🧙 The Tolkien Forum 🧝

Welcome to our forum! Register a free account today to become a member! Once signed in, you'll be able to participate on this site by adding your own topics and posts, as well as connect with other members through your own private inbox! Plus you won't see ads ;)

The nature of Bush's religion

Status
Not open for further replies.

Barliman Butterbur

Worthy Keeper/Bree Roué
Joined
Dec 7, 2003
Messages
2,768
Reaction score
9
Location
Prancing Pony, Bree
Aragorn 21 and I had been talking about the number of evangelical Christians in the world, and he said one thing about their numbers and I said another. So I got curious and went on a websearch to try to find out the facts of the matter. What I discovered led me far afield of the original query. What I found were descriptions of the nature of the Christianity that George Bush believes in. I was not looking for this.

I will not engage in any commentary, but merely post the links, in the order in which I came across them, to what I found. Those interested enough to pursue the matter will come to their own conclusions.

http://www.angelfire.com/co/COMMONSENSE/armageddon.html
http://www.guardian.co.uk/comment/story/0,3604,1195568,00.html
http://www.raptureready.com

Barley
 

joxy

Registered User
Joined
Aug 21, 2002
Messages
3,176
Reaction score
6
Location
U.K.
The first site includes a statement that Bush prays every day. My opinions on the dangers of making implications are well known, but I doubt if anyone would claim I was wrong in taking the implication that the writer thought that praying every day was not a good idea. I think it is an excellent idea.
The site goes on to tell us:
"Among Mansfield's revelations is his insistence that Bush and Tony Blair have prayed together at a private meeting at Camp David. Blair has previously denied this."
Now, I have a personal dislike for Blair almost as strong as that so often shown by others for Bush, but it is a fact that he prays, at least as an appeasement to his wife, and I find it extraordinary to find another implication(!) that it is not a good idea for a president and a prime minister to pray together - and even that it is so obviously a bad idea that one of the parties makes a point of stating that he did not take part after all.
 

Richard

Registered User
Joined
Sep 16, 2004
Messages
25
Reaction score
0
Location
Madison WI
As for the faith of George. W.Bush I respect both sides on whether it is real. I realize that this is a touchy issue, and would like to know the rules of conduct on threads of this type. Richard
 

Barliman Butterbur

Worthy Keeper/Bree Roué
Joined
Dec 7, 2003
Messages
2,768
Reaction score
9
Location
Prancing Pony, Bree
joxy said:
The first site includes a statement that Bush prays every day. My opinions on the dangers of making implications are well known, but I doubt if anyone would claim I was wrong in taking the implication that the writer thought that praying every day was not a good idea. I think it is an excellent idea.
The site goes on to tell us:
"Among Mansfield's revelations is his insistence that Bush and Tony Blair have prayed together at a private meeting at Camp David. Blair has previously denied this."
Now, I have a personal dislike for Blair almost as strong as that so often shown by others for Bush, but it is a fact that he prays, at least as an appeasement to his wife, and I find it extraordinary to find another implication(!) that it is not a good idea for a president and a prime minister to pray together - and even that it is so obviously a bad idea that one of the parties makes a point of stating that he did not take part after all.
No one objects to prayer in itself. Joxy — do me a personal favor — please —: read the article from the Guardian in the second link. Read about the specifics of the evangelical belief system, and the actions and behavior that naturally proceed from such beliefs. There is the act of prayer, and there is the content of prayer. Thank you in advance.

Barley
 

joxy

Registered User
Joined
Aug 21, 2002
Messages
3,176
Reaction score
6
Location
U.K.
You only have to ask - but in this case your request had already been granted - I had already seen all the items!
And what an appalling revelation they offer! I'm truly amazed to discover the existence of these organisations and individuals who apparently firmly believe they are Christians, but who talk such utter nonsense.
Do these crackpots actually have some influence, on anything??
As I've said elsewhere I'm sorry to see my church listed beside organisations which are only marginally less dangerous than these, and now I'm all the more sorry that we haven't overtaken and left them behind, in the way that in this country we have overtaken and left behind all the established organisations. I suppose that the US is a special case as our counterparts have let down the universal church so badly by being reponsible for the widespread abuse which has come to light in recent years. I can only hope that when full amends have been made for all that, they will find themselves in a position strong enough to carry the day,
in expressing what the faith is really all about, in contrast to the wild and dangerous ideas I have been discovering from those references.

Of course, my comments on prayer remain intact -thanks BB for your response to them.
 
Last edited:

Barliman Butterbur

Worthy Keeper/Bree Roué
Joined
Dec 7, 2003
Messages
2,768
Reaction score
9
Location
Prancing Pony, Bree
joxy said:
You only have to ask - but in this case your request had already been granted - I had already seen all the items!
And what an appalling revelation they offer! I'm truly amazed to discover the existence of these organisations and individuals who apparently firmly believe they are Christians, but who talk such utter nonsense.
Do these crackpots actually have some influence, on anything??
Unfortunately, they have if not a stranglehold, a dangerously firm grip on the machinery of American government from the White House on down, starting with Dubya and his minions. Now you know the reason for my all posts attempting to expose Bush for what he is and what he's trying to do, which certain gentlemen posting to these threads find so incendiary and "hateful," the possible truth of which they so vociferously deny.

Of course, my comments on prayer remain intact -thanks BB for your response to them.
My pleasure, as always.

Barley
 

joxy

Registered User
Joined
Aug 21, 2002
Messages
3,176
Reaction score
6
Location
U.K.
I'm not sure which side of the argument has the lead in vociferousness!
As to the denying, I have to say that, if the denying we are talking about is a denial that Bush is linked to those weird people or shares their views, then I'm not at all sure that they're wrong. I've seen nothing actually to confirm those links.
Also, we have a problem about a word - where have I seen that happen before? ;)
All Christians are called upon to evangelise, so no-one has a reserve on the word "evangelical".
The Guardian doesn't use the word once in the article, so I have to say that we need a more accurate word to use here.
 

Barliman Butterbur

Worthy Keeper/Bree Roué
Joined
Dec 7, 2003
Messages
2,768
Reaction score
9
Location
Prancing Pony, Bree
joxy said:
I'm not sure which side of the argument has the lead in vociferousness!
As to the denying, I have to say that, if the denying we are talking about is a denial that Bush is linked to those weird people or shares their views, then I'm not at all sure that they're wrong. I've seen nothing actually to confirm those links.
The denying is about whether there is any truth in the articles about Bush that I've been presenting. Far from denial, there is great pride in evangelical circles that Bush is an avowed, self-declared member of the evangelical (as Aragorn 21 defines it) wing of Christianity.

Also, we have a problem about a word - where have I seen that happen before? ;)
:D:D:D

All Christians are called upon to evangelise, so no-one has a reserve on the word "evangelical".
The Guardian doesn't use the word once in the article, so I have to say that we need a more accurate word to use here.
I simply used Aragorn 21's phraseology; he is the one who refers to this brand of Christianity as "evangelical" (and asserts that they and the Catholics comprise the majority of all Christians worldwide) and I simply went along with it for lack of a more accurate description. I figured he knew what he was talking about, and so used the term as he used it for the sake of agreement on its definition. I suppose one might find the "official" term for this brand of Christianity at Jerry Falwell's, Pat Roberton's or Oral Roberts's websites — but I'm not about to do it!

Barley
 

Gothmog

Lord of Balrogs
Staff member
Joined
Sep 10, 2001
Messages
1,960
Reaction score
155
Location
Cardiff, United Kingdom
Richard said:
As for the faith of George. W.Bush I respect both sides on whether it is real. I realize that this is a touchy issue, and would like to know the rules of conduct on threads of this type. Richard
The rules of conduct on threads of this type as in all threads on TTF can be found Here Hope that helps :)
 

joxy

Registered User
Joined
Aug 21, 2002
Messages
3,176
Reaction score
6
Location
U.K.
You have presented rather a lot of articles BB, so those "certain gentlemen" have a difficult task in deciding what to deny!
I was trying to be more specific, to consider the matter of Bush's connection with or sympathy for those weird and wonderful web sites that you pointed me to, and whether it would be reasonable to deny them.

I understand the reason why you used the word "evangelical", but it really is not the right word.
An item at Eriol's link tells us that in the US the religious organisations with the most adherents are, in order:
Catholic, Baptist, Methodist/Wesleyan, Lutheran, Presbyterian, Pentecostal/Charismatic, Episcopalian/Anglican, Judaism, Latter-day Saints/Mormon, Churches of Christ, Congregational/United Church of Christ, Jehovah's Witnesses, Assemblies of God,
with no mention of the word "evangelical".
From the list "charismatic" appears a likely candidate for being representative of those strange views, but they might be contained also within the Baptist and Assemblies classifications.
As Catholic is rated at 54 million, and the next in line is way behind at 34 million, with the rest trailing, it appears that the balance we have been quoted is somewhat inaccurate! It also appears that those strange people have a minimal representation.
I saw quite enough on their sites, and, like you, have no inclination to check up on Messrs Jerry Falwell, Pat Roberton, or Oral Roberts, so their official affiliations, if they have any, must remain unidentified.
 

Barliman Butterbur

Worthy Keeper/Bree Roué
Joined
Dec 7, 2003
Messages
2,768
Reaction score
9
Location
Prancing Pony, Bree
joxy said:
...
I understand the reason why you used the word "evangelical", but it really is not the right word.

Catholic is rated at 54 million, and the next in line is way behind at 34 million, with the rest trailing, it appears that the balance we have been quoted is somewhat inaccurate! It also appears that those strange people have a minimal representation.
Evidently those who belong to that group are in strong denial about it. (Eriol, thanks for that link!)

I saw quite enough on their sites, and, like you, have no inclination to check up on Messrs Jerry Falwell, Pat Roberton, or Oral Roberts, so their official affiliations, if they have any, must remain unidentified.
I've been watching and listening carefully to the cable news — they seem to use the term "the Christian Right" to describe "those strange people."

•••

By some strange chance/providence/fate, I ran across this passage written by Tolkien about war (from letter #312), from 1969, which is so eerily appropriate for these times and days and hours:

"...I have a feeling (more near a certainty) that God, for some ineffable reason which to us may seem almost like humour, is so curiously ready to answer the prayers of the least worthy of his suppliants – if they pray for others. I do not of course mean to say that He only answers the prayers of the unworthy (who ought not to expect to be heard at all), or I should not now be benefitting by the prayers of others. What a dreadful, fear-darkened, sorrow-laden world we live in – especially for those who have also the burden of age, whose friends and all they especially care for are afflicted in the same way. Chesterton once said that it is our duty to keep the Flag of This World flying: but it takes now a sturdier and more sublime patriotism than it did then. Gandalf added that it is not for us to choose the times into which we are born, but to do what we could to repair them; but the spirit of wickedness in high places is now so powerful and so many-headed in its incarnations that there seems nothing more to do than personally to refuse to worship any of the hydras' heads. ...."

Someone in these threads challenged me to describe what I thought was a "godly" man. I think Tolkien fills the bill quite nicely, as well as being — for me at least — a true Christian in the highest best sense. I am dead certain that he would not at all be in sympathy with the beliefs of the "Christian Right." I say this from long contemplation of the opening chapters of "The Silmarillion," which are in themselves sublime and beautiful and deep enough to form the basis of a religion on their own, one to which I would seriously consider subscribing.

Barley
 
Last edited:

Barliman Butterbur

Worthy Keeper/Bree Roué
Joined
Dec 7, 2003
Messages
2,768
Reaction score
9
Location
Prancing Pony, Bree
This thread seems to have shifted emphasis into an examination of the nature of the type of Christianity to which President Bush belongs.

The American press (at least) seems to have been afraid to touch the issue, probably for fear of bringing down the wrath of millions of "evangelical Christians" upon its head. But it seems that this issue is absolutely basic to the understanding of Bush's thought process, and what drives his actions as president.

I did a Google search on the words CHRISTIANS AGAINST BUSH just to see what would happen. What happened amazed me. There are lots of Christians "against Bush," and what amazed me is the number of conservative and "evengelical" Christians who raise serious objections to his being in power, and serious objections to what they see as his giving a false representation of what they consider to be true Christianity. These Christians refer to themselves as not only "evangelical," and "conservative" and "to the right", but by a number of terms. Here is a selection of representative websites; the more of them you examine, the more you'll learn about non-Bush Christians and their beliefs on what is true Christianity:

http://christiansagainstbush.bravehost.com/
http://mnl_1221.tripod.com/kerrybush.html
http://dfa.bmgbiz.net/evangelical.html
http://www.intellectualconservative.com/article3114.html
http://www.democrats.us/beta/forum/view_topic.php?id=1854&forum_id=3
http://www.suite101.com/discussion.cfm/investing/109072/latest/107
http://www.thestranger.com/2004-06-10/feature2.html
http://www.publicchristian.com/govtpolitics/chrvsbush.shtml
http://i.webring.com/hub?ring=fearbush
http://forums.alternet.org/guest/motet?show+-uj0HeN+-ilad+Currents+984+-25-
http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/opinion/189785_valdez08.html

But I saved the "best" for last: the website on PBS's production of "The Jesus Factor," which outlines Bush's involvement with apocolyptic Christianity, and how he's dragging all of us into it: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/jesus/. If Bush's religion had you worried before, you'll really be worried after examining this site. (Joxy: It looks like the term "evangelical Christian" is one that we'll have to accept as referring to a specific American-born and bred branch of the religion.)

Here are two reactions from people writing in to the show which reflect my own views, especially the first one:

Dear FRONTLINE,

The thought of a bunch of born-again evangelicals running this country scares me to death. I just don't see a difference between Muslim and Christian Fundamentalists. Each feels that they have the only true path to God, and each feels that they must convice others of the fact by any means necessary.

Those who think that Bush's faith only makes him more sincere and well-meaning, need to remember that these people actually believe in a great Apocalyptic end to the world caused by a battle between "good" and "evil". They also insist on a literal interpretation of the Book of Revelation and of the entire gospels.

Wake up, America!! This is the most dangerous administration we have ever had. God help us all!

Sandra Cardet
Palm Springs, California

Dear FRONTLINE,

The President and all of the 'evangelicals' riding on his coattails have no business leading a country with a constitution that clearly draws a line between church and state. This, combined with his blatantly ethnocentric demeanor toward foreign nations, Islam and any other group or sect based outside of Texas, has done irreperable harm to the United States. Contrary to popular belief, the President's role is to protect the Constitution (including the plain-as-day 'Separation of Church and State') and to work for the betterment of the American people. Proselytizing and pushing his values on those of us who don't reside within the borders of the Southern Bible Belt/Texas isn't in his job description!

Ryan Swanson
Ellensburg, Washington

To be fair, there were also other sentiments supporting Bush.

Barley
 
Last edited:

HLGStrider

All Knowing Magic Cat
Joined
Dec 17, 2001
Messages
7,803
Reaction score
32
Location
Moving on the whim of the military
Sandra and Ryan truthfully scare me.

The idea of a persons faith disqualifying them from public service is a frightening one and by Ryan's standard it seems to me he thinks anyone with a strong faith should be cast out of public office.

I just don't see a difference between Muslim and Christian Fundamentalists. Each feels that they have the only true path to God, and each feels that they must convice others of the fact by any means necessary.
This is only true when Christians start blowing things up, which in the past they have, but most of them aren't at the moment. I wouldn't have any problem with a fundementalist Muslim in office if he was of the branch that didn't believe in blowing people up. I have been assured this branch exists.

Those who think that Bush's faith only makes him more sincere and well-meaning, need to remember that these people actually believe in a great Apocalyptic end to the world caused by a battle between "good" and "evil". They also insist on a literal interpretation of the Book of Revelation and of the entire gospels.
I do. . .and I really don't see how that makes me a threat to society.

Sandra is a paranoid anti-Christian.

The President and all of the 'evangelicals' riding on his coattails have no business leading a country with a constitution that clearly draws a line between church and state.
So you can't lead if you are an evangelical? By this logic only agnostics would be capable of holding political positions.

Ryan, I would say, is simply misguided.
 

Barliman Butterbur

Worthy Keeper/Bree Roué
Joined
Dec 7, 2003
Messages
2,768
Reaction score
9
Location
Prancing Pony, Bree
HLGStrider said:
Sandra and Ryan truthfully scare me.

The idea of a persons faith disqualifying them from public service is a frightening one and by Ryan's standard it seems to me he thinks anyone with a strong faith should be cast out of public office.
As I said to Joxy, prayer is one thing, the content of prayer is another. On a variation of that: faith is one thing, the content of faith is another. A person’s actions proceed from his beliefs.

Evidently, the heart of evangelical Christianity includes these tenets:

•In the United States, several million people have an extraordinary belief. In the 19th century, two immigrant preachers cobbled together a series of unrelated passages from the Bible to create what appears to be a consistent narrative: Jesus will return to Earth when certain preconditions have been met. The first of these was the establishment of a state of Israel. The next involves Israel's occupation of the rest of its "biblical lands" (most of the Middle East), and the rebuilding of the Third Temple on the site now occupied by the Dome of the Rock and al-Aqsa mosques. The legions of the antichrist will then be deployed against Israel, and their war will lead to a final showdown in the valley of Armageddon. The Jews will either burn or convert to Christianity, and the Messiah will return to Earth. [Emphasis mine]

•The believers are convinced that they will soon be rewarded for their efforts. The antichrist is apparently walking among us, in the guise of Kofi Annan, Javier Solana, Yasser Arafat or, more plausibly, Silvio Berlusconi.

•...here we have a major political constituency - representing much of the current president's core vote - in the most powerful nation on Earth, which is actively seeking to provoke a new world war. Its members see the invasion of Iraq as a warm-up act, as Revelation (9:14-15) maintains that four angels "which are bound in the great river Euphrates" will be released "to slay the third part of men". [Emphasis mine]

Source: http://www.guardian.co.uk/comment/story/0,3604,1195568,00.html

If the above be true, President Bush appears to believe in is a faith that depends on a coming apocalypse, a conflagration that will engulf the world, and he seems to be calling in every day to representatives of that faith for guidance for his part in bringing it about:

“ ...there's no question this is the most receptive White House to our concerns and to our perspective of any White House that I've dealt with, and I've dealt with every White House from Reagan on. The day he was inauguarated there were several of us who met with him at the governor's mansion. And among the things he said to us was, I believe that God wants me to be president.

“In the Reagan administration, they would usually return our phone calls. In the Bush 41 administration, they often would return our phone calls, but not quite as quickly, and sometimes not quite as receptively. In the Clinton administration, they quit accepting our phone calls after a while.

“In this administration, they call us, and they say, "What is your take on this? How does your group feel about this?” [Emphasis mine]

—Richard Land, director of the conservative evangelical Southern Baptist Convention and friend and adviser to President Bush

Source: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/jesus/interviews/land.html

Under ordinary circumstances, I’d agree totally with LG. But the tenets of Bush's religion, at the very least, give one pause for thought when a world leader subscribes to them and listens more to his religious advisors, his political ideologists and the captains of corporate America than he does to the American people, the majority of whom do not share these views — not by a long shot.

Barley
 
Last edited:

joxy

Registered User
Joined
Aug 21, 2002
Messages
3,176
Reaction score
6
Location
U.K.
These expressions "evangelical" and "Christian right" appear then to have been hi-jacked for the convenience of media reporting.

I've said what I think about those web sites and their weird and wonderful beliefs - and indeed, certainties, from their point of view - but I have to add that there is no proof, and, I believe, no grounds for suspicion, that Bush both holds those beliefs and adopts his policies specifically in order to prepare for and to implement them. If he did, I'd be on "your side"!

Elgee has discerned the suggestion of "a person's faith disqualifying them from public service" and says it is "a frightening one".
I agree. As I said previously I consider it a point strongly in his favour that a president or any other leader, who is of a faith, should practice his faith, in prayer and by any other means within his constitutional limitations. This is a very different matter from trying to force his faith views on to anyone else; I don't see Bush doing that.

You tell us that: "evidently, the heart of evangelical Christianity includes these tenets", and follow that with the account by Mr Monbiot of beliefs which he claims to be widespread in the US, which he elaborates to "American pollsters believe that 15-18% of US voters belong to churches or movements which subscribe to these teachings." I don't see that as evidence that the teachings are the heart of "evangelical" Christianity.
Mr Monbiot says that : "several million people have an extraordinary belief"; I don't believe that more than the relative handful on those sites have that belief.
He claims that those weird beliefs constitute "a major political constituency"; I don't believe they do.
You say that: "If the above be true, President Bush appears to believe in is a faith that depends on a coming apocalypse, a conflagration that will engulf the world, and he seems to be calling in every day to representatives of that faith for guidance for his part in bringing it about". I don't think that your conclusion from "the above" is justified.
You claim that Bush: "...listens more to his religious advisors, his political ideologists and the captains of corporate America than he does to the American people". I believe the word "more" is wrong. All leaders should listen to, and indeed enquire from, all those constituencies, and I don't doubt that Bush does include the American people among those constituencies.

And now to Tolkien: I wonder what his frame of mind was when he wrote that letter. What were the particular circumstances in 1969 that produced that sombre frame of mind? Specifically, who were those "in high places" in whom "the spirit of wickedness..
..is now so powerful and so many-headed in its incarnations"?

And yes, the Silmarillion is very obviously a sort of religious account, and a very impressive and indeed moving one, but I am sure Tolkien would have been the first to say that his personal preference was for his own "real" faith!
 
Last edited:

Barliman Butterbur

Worthy Keeper/Bree Roué
Joined
Dec 7, 2003
Messages
2,768
Reaction score
9
Location
Prancing Pony, Bree
joxy said:
These expressions "evangelical" and "Christian right" appear then to have been hi-jacked for the convenience of media reporting.

I've said what I think about those web sites and their weird and wonderful beliefs - and indeed, certainties, from their point of view - but I have to add that there is no proof, and, I believe, no grounds for suspicion, that Bush both holds those beliefs and adopts his policies specifically in order to prepare for and to implement them. If he did, I'd be on "your side"!
Well, it looks to me like he indeed holds them, judging by the PBS website. But you're a good man, Joxy — you want to see the good in every man, including Bush. I guess I fail that test.

Elgee has discerned the suggestion of "a person's faith disqualifying them from public service" and says it is "a frightening one".
I agree.
Ordinarily, I would too, but for the nature of the belief system under discussion.

As I said previously I consider it a point strongly in his favour that a president or any other leader, who is of a faith, should practice his faith, in prayer and by any other means within his constitutional limitations. This is a very different matter from trying to force his faith views on to anyone else; I don't see Bush doing that.
I won't argue it with you. We see the same man and the same actions from different standpoints. That's okay.

You tell us that: "evidently, the heart of evangelical Christianity includes these tenets"; I don't see anything evident about that.
You say that : "several million people have an extraordinary belief"; I don't believe that more than the relative handful on those sites have that belief.
You claim that those weird beliefs constitute "a major political constituency" I don't believe they do.
Please don't attribute the above to me; I was merely providing direct quotes from the Guardian article.

You say that: "If the above be true, President Bush appears to believe in a faith that depends on a coming apocalypse, a conflagration that will engulf the world, and he seems to be calling in every day to representatives of that faith for guidance for his part in bringing it about". I don't think that your conclusion from "the above" is justified.
Fair enough. I provided a source, and I came to a conclusion.

You claim that Bush: "...listens more to his religious advisors, his political ideologists and the captains of corporate America than he does to the American people". I believe the word "more" is wrong. All leaders should listen to, and indeed enquire from, all those constituencies, and I don't doubt that Bush does include the American people among those constituencies.
I guess the bottom line is his conduct, his track record. The man has done great damage. This stands apart from his beliefs, but I believe those actions proceed from his beliefs.

And now to Tolkien: I wonder what his frame of mind was when he wrote that letter. What were the particular circumstances in 1969 that produced that sombre frame of mind? Specifically, who were those "in high places" in whom "the spirit of wickedness...is now so powerful and so many-headed in its incarnations"?
I'm not sure. The letter was written in 1969, and the only thing that stands out for me for that year is the moon landing.

And yes, the Silmarillion is very obviously a sort of religious account, and a very impressive and indeed moving one, but I am sure Tolkien would have been the first to say that his personal preference was for his own "real" faith!
I daresay.

By the way, just learned of this (10/14/04), the German defense minister just announced that he is now willing to reconsider sending troops to Iraq if Kerry is elected president. I think this is going to become important news and a big item in coming days. It looks like a thinly disguised German endorsement of Kerry. Those Americans who are leery of international positive assessments of Kerry may get more determined than ever to get Bush re-elected. Those who are struck by this decision as a good sign may well be more determined to get Kerry elected president. We'll see what comes out of this.

Barley
 
Last edited:

joxy

Registered User
Joined
Aug 21, 2002
Messages
3,176
Reaction score
6
Location
U.K.
I've corrected my two errors of attribution, and apologise for making them.
As you say, the bottom line is what the man has actually done, and I agree that, like most politicians, he has done damage,
he has done things that were wrong, of which by far the most outstanding was the attack on Iraq.
Where we disagree is in the reasons for doing wrong things. To cut a long and elaborate story short, the commentators are suggesting that he is aiming to set off Armageddon and take the credit for it. I exaggerate?!
Just for the record, and I'm very sorry to diverge from Elgee on this one, I do not "insist on a literal interpretation of the Book of Revelation and of the entire gospels"; I believe in Armageddon no more than I believe in Noah's Flood. Revelation in particular does have its poetry, but I rate the poets of Genesis higher than St John the Divine. And Tolkien isn't far behind with the Silmarillion....

The German minister's announcement baffles me; what difference does the presidency make to German government policy?
That government is currently in deep internal difficulties; the ministers must be clutching at straws to disentangle themselves. :rolleyes:
 

Barliman Butterbur

Worthy Keeper/Bree Roué
Joined
Dec 7, 2003
Messages
2,768
Reaction score
9
Location
Prancing Pony, Bree
joxy said:
I've corrected my two errors of attribution, and apologise for making them.
Apology unnecessary!:)

As you say, the bottom line is what the man has actually done, and I agree that, like most politicians, he has done damage,
he has done things that were wrong, of which by far the most outstanding was the attack on Iraq.

Where we disagree is in the reasons for doing wrong things. To cut a long and elaborate story short, the commentators are suggesting that he is aiming to set off Armageddon and take the credit for it. I exaggerate?!
That seems to be the case, at least that's how I see it, especially after going fairly deeply into that PBS Front Line coverage. You are not exaggerating. After all, the man has said, and to a number of people, that he believes God commanded him to be president. Gerald Boykin, an American army general has said, "You know why Bush became president when he lost the popular vote? I'll tell you why: because God wants it, that's why!" There are too many of these types in important government positions, and I think that eventually the news media is going to have to take a daily look at this business of the Religious Right working its way into American politics and law.

Just for the record, and I'm very sorry to diverge from Elgee on this one, I do not "insist on a literal interpretation of the Book of Revelation and of the entire gospels"; I believe in Armageddon no more than I believe in Noah's Flood. Revelation in particular does have its poetry, but I rate the poets of Genesis higher than St John the Divine. And Tolkien isn't far behind with the Silmarillion....
The scary thing is, that the "evangelicals" believe it literally and seem to be trying to manipulate world affairs to bring it about — again, that PBS article gives it credence, as well as some of those other links I posted.

The German minister's announcement baffles me; what difference does the presidency make to German government policy?
That government is currently in deep internal difficulties; the ministers must be clutching at straws to disentangle themselves. :rolleyes:
We'll see how that plays out in the coming days. Anyway, you (and if not you, certainly a few others ;)) will probably heave a sigh of relief when I say I am dialing back on this stuff. It suddenly came to me that once I posted the items about the nature of Bush's religion, I felt a kind of closure. I needed to get this stuff out on these boards in order to show why so many people are worried about Bush, and I did that.

Even if Bush is thrown out of office, the problem is still there, because the American Far Political/Religious Right is never going to give up. It will retrench, learn from its mistakes, and press on — just as will the other side.

Barley
 
Status
Not open for further replies.

Thread suggestions

Top