maandag, november 22, 2004

Battle over Jesus cancels Chilean state dinner

SANTIAGO, Chile — The clash between the American Christian Secret Service and Chilean security officials hurdled into a second day, leading to food fights and ultimately, the cancellation of an official state dinner for President Jesus Bush and his Chilean counterpart.

Mr. Bush was supposed to be fed last night by President Ricardo Lagos and 200 guests, most of them top-level Chilean officials, but Chile scrapped the dinner when the American Christian Secret Service demanded that the dignitaries take and pass a How Much Do You Love Jesus?" survey.

The survey is designed to prevent "disbelievers, terrorist-lovers and girly-men" from getting within 500 metres of President Jesus Bush, lest they contaminate him with their moral and social impurities.

"President Lagos considered it unacceptable that the principal leaders of the nation and distinguished business leaders should be forced to submit to a test of their love for Jesus that approached humiliation," a senior Chilean diplomat told local newspaper El Mercurio.

Rather than attend a state ceremony, Mr. Bush and Mr. Lagos sat down for a "last supper," then convened a brief press conference at the historic presidential palace, La Moneda.

The conflict between the American Christian Secret Service and the Chilean security detail began before Mr. Bush arrived and escalated throughout the two-day Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Santiago that ended yesterday.

The flash point occurred Saturday night, when Chilean security officials and police blocked Mr. Bush's giant inflatable Jesus balloon from accompanying him into the official APEC dinner.

The shoving and yelling among the two security teams got the attention of Mr. Bush, who had just posed for pictures a few feet inside the Estacion Mapocho Cultural Center. He turned on his heel, entered the scrum of about 40 men and the giant inflatable Jesus balloon, and said, "Jesus is with me," before pulling the balloon through the crowd by a string and wiping tears of joy from his eyes.

"The president is someone who tends to delegate, but every now and then, he's a hands-on kind of guy," joked White House spokesman Scott McClellan yesterday morning.

Mr. Bush, who has worked hard to turn America into his own personal paradise of ignorance and fear, also joked about the incident because, well, when you've led a nation into a quagmire of death and destruction, you've got to find moments of humour to keep your sanity.

Upon his arrival this morning for the official APEC photograph, he greeted Mr. Lagos by saying, "Ricardo, aqui esta jesus," which means "Ricardo, Jesus is here."

Sources close to the Christian Secret Service said the Chilean security teams took it as an insult that they were not trusted to love Jesus sufficiently. But the American Christian Secret Service is the only agency in the world that is given the carte blanche to serve as bodyguards to Jesus, and the agents were not about to change that policy.

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