maandag, februari 24, 2003

On A Mission From God

Der Spiegel, a German weekly news magazine, had a captivating cover for last week's issue: George Bush lecturing, microphone in hand, with the image of a cross behind him and surrounded by images of war and patriotism. The title on the cover read: "On a Divine Mission, The Crusade of George Bush".

The opening paragraph of the article opines:

By attacking Baghdad, US president George W. Bush wants to fulfill a divine order. In the highly religious United States, there has rarely been such a deep connection between national power interests and fundamentalist false piety. Christian fanatics are calling for a crusade against Islam.

The article doesn't bash Bush so much as it does examine the strange phenomenon of the Christian Right and its influence in the current administration.

It traces, for example, Bush's historical "growth" from pathetic alcoholic who "one day, at the end of a week-long drinking binge, woke up and looked at his vomit-covered face in the mirror" to a man who "fell to his knees and prayed for God's help.". It is an absurd little story when you think about it though Bush himself, the story alleges, admits that if hadn't "found" the missing God, he'd still be sitting at home guzzling bottles of Lone Star instead of running the country into ruination.

"You know, of course, that I had a problem with alcohol. If things had stayed the way they were, right now I'd be sitting in a bar in Texas instead of in the Oval Office. There is only one reason why I'm in the Oval Office now and not in that bar: I found faith. I found God."

Yeah, thanks alot "God".

The article further delves into the motivations of the Christian Right as it pertains to the terrorist attacks of September 11th, underscoring the fact that the simple-minded exegetes of the last book of the New Testament do not shy away from even the most uninspired attempts to connect the puzzling pieces of scripture to present-day events.

"Simply laughing off such garbage underestimates the influence of the militant Christian Right. Many are firmly convinced that the attacks on New York and Washington have started the process that will lead to the end of the world, the return of Jesus Christ, and the dawning of the promised thousand-year reign of God. When these faithful hear their president talk about the "Axis of Evil," they are convinced that he is speaking their own language, that he, like they, is a holy warrior."

A holy warrior indeed. What a great religion wherein some magician can turns the "vomit-covered face" of a failed man of the elite into the President of the United States and a holy warrior to boot. Image all the holy warriors and devout G.I. Joes they can churn out if they start hitting the A.A. meeting halls.

Frankly, I've been a little dissatisfied with my own production of late. I had such dreams, such high hopes, such Fitzgeraldesque aspirations. By all rights, I too should be a millionaire by now. I too should be in charge of my own army of holy warriors, my own brigade of bible-toting thugs wreaking havoc on the unredeemed and the faithless!

I'm going to fix that right away. Tonight, I'm going to go out and get drunk. Really drunk. So drunk that I too wake up with a "vomit-covered face", run over to the nearest Born Again Christian Meeting House and start praying long and hard so that I too can become President of the United States and a holy warrior.

Those of you with kids out there, let this be a lesson. You needn't bother worrying about what sort of schools you send them to, or what kind of friends they hang out with, or if they smoke a little pot or partake in a little underage drinking now and then. So long as you get them praying and braying and asking the good and generous almighty God to accept their gratitude, you're going to be the parents of someone famous. Someone like the President. A true holy warrior.

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