Friday, September 07, 2007

St. Bush

During the Bush Honeymoon Period (from 9/11 until Katrina), when he seemed unstoppable, triumphalist Christers would state proudly that they love the fact that a devout Christian was in the White House. Even back then, I was advising them to not adopt him as their own as he appeared to be a mean and stupid person. We can't always choose who will be successful from our ethnic/cultural subgroup, but we can choose to adopt the person as a hero. As a Jewish-American, I want to adopt Albert Einstein (even though he wasn't very religious) and not Jonathan Pollard (who has found Jehovah in prison, I've been told). So it is with religious Christians and Bush... don't adopt him! - he's a cruel moron! - but I'm not sure they've gotten the message yet.

Here's a list of 50 quotes from Bush about his religious faith from the Aug 8 2007 London Times, compiled by their Religion reporter Libby Purves.

In the list are famous lines (like #17 "I couldn't imagine somebody like Osama bin Laden understanding the joy of Hanukkah" - White House, Dec. 10, 2001), but also just inane statements of his "simple" faith. I say simple because he seems as committed to religious terminology but not religious behavior. He probably likes praying because it's done alone and in direct communication with his chosen, self-defined Deity. As such, it is an act of egotism, not devotion. Minyan forces you to pray with others, to depend on others. Kneeling on your rich carpet to communicate one-on-one with Heaven as if you were a modern-day Moshe Rabbeinu is barely tolerated in halakha.

And outside of prayer, what does Bush do that can be called religious? I doubt he gives much to charity (I'm trying to find the numbers online; download his disclosures here). And let's not forget about the last president who was gloriously touted as a religious man who'd bring Christian principles to bear on White House policy: James Earl Carter.

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