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“How terrible for you! You sail the seas and cross whole countries to win one convert and when you succeed, you make him twice as deserving of going to hell as you yourselves are.”
Jesus Christ, Son of Man, Son of God, Son of David
George Bush II fed the American public the most atrocious of lies when, during a presidential debate with Al Gore back in 2000, he indicated that Jesus Christ was his favorite philosopher. Quite the contrary as the world now knows. Bush’s vengeful persona and his penchant for the spectacle in public office have been in contradistinction to all the teachings and actions of the Son of Man. Were Christ to replay the last minutes of his life on the Cross in 2003 say, for example, on Capitol Hill, there’s no doubt that George Bush II would be the first to take a lance and plunge it into Christ’s body just as the Roman soldier did so long ago atop Golgotha. Viewed from the enlightened teachings of Christ and his many sacrifices, Bush II is a pitiful human being, a paper tiger leader, a sad figure, one that has sold his soul to devilish handlers for earthly gain.
“Every plant which my Father in heaven did not plant will be pulled up,” according to Christ, via Saint Matthew, commenting on the Pharisees and their progeny, that being Bush and the NeoCons who lay claim to world leadership and the heavenly divine. “Do not worry about them!” said Jesus, “They are blind leaders, and when one blind man leads another one, they both fall into a ditch…It is much harder for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of God than for a camel to go through the eye of a needle…The Kingdom of God will be taken away from you and be given to a people who will produce the proper fruits…” There is hope after all.
The Gospel according to Saint Matthew is a beautiful piece of work documenting the fascinating observations and actions of Jesus Christ. In this short, inspiring work, the entire philosophy of the Son of David is set forth for all to read and act upon if they are up to the challenge. It is a philosophy of simplicity, honesty and forgiveness that requires those who follow it to sacrifice self and material desires for the sake of the universal common good.
This is the path that George Bush II and his militant-Christian Republican disciples claim to be following by daily invoking Christ’s name and actions. For example, in the name of Christ and all he represents, Bush invaded Iraq. Bush sought divine guidance from the Son of Man in that action–as he does in every other–and claimed to be enlightened by him in his decision to go forth and conquer. One would think that such a devotee of Christ’s teachings would have placed the highest priority on protecting the Iraqi National Museum that contained information on Christ’s lineage and the history of his times. As history has recorded, though, it was the Iraqi Oil Ministry that was heavily defended by Bush’s legions, not the Iraqi National Museum that also housed a unique portion of the history of Muslim and Christian alike. That action speaks volumes about Bush’s opportunistic dedication to Jesus Christ. Bush gladly sacrificed a warehouse full of insights into humanity and it’s relationship with divinity to an unruly mob. Yet, a worthless building containing oil and gas extraction contracts between American firms and the government of Iraq was heavily defended by US troops.
To a degree unfathomable in American history, Bush–whom the media continue to claim is a devout Christian–presides over record setting unemployment and has applied the wrecking ball to social programs across the board in the United States. We the People are suffering. According to the Catholic Campaign, “Nearly 33 million Americans have fallen into poverty–more people than a year ago, the highest number in years. What does it mean to the life of our nation to have so many people lost in a shadowy state of uncertainty and need?
It means, as Marx once said, each according to his own needs. In the Christian society Bush envisions, you are on your own. Pray hard. Work hard. Trust in Wall Street and corporate volunteerism. Trust the Pentagon. Pray you don’t get laid off or sick. And what are American’s suppose to do about this state of affairs. Well, pray, of course.
“On this National Day of Prayer, I encourage Americans to remember the words of St. Paul: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” The Congress, by Public Law 100-307, as amended, has called on our citizens to reaffirm the role of prayer in our society…by recognizing annually a “National Day of Prayer. NOW, THEREFORE, I, GEORGE W. BUSH, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim May 2, 2002, as a National Day of Prayer. I ask Americans to pray for God’s protection, to express gratitude for our blessings, and to seek moral and spiritual renewal. I urge all our citizens to join in observing this day with appropriate programs, ceremonies, and activities.”
Of course, Christ wasn’t all that thrilled about those who have a religious chip on their shoulders or promoted such pompous affairs saying, “When you pray, do not be like the hypocrites. They love to stand up and pray in the synagogues and on the street corners so that everyone will see them…When you pray, go to the room and close the door…Don’t use a lot of meaningless words.”
Eliminate a Federal Program for Christ
Meanwhile, up to $1 trillion dollars will be spent by US taxpayers to rebuild Iraq and make it a Bush Garden of Eden in the turbulent Middle-East/Persian Gulf region. Christ might applaud that. But what would he think about Bush’s USA. Here in the States, American’s are getting the Pontius Pilate treatment from Bush. Congressman Rahm Emanuel recently introduced the American Parity Act. Emanuel pointed out that over the last two years, 2.5 millions more Americans lost jobs, 5 million have no health care, and 2 million moved from the middle class into poverty. Bush plans to provide 13 million people in Iraq with health care, build one hospital in every city and provide maternity care for 100 percent of the population. Back in the USA, 42 million uninsured working Americans get nothing. The Iraqi’s will receive books and supplies for 12,500 schools and will have 25,000 schools rebuilt or renovated. Back in the USA, 28,000 children will be eliminated from Head Start, no funds are allotted for school modernization, teacher quality programs are cut 10 percent, and 40 educational initiatives will be eliminated. Children, whether Iraqi or American, don’t seem to mean too much to Bush.
“Remember, Jesus said, unless you change and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. The greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven is the one who humbles himself and becomes like a child. If anyone should cause one of these little ones to turn away from his faith in me, it would be better for that man to have a large millstone tied around his neck and be drowned in the deep sea.”
And it gets even better.
The Center for Defense Information reports that close to $3 trillion will be spent on Empire building–in other words, defense spending–over the next six years. Discretionary spending for defense will be close to $400 billion in fiscal year 2004. Education, Health and Housing for Americans are a paltry $55, $49 and $34 billion respectively. Under Bush’s watch, CEO’s in the military industrial complex have compensation packages that far exceed their warfighting counterparts. The soldier on the battlefield makes 577 times less than a defense contractor CEO who is paid to network at board meetings, lobby foreign and domestic governments, and attend social events and weapons exhibitions to sell more deadly products to friend and foe alike. These same defense contractors, like most corporations, refer to people as Human Capital and view them as little more than machine parts in the production process. Marx had a word or two about that too.
In Christ’s name, social security, medicare, school lunch programs, veteran’s benefits and pensions are all headed for the guillotine. Young and old will be sacrificed on the altar of caprice. Meanwhile, Bush is campaigning for a trillion dollars worth of tax cuts that will benefit the richest, is attempting to outlaw overtime hours and pay for American workers, and destroy the collective bargaining process in America. Bill Grieder deftly outlines Bush’s agenda on these matters.
“The movement’s grand ambition–one can no longer say grandiose–is to roll back the twentieth century, quite literally. That is, defenestrate the federal government and reduce its scale and powers to a level well below what it was before the New Deal’s centralization. With that accomplished, movement conservatives envision a restored society in which the prevailing values and power relationships resemble the America that existed around 1900, when William McKinley was President. Governing authority and resources are dispersed from Washington, returned to local levels and also to individuals and private institutions, most notably corporations and religious organizations. The primacy of private property rights is re-established over the shared public priorities expressed in government regulation. Above all, private wealth–both enterprises and individuals with higher incomes–are permanently insulated from the progressive claims of the graduated income tax.”
Is it any wonder, then, that Bush and the NeoCons are quietly pushing Christ through federal regulations like the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act of 2000 which allows religious organizations, with the help of the federal government, to ignore local land use controls?
In the end, it’s clear that Bush is no follower of Jesus Christ and neither are the militant Christians in the USA. These American Pharisees cite Christ’s teachings and actions to perform insufferable acts, but millions the world over see right through them. They even claim to have an open channel to Christ’s father, God. Their actions are evidence enough that Christ and his father are just another prop in the staged affair that is the Bush presidency and the Right Revolution. As the Son of David once said about people like Bush, Cheney and the like, “You are like whitewashed tombs which look fine on the outside but are full of dead men’s bones and rotten stuff on the inside. In the same way, on the outside you appear to everybody as good but inside you are full of hypocrisy and sins.”
No. Bush is not the antichrist and does not even rise to the level of false prophet. He’s a con artist among many and knows a good scam when he sees one. Even so, Jesus will forgive Bush and the rest of them. After all, Bush and his minions know not what they do.
JOHN STANTON is a Jesuit-educated Virginia-based writer specializing in national security matters. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org