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Posted by Veritas at 03:01PM, Wednesday, December 03rd, 2003

The Bush Christ

An examination of Bush's rapid and scary descent into Unio Mystica...

"God loves you, and I love you. And you can count on both of us as a powerful message that people who wonder about their future can hear."

George W. Bush
óLos Angeles, Calif., March 3, 2004

As a citizen of the U.S., one can only react with great alarm when the leader of our country equates himself to God. To parse out the above-quoted statement, it begins with the declaration that "God loves you, and I love you." Here, Bush equates his universal love for all people in his audience to that of the Almighty. From this point, Bush further reveals that he, like God, has a "powerful message" that "people who wonder about their future can hear." Here, Bush likens himself, through progressive association, with God. Furthermore, by tying his love of people to God's love of people, and more importantly, that Bush's message is in alignment with God's message. Through this statement, Bush claims divinity.

This is a frightening message when delivered by the leader of the "Free World," and of a country which believes in the separation of church and state. In the definitions of Western theology, Bush's claims could only be described as heretical. The association of self to the divine, the claim of a mystical union between self and God, pushes beyond the boundaries of Christian-Judaic thought.

Beyond the concerns of theology is the more pressing question: "can our country continue to allow Bush to have his finger on the trigger?" How can a country that enshrines separation of church and state within its constitution allow such a leader to persist? Many presidents prior to Bush have spoken of their spiritual life, and have discussed their relation to the divine. For example, Teddy Roosevelt, long an insomniac, would wander the halls of the White House in the middle of the night, pondering the issues of his time, in a prayerful, contemplative manner. Roosevelt claimed that, through prayer, he conceptualized the responsibility of the United States to colonize other countries. Aside from Roosevelt, every other President has made the claim to believe in a higher power (at least none has admitted being an atheist). What makes Bush unique is high claim to be as one with God in thought, word and action.

It should be noted that this is not the first instance where Bush has claimed divine insight. In an earlier meeting with Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas, Bush made the following statement: "God told me to strike at al Qaida and I struck them, and then he instructed me to strike at Saddam, which I did, and now I am determined to solve the problem in the Middle East. If you help me I will act, and if not, the elections will come and I will have to focus on them." In this instance, Bush claims that his war on terrorism, as well as his pre-emptive and illegal strike on Iraq were both inspired by direct communion with God. Presidents receive information from many sources, and are then expected to crystallize these, and make the appropriate decision. Having a president who claims to have a direct line to God is a frightening prospect, particularly for those citizens of the world who either 1) do not believe in God, or 2) do not believe that a human being can have an infallible communicative link with God.
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