in America overall.* In fact, the Southern Baptists comrpise 6.7% of Americans, while Catholics comprise 23.9%.* And as raysmj points out*, Baptists are on the wane.

Not saying the apocolyptic types aren't cause for concern or anything. Just wanted to provide a little perspective.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 9:59 AM on May 31, 2009 [1 favorite]


Marisa Stole the Precious Thing:

Bush may go to a Methodist church, but his theology is very fundie / born again, not very Wesleyan.
posted by whimsicalnymph at 10:10 AM on May 31, 2009


Indeed, Bush's theology doesn't match up very well with most Methodists I've known (and I grew up in that church.) Also, think we should make the clear distinction between someone believing in the eschatology of their religion, as many if not most Christians do, and actively trying to bring it about, as some of these fundies, Bush included, were and are trying to do. The latter is a doomsday cult, the former is just, well... something else.
posted by Navelgazer at 10:17 AM on May 31, 2009


Also, think we should make the clear distinction between someone believing in the eschatology of their religion, as many if not most Christians do, and actively trying to bring it about,

What? Why? Because the former are lazy?

That's like saying I think we should make a distinction between people that believe white people are superior and slavery of "lesser" people to be perfectly moral and those that actively trade slaves.

Nuh uh. No way. The former empower the latter. In both cases.
posted by tkchrist at 10:24 AM on May 31, 2009 [4 favorites]


American perspective on religious "tolerance" has jumped the shark. We are so "open minded" we think it's okay to elect the equivalents of a Bond super-villain or character from a Stephen King book to president. And hey. It's just his "belief system." We GOT to respect that, right?

it's not "tolerance" if people are voting for those who believe as they do

religious beliefs have been a part of american culture for hundreds of years and will continue to be for hundreds more - to talk as if it can't be "tolerated" by you is a lot like saying you can't "tolerate" cold weather in michigan in winter

it is what it is and you're not changing it
posted by pyramid termite at 10:35 AM on May 31, 2009 [1 favorite]


I'm gonna have to call bullshit on the idea that end-of-the-world millenial doomsday cults are mainstream protestant thought at this point, and I'm certainly no Christian

From a random search:

• An Associated Press survey in 1997 revealed that 24% of American adults expected to be still alive when Jesus returns. Many of these probably believe that they would be raptured (elevated from the earth to be with Jesus) and thus will never experience death.

• A poll conducted for Newsweek magazine in 1999-JUN asked American adults whether they believed that Jesus would return during the next millennium -- i.e. between years 2001 and 3000 CE. Results were:

All persons surveyed : 52%
Evangelical Protestants: 71%
Non-Evangelical Protestants: 48%
Roman Catholics: 47%
Non-Christians: 20%
posted by @troy at 10:37 AM on May 31, 2009 [1 favorite]


What? Twenty percent of non-Christian Americans in 1999 believed that Jesus would return during the next millennium?

I know that Muslims believe that Jesus will return (or, at least, it's standard Muslim theology that Jesus will return). But even if all of them believe it, that can't possibly be anywhere near a fifth of non-Christian Americans.

So what's the deal with these people who are neither Christian nor Muslim, but believe that Jesus will return?
posted by Flunkie at 10:48 AM on May 31, 2009


I'm gonna have to call bullshit on the idea that end-of-the-world millenial doomsday cults are mainstream protestant thought at this point, and I'm certainly no Christian

JenkinsEar: Neither am I, but my mother is an Evangelical missionary, and I can tell you it is resoundingly, fatefully true on all counts. Except for the characterization of it as a "doomsday". They believe it to be a glorious fulfillment of prophecy. Sad but true.
posted by gorgor_balabala at 10:51 AM on May 31, 2009


I'll say it on this thread too: I'm an atheist and a liberal. It is getting to be high time that I add 'well-armed' to the list of things I am.

It is fucking chilling that a considerable portion of the United States is either wishing for or actively trying to bring about THE 10TH CENTURY 2.0.
posted by kldickson at 10:56 AM on May 31, 2009 [1 favorite]


Oh. Ma. Gog.
posted by orme at 11:02 AM on May 31, 2009


Sure seems like we...are looking for the illuminati-style cult behind the scenes secretly orchestrating everything.

If by "illuminati-style cult" you mean "the executive branch of the US government" and "secretly orchestrating everything" you mean "drumming up a war with Iraq on false grounds and sending our troops into harms way with no real plan", yeah, it's just like the Vince Foster suicide theories.

Or does Occam's razor suggest to you that Iraq actually blew up all it's own cities and used CGI to make it look like our government was on TV taking credit and bragging about "Shock and Awe"?
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 11:15 AM on May 31, 2009 [1 favorite]


Gog is George the elder's skull-n-bones nickname, George the younger went by "temporary"
posted by hortense at 11:24 AM on May 31, 2009


I'll say it on this thread too: I'm an atheist and a liberal.

Funny, you sound like a whinging reactionary.
posted by Burhanistan at 11:30 AM on May 31, 2009 [1 favorite]


American perspective on religious "tolerance" has jumped the shark. We are so "open minded" we think it's okay to elect the equivalents of a Bond super-villain or character from a Stephen King book to president. And hey. It's just his "belief system." We GOT to respect that, right?

Um, I didn't think it was okay to elect the guy. That's why I voted against him. Twice. With extreme prejudice both times.

I respect his belief system, though. Meaning -- I respect his right to have it. That's where the tolerance comes in. But when it comes to him doing fucked up stuff like this, that is the part I did not tolerate, and I and many, many others voted against it.

The fact that there were more people who supported it and I was outvoted is not a sign that "America is too tolerant." It is a sign that "at that time, most of the voting public in America were absolute blithering idiots."
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:34 AM on May 31, 2009 [2 favorites]


American perspective on religious "tolerance" has jumped the shark. We are so "open minded" we think it's okay to elect the equivalents of a Bond super-villain or character from a Stephen King book to president. And hey. It's just his "belief system." We GOT to respect that, right?

I'm curious to hear what the alternative is. We already have the ability to mock, criticize and ridicule people like George W. Bush, and not elect them to public office. Is this not enough? If not, what do you propose?

That's like saying I think we should make a distinction between people that believe white people are superior and slavery of "lesser" people to be perfectly moral and those that actively trade slaves.

No, it isn't. There is a world of difference between believing in and passively waiting for some anime-esque scenario when God will descend from the Heavens and wage open combat against Satan's forces, and being the president of the United States of America actively fomenting conflict, violence and crisis in order to be the hand that initiates the End Times.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 11:38 AM on May 31, 2009


That is to say, you can sit and wait for God to swoop down from the sky in an F-16 and still think Bush is one crazy, arrogant sumbitch.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 11:45 AM on May 31, 2009


From what I hear it's been Gog who's been doing all the work, and Ma Gog's just been taking credit.

I don't care if you call her Ma Gog or Mrs. Gog, you're being sexist and it needs to stop. Behind every successful Gog....
posted by msalt at 12:18 PM on May 31, 2009 [1 favorite]


In related news -- Sarah Palin's home town newspaper discusses whether the anti-Christ will be gay .
No, he isn't, but his daughter is. (Yeah, I'm talking about you, Dick)

God has ordered so many people to kill so many other people (including one this morning I'll bet) that He is obviously the role model for Charles Manson. Which is why I personally believe there can be no "right religion" or "right God to worship". A universe this beautiful can not have possibly been created by an entity so psychopathic.
posted by wendell at 12:35 PM on May 31, 2009 [1 favorite]


A universe this beautiful can not have possibly been created by an entity so psychopathic.
I guess you haven't noticed, but there are all sorts of truly horrible things in this universe, including, but not limited to, the idea that one should commit an atrocity in the name of the creator of the universe. The observable state of the universe is not inconsistent with the idea that a psychopath created it.
posted by Flunkie at 1:01 PM on May 31, 2009 [2 favorites]


"I also can't get through this whole idea that there's a god that's so insecure as to need our unwavering adoration to just get by. What's in it for him?"

I never really got that either, but then I ended up reading the Perelandra trilogy by CS Lewis, as well as The Screwtape Letters, and while I'm still not convinced, it makes more sense to me now how others can be. Lewis was able to explain how it worked to his own intellectual mind, which is a departure from the current anti-intellectual bias of the burgeoning (waning?) revivalist/fundamentalist movement in the US. It was good to know there was a Christian out there who had thought it through, and of course there are others (Thomas Aquinas, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin), but I was already exposed to Lewis in grade school in the '70s through Narnia. At the time, I didn't understand the overt symbolism ...

My primary exposure to religion was the mainstream nature of the Presbyterian Church and the Catholic Church through my mostly agnostic family, which both seemed to me like different versions of the same thing, like social clubs with some rituals. The "true believers" here always seemed like complete fanatics, but there is a philosophical side to Christianity which goes far back, although it's been largely overlooked here in the US for the last several decades, as the more anti-philosophical, Literalist wave swept through. But the point is that there are different ways of looking at it.
posted by krinklyfig at 1:07 PM on May 31, 2009


You know, it's not really "religious tolerance" if you'd only consider voting for one of you own. While the US has moved beyond the fear of electing a Catholic to the presidency, Rumours about Hussein Obama's True Faith certainly seem to have riled up certain less-than "tolerant" segments of the electorate.
posted by djfiander at 1:14 PM on May 31, 2009


"JenkinsEar: Neither am I, but my mother is an Evangelical missionary, and I can tell you it is resoundingly, fatefully true on all counts. Except for the characterization of it as a 'doomsday'. They believe it to be a glorious fulfillment of prophecy. Sad but true."

What outsiders see as a doomsday scenario is always a glorious fulfillment of prophecy to the believers.
posted by krinklyfig at 1:25 PM on May 31, 2009


I saw this exact same story reported years ago, although I can't find the source. Nevertheless, I'm glad it has resurfaced.

jenkinsEar: there's nothing thin source-wise here at all, as it has been verified in Chirac's book. Unless you have some inside information you would like to share, I think your comments questioning the story's validity are just b.s. and you are in denial about the fundamentalist world-view of our former president.
posted by ornate insect at 1:59 PM on May 31, 2009


On another note: many people (myself included) wondered how Britain could have possibly joined in this lunacy with Bush.

Well. It transpires that the weird synergy and good relations between Blair and Bush were no accident. Their relationship was much warmer than Blair-Clinton. Why? Wouldn't you know it - Blair is a religious freak as well - he just hid it much better than Bush while in power (although there were hints and statements that made it clear). Once he was out of power, he admitted that he kept his religious beliefs on the low-down during his years in power. For Blair it was this religiosity-informing-decisions-of-state is what he found in common with Bush.

Scary? Yes. But it explains so much.

I'd say "God help us" when religious nuts get to power anywhere (Iran, Blairistan or Bushistan), but I'm an atheist, so I'll just say "We The People must help ourselves, and do everything we can so schizophrenics, religious nuts and other people disconnected from reality do not lead us".

Religious freaks in control of world powers, starting wars. Can somebody check what century this is? 21st? or 7th?
posted by VikingSword at 2:07 PM on May 31, 2009 [1 favorite]


Didn't Blair convert to Catholicism once he wasn't PM anymore?
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 2:08 PM on May 31, 2009


No, it isn't. There is a world of difference between believing in and passively waiting for some anime-esque scenario when God will descend from the Heavens and wage open combat against Satan's forces, and being the president of the United States of America actively fomenting conflict, violence and crisis in order to be the hand that initiates the End Times.

Wrong. Wrong. And wrong. There is no difference at all. None. One can literally not exist without the other. Keep telling your self there is a difference. But sorry. There isn't. The we believe there is is the entire problem. We are a society conditioned to believe in god damned Santa Claus.

That apathetic attitudes bat-shit insanity pass for "tolerance" is why guys like Bush are not laughed off the podium and escorted to mental health facilities before they even have chance to make it to office.

That ANYBODY believes that god literally talks or sends them signs and is not seriously recommended for psychiatric treatment tells me how far down the rabbit hole we are.
posted by tkchrist at 2:36 PM on May 31, 2009 [5 favorites]


There is no difference at all. None.

You see literally no difference between someone sitting passively waiting for God to show up, and a world leader who instigates war in order to make God show up? Alright then.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 2:41 PM on May 31, 2009 [1 favorite]


"You see literally no difference between someone sitting passively waiting for God to show up, and a world leader who instigates war in order to make God show up? Alright then."

Well, Bush could be seen as a symptom of a larger cultural problem, a shift towards fundamentalism and provincialism, not apart from it. It's a bigger problem for all of us when someone like that gets in that position, but he wouldn't be who he is without the larger movement (whether it were Graham or Blessit, Robertson and Jones is probably a minor issue).
posted by krinklyfig at 3:16 PM on May 31, 2009


"Lewis was able to explain how it worked to his own intellectual mind,"

Hmmm. Maybe I was too young when I read that stuff (8 or 10), but looking back as an adult I believe the whole exercise was designed by Lewis to prove to himself, and possibly JRR Tolkien, that there was some kind of rational basis for the beliefs he'd learned as a child. I really liked "The Red Planet"(?), but the rest of it seems to be an overblown apologetics that's likely done more harm than good.

Even as a kid, I remember going "Whaaa?"* in quite a few places (or was that the Narnia books?). But even having been thusly inoculated, it's still pretty scary to find out what the Dominionists and other Doomsday cultists believe. And how much political clout they have in North America.

*We didn't have WTF in those days.
posted by sneebler at 3:29 PM on May 31, 2009


Well, Bush could be seen as a symptom of a larger cultural problem, a shift towards fundamentalism and provincialism, not apart from it. It's a bigger problem for all of us when someone like that gets in that position, but he wouldn't be who he is without the larger movement (whether it were Graham or Blessit, Robertson and Jones is probably a minor issue).

Precisely. One man possessing a belief, but doing nothing about it, means nothing. When that man wants to lead, that one man acting on it can only happen if more than half the voting public vote him to do it.

What was the voting turnout in the 2000 election? What was it in the 2004 election? ....And how high was the non-voter turnout?

It's not the religious fervor of a class of voters you need to blame -- nor is it the religion itself. It's the apathy of the non-voters who sat at home and didn't vote because they didn't think it was worth it -- those are the people you need to be angry at. You think that Bush's religious view is evil? Well -- evil only triumphs if good men don't stop it. The "good men" who didn't stop Bush in 2004 weren't all Christians, and weren't all "overly-tolerant" -- I would bet you a lunch that some just used that stupid mealy-mouthed excuse that "my vote wouldn't matter anyway." Or were just too lazy.

Politicians can have warped ideas, and can get them from tons of places -- religion, books, beamed messages from Neptune on their fillings, what have you. But -- all it takes to stop them from implementing those ideas? Is a majority of voters. Voters have a chance to stand up and say "this is nuts," voters have a chance to pressure their congressmen to start impeachment hearings, voters have the power to stop a religious politician from implementing his actions.

So however far down the rabbit hole you think Bush is, it's not his religion that I blame. It's all the other voters who either bought his bullshit or stayed home on Election Night and sat on their hands.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 3:32 PM on May 31, 2009 [2 favorites]


That's right, folks, it's never the batshit-crazy beliefs that are to blame, it's everyone else for not successfully stopping the people motivated by the batshit-crazy beliefs!

Ow, my eyes, I can't unroll them!
posted by Pope Guilty at 3:55 PM on May 31, 2009


Are we still talking about that Bush guy?
posted by Effigy2000 at 3:59 PM on May 31, 2009


He fucked our country up pretty badly in a wide variety of ways. We're going to be talking about him for a long time.
posted by Flunkie at 4:07 PM on May 31, 2009 [4 favorites]


Well, Bush could be seen as a symptom of a larger cultural problem, a shift towards fundamentalism and provincialism, not apart from it.

Let me be more precise here: there are people who believe God's coming back to earth to wage war, Saving Private Ryan style, on Satan's army. A number of them are waiting for this to happen, and see it as God's decision to make when and where this goes down. Crazy, sure. Then you have Bush - a man who believes that not only has God begun his Great Battle, but that he himself is an instrument of God's will, and that through his actions, he is helping God wage war on earth and bring about the End Times. That's a level of crazy several degrees further up the scale there. The former is entirely passive, and covers a number of different schools of Christian thought, many of them not even necessarily in line with Bush's politics and policies, while the latter wreaks violence, death and destruction in its wake.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 4:07 PM on May 31, 2009


That's right, folks, it's never the batshit-crazy beliefs that are to blame, it's everyone else for not successfully stopping the people motivated by the batshit-crazy beliefs!

Well, your sitting there and rolling your eyes about how nuts we are isn't stopping us from thinking what we think, and your sitting there and rolling your eyes about Bush didn't stop him from getting into office. So just thinking something's nuts doesn't really seem to do anything to stop it, now, does it?

...Did you just roll your eyes on Election night 2004 too, instead of going to vote?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:27 PM on May 31, 2009


Empress, I have voted every time I've been eligible to do so (except once, when I moved a week after local elections were held and I didn't feel that I was entitled to vote on local issues when I very shortly wouldn't be local). I encourage others to vote, and have had some limited success in getting people who wouldn't otherwise vote to do so.

My issue is that you appear to be shifting the blame from evil people for being evil to good people for being incompetent.
posted by Pope Guilty at 4:31 PM on May 31, 2009


Empress and Pope, sittin' in a tree!
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 4:40 PM on May 31, 2009 [1 favorite]


My issue is that you appear to be shifting the blame from evil people for being evil to good people for being incompetent.

Not good people for being incompetent. Incompetent people for being incompetent.

And my issue is that you appear to have such a chip on your shoulder about religion that is affecting your ability to determine real evil from mere boogeymen.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:43 PM on May 31, 2009


You two are so tsundere for each other it makes me blush.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 4:44 PM on May 31, 2009


Actually, let me rephrase that -- you appear to be confusing excuses for motivations. You appear to be inable to tell the difference between thought and action. You appear to be inable to tell the difference between tolerance and apathy. You appear to be projecting your own objections to religion onto the world at large.

Fundamentalists do all those things.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:47 PM on May 31, 2009


You've stepped across the line into shrieking batshittery and I'm done here.
posted by Pope Guilty at 4:48 PM on May 31, 2009


And for the record, tolerance isn't apathy. Tolerance is complicity.
posted by Pope Guilty at 4:54 PM on May 31, 2009


What was the voting turnout in the 2000 election? What was it in the 2004 election?

2000
Voting-age population: 205,815,000

Voter registration: 156,421,311

Voter turnout: 105,586,274

Turnout of voting-age population (percent): 51.3%
2004
Voting-age population: 221,256,931

Voter registration: 174,800,000

Voter turnout: 122,294,978

Turnout of voting-age population (percent): 55.3%
posted by ericb at 4:58 PM on May 31, 2009


"Let me be more precise here: there are people who believe God's coming back to earth to wage war, Saving Private Ryan style, on Satan's army. A number of them are waiting for this to happen, and see it as God's decision to make when and where this goes down. Crazy, sure. Then you have Bush - a man who believes that not only has God begun his Great Battle, but that he himself is an instrument of God's will, and that through his actions, he is helping God wage war on earth and bring about the End Times. That's a level of crazy several degrees further up the scale there."

Yes, but how does someone get elected on the basis of his apocalyptic vision if there aren't people who will support him in it? Apparently it didn't bother the people who voted for him enough to vote for someone else, and he didn't exactly make his views a secret. Why didn't it bother the voters who were only partway with him on religious views?
posted by krinklyfig at 5:05 PM on May 31, 2009


Many of these probably believe that they would be raptured (elevated from the earth to be with Jesus) and thus will never experience death.

Unless "death" means something different than what I think it means — ie. the cessation of life processes in the meat — that is perhaps one of the dumbest religious beliefs I have heard. These people believe their actual flesh bodies are going to... go to heaven? Transport through time and space to a place that has the same physicality, gravity, oxygen, general "earthness" of earth?

Come on. There's having faith in a higher power, and then there is plain stupidity. It must take a conscious effort to believe in something so retarded.
posted by five fresh fish at 6:43 PM on May 31, 2009


It's the apathy of the non-voters who sat at home and didn't vote because they didn't think it was worth it -- those are the people you need to be angry at.

Repeated for truth.
posted by five fresh fish at 6:51 PM on May 31, 2009


Yes, but how does someone get elected on the basis of his apocalyptic vision if there aren't people who will support him in it? Apparently it didn't bother the people who voted for him enough to vote for someone else, and he didn't exactly make his views a secret. Why didn't it bother the voters who were only partway with him on religious views?

Anyone who voted for Bush bears partial responsibility for the things he did. I don't dispute that at all. And that's the issue there. I'm saying that probably not everyone who believes there's going to be an End Times voted for him. That's why I think there's a difference in believing in some Final Battle scenario and supporting and/or being the guy who thinks he can personally bring it about by killing hundreds of thousands of innocent people.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 6:52 PM on May 31, 2009


Come on. There's having faith in a higher power, and then there is plain stupidity. It must take a conscious effort to believe in something so retarded.

How about having such a miserable physical life that they want a better one?
posted by rough ashlar at 7:06 PM on May 31, 2009


The deaths of hundreds of thousands (if not billions) of innocent people are part of the Final Battle scenario though, so hoping for it is at least a wee bit immoral, right? Or at least terribly gauche.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 7:07 PM on May 31, 2009


The deaths of hundreds of thousands (if not billions) of innocent people are part of the Final Battle scenario though, so hoping for it is at least a wee bit immoral, right? Or at least terribly gauche.

Well, it's not exactly hoping for the deaths of innocent people - the good guys float up bodily into Heaven, and the bad guys suffer miserably. That's if you believe in Rapture. Now, if you believe in Revelations, you're actually going to be worse off if you're one of the good guys. At first, anyway. But then after you're martyred, you go to Heaven. It's a trade off there.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 7:11 PM on May 31, 2009


Well, it's not exactly hoping for the deaths of innocent people - the good guys float up bodily into Heaven, and the bad guys suffer miserably.

The definition of bad is quite broad in many of these scenarios though, including whole nations (hell, continents) in some sects. I have trouble finding that a morally respectable position.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 7:20 PM on May 31, 2009


I wonder if, 5 or 10 years from now, we'll find out that George the Second was privately battling with schizophrenia, or something like that.

I wouldn't be surprised. As noted (debated?) above Bush wasn't a very observant member of his faith and I've never thought people voted for him because his religious beliefs were just like theirs.

They voted for him because he was a mean, stupid, paranoid, hateful man whose attitudes towards foreigners, women, science and guns were just like theirs. Also he liked to belittle the authority figures around him by giving them stupid nicknames and they liked that too. Most people thought that voting for Bush was like having a buddy in the deans office and it'd be get out of jail free cards and hall passes for all the boys in the frat.

Also-I'm surprised this is on metafilter just now, I remember hearing about this back when it happened or shortly afterwards.
posted by fshgrl at 7:30 PM on May 31, 2009 [2 favorites]


How about having such a miserable physical life that they want a better one?

And they want to take their miserable physical body with them? Again, that doesn't make sense.

Isn't heaven supposed to be eternal? How the heck is a meatbag going to survive that kind of thing? How is the stomach going to cope with not eating? Or is heaven a place where one eats... and poops?! If you don't have to eat, are you even alive?

The entire concept is simply beyond dumb. If there was an afterlife, the body wouldn't have anything at all to do with it.

I understand and appreciate that religion plays an important role in many people's lives. But surely religion doesn't have to require that you be dumb about the things you believe.
posted by five fresh fish at 7:39 PM on May 31, 2009


They voted for him because he was

Not that other guy and they didn't want their votes "wasted".
posted by rough ashlar at 7:58 PM on May 31, 2009


I wonder if, 5 or 10 years from now, we'll find out that George the Second was privately battling with schizophrenia, or something like that.

Choked on a pretzel. Oxygen deprivation + his inherent "dumbness." 'Nuff said!
posted by ericb at 8:12 PM on May 31, 2009


And they want to take their miserable physical body with them?

1 corinthians 15.52 - "In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed."

so, they don't believe they're taking their actual "meat" bodies with them
posted by pyramid termite at 8:18 PM on May 31, 2009


Christians will cause the extinction of the human species. What a fucking waste.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:46 PM on May 31, 2009


The definition of bad is quite broad in many of these scenarios though, including whole nations (hell, continents) in some sects. I have trouble finding that a morally respectable position.

When the definition of "bad" includes being in a loving relationship with another human being who happens to be the same gender as you are, but waging war against a nation that never did you wrong is "good", yeah, there's something very wrong with that picture.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 9:51 PM on May 31, 2009


It's the apathy of the non-voters who sat at home and didn't vote because they didn't think it was worth it -- those are the people you need to be angry at.

I believe Nader voters in Florida shame some of the blame for this tragedy — and they, Ralph Nader, and we voters and non-voters are all only fortunate that we were able to make it through a Christian fundamentalist administration alive.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:57 PM on May 31, 2009 [1 favorite]


so, they don't believe they're taking their actual "meat" bodies with them

I sure hope not. I wonder how to best track down a survey that would indicate one way or the other. I really hope that the majority understand that death of the body is pretty much the only sensible consequence of a rapture.

I need to check that stupid Tribulation series, see whether the people disappeared, or if bodies were slumped all over the place.
posted by five fresh fish at 11:58 PM on May 31, 2009


Christians Religionists will cause the extinction of the human species. What a fucking waste.

FTFY. There are other extremist religious groups with ideas or desires that will destroy us. People have faith in something isn't so much the problem, as it is organizations that use that faith as a weapon.
posted by five fresh fish at 12:00 AM on June 1, 2009


Nationalism is akin to religion. Maybe all -isms are problematic.
posted by five fresh fish at 12:02 AM on June 1, 2009


Maybe all -isms are problematic.

To summarize the summary of the summary: people are a problem. - Douglas Adams
posted by rough ashlar at 5:58 AM on June 1, 2009


So however far down the rabbit hole you think Bush is, it's not his religion that I blame. It's all the other voters who either bought his bullshit or stayed home on Election Night and sat on their hands.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 3:32 PM on May 31 [2 favorites +] [!]


I had several friends who did not like what Bush was doing and still did not vote for anyone during both the 2000 and 2004 elections. They all said it doesn't matter. One even sited George Carlin as his reason. Whenever they would complain about the way things were I would say "You should have voted retards."

Anyways Bush isn't religious. He just said that so the bible belt wouldn't get pissed that he was starting a war over oil. Saying I need to drive up the price of oil wouldn't go off quite as well as God speaks to me! AND honestly are people that stupid to elect a person that hears voice... obviously they are. Don't blame me! I voted Gore/Kerry/and Obama.
posted by Mastercheddaar at 6:37 AM on June 1, 2009


Pyramid Termite: the standard Catholic teaching (re: the Book of Revelation) is that it is an extended metaphor, and should be read as such. Most Catholic teaching, actually, treats the Bible contextually, rather than literally. It is one of the reasons so many folks broke off in protest to be Protestants, in various flavors.
posted by indiebass at 10:45 AM on June 1, 2009


That's right, indiebass. I remember seeing an interview with a Catholic priest and writer, who was explaining that the context of Revelations' writing needs to be understood first and foremost - that it was written during a time when early Christians were being arrested and executed with impunity, and John himself was on the lam from the Romans. So his writing these visions down in the form of a letter was his way of saying, "Yeah, things look pretty bleak now, but just you wait! Those bastards are gonna get theres in the end." It was a means of encouraging people to hang in there during some really difficult times.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 10:53 AM on June 1, 2009


What outsiders see as a doomsday scenario is always a glorious fulfillment of prophecy to the believers.

Exactly - when the Stars are finally right, it's gonna be allllll right.

Although you don't want to know what will happen to all your meat-bodies.
posted by FatherDagon at 2:58 PM on June 1, 2009


Cannibalism, of course. What else could there be? Shoopdevoop, a whole bunch of the population disappears. Planes crash out of the sky, cars crash on the highways, our entire infrastructure goes down the tubes.

Gonna be cannibalism, of course. Mmmm, mmm, tender Christian flesh! Take, eat, do this in remembrance of me!
posted by five fresh fish at 3:00 PM on June 1, 2009 [1 favorite]


From a Christian perspective, I am deeply disturbed that some people seem to think that it is Christian to work evil, in order to fulfil prophecy.

My read of prophecy is simply that human kind's own evil will ultimately get the best of us, and humans will do the things predicted. The reason for the prophecy is a warning, not a recommended course of action. Christians are to work against these events!

From a very fundy view, we are to work to bring the message of Christ and salvation to people, that they can be saved. Killing folks is extremely bad, because, once dead, they have no chance of redemption. Bringing about those prophecies is about as evil as anything imaginable. Do you see these people actively seeking to elect the anti-christ? I'm sure they don't think so! So what's up with the rest of their bullshit?

Personally, I think the very worst. I think that the Christian message has been taken over by materialistic sociopaths, in order to teach these sort of Christians to be gullible sheep that don't think, but follow wherever they are led. And they are good at what they are doing, and have their people so twisted as to find good in torture, rape and murder. The folks leading the charge are not believers, they simply seek profit, not prophet.

It isn't difficult to see the game being played, if you're not blinded by dogma. What we call wedge issues are used to rile up so-called Christians to hate. Look at the "pro-life" folks who are happy to have a doctor murdered, and happy to have executions! The group leading this crowd are only interested now in keeping the negative emotions running high, because then the crowd is more easily led.

Consider the rampant existence of self-righteousness amongst these "fundies". This is a form of pride, and it is a sin, and their pastors do not condemn it. How fundamental is that? Not at all! But this pride is a useful tool for manipulation, and so these fools follow their leaders on the high road to hell.
posted by Goofyy at 1:19 AM on June 2, 2009 [4 favorites]


I couldn't agree more Goofyy.
posted by caddis at 4:03 AM on June 2, 2009


jenkinsEar: No, I think it's a second hand description of a conversation reported by a journalist who may or may not have verified it,...

Flunkie: I'm not sure that I understand what you mean by this.

The linked article, by Clive Hamilton, says "The story has now been confirmed by Chirac himself in a new book, published in France in March, by journalist Jean Claude Maurice."


jenkinsEar has done gone. His purpose was damage control by raising doubts among those who didn't actually read the links. I fear this behavior is endemic to those of certain beliefs.


George Bush is a gormless, dim man who, by accident of birth, historical circumstance and the machinations of operatives far more intelligent than he, became POTUS twice. He was buffeted by winds he neither understood nor could weather. He is, in all likelihood, happy to be out of that situation, and, unlike Dick Cheney, maintains a silence about current events consistent with his total lack of insight into them. Take a hint from him, Cheney.
posted by Mental Wimp at 3:07 PM on June 2, 2009 [1 favorite]


No, I don't hava a "special purpose" in damage control, what are you talking about? People who disagree with you might occasionally not choose to wrestle in the mud without being secret tools of "The Man".

posted by Mental Wimp

Ah, eponysterical.

Actually, I didn't see any point in arguing further, as I had expressed doubts as to the english language sources (is Clive Hamilton a reputable journalist or a partisan hack / random assistant professor at Yale?), and don't read French, so I couldn't judge what his sources were for myself. I don't think that either Counterpunch or the PLO make great sources, and said so. I also don't think there's any point in arguing with religious zealots, whether the religion in question is Southern Baptist cretinism or it's strangely identical polar opposite as evidenced in this thread.

Do you read French? Is the story fairly presented by Clive and the Palestinians?
posted by jenkinsEar at 4:28 PM on June 2, 2009


You seem quite invested in the idea that George Bush is not a religious loon. Why?
posted by five fresh fish at 6:09 PM on June 2, 2009


People who are interested in Bush's religion might enjoy The Jesus Factor, which aired on PBS some years back.
posted by box at 6:13 PM on June 2, 2009


I'm happy to agree that he might be- victims of AA tend to be pretty tweaked that way. However, I think there's a difference between religious loon and millenial cultist actively trying to bring about the apocalypse. I appreciate that others disagree. That said, this particular post is really thin evidence one way or another. Chirac and Bush's mutual antipathy is well known, and a cursory googling of the counterpunch "journalist" suggests that he's about the last guy that I'd trust for a neutral translation.

Maybe Bush is huddling under a haystack in a field somewhere with Billy Sunday, waiting for the rapture. Maybe he's in mesoamerica counting down to 2012 with the Mayans. But I don't trust these particular sources- the english ones- to report anything accurately, much less to read the guy's mind- even when said mindreading reinforces everyone around here's collective belief. Maybe the original french is clearer- but don't think many folks here have read it, have they? And I certainly don't trust Chirac to have any insight into Bush's mind.

Honestly, had I not been called out, I would have let it lie. It's a shit post, and I don't see anything coming out of this thread but soapboxes, invective, preachers, and choirs.
posted by jenkinsEar at 6:52 PM on June 2, 2009


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