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Bush says God chose him to lead his nation

Ros Rogers, Jr. has sent me the article "Bush says God chose him to lead his nation.Book reveals how President's religious and political beliefs are entwined - and claims he did pray with Blair" (The Observer, 11/2/03). Here is an excerpt: "President George W. Bush stood before a cheering crowd at a Dallas Christian youth centre last week, and told them about being 'born again' as a Christian. 'If you change their heart, then they change their behaviour. I know,' he said, referring to his own conversion, which led to him giving up drinking.

Behind Bush were two banners. 'King of Kings', proclaimed one. 'Lord of Lords', said the other. The symbolism of how fervent Christianity has become deeply entwined with the most powerful man on the planet could not have been stronger. Few US Presidents have been as openly religious as Bush. Now a new book has lifted the lid on how deep those Christian convictions run. It will stir up controversy at a time when the administration is keen to portray its 'war on terror' as non-religious. The book, which depicts a President who prays each day and believes he is on a direct mission from God, will give ammunition to critics who claim Bush's administration is heavily influenced by extremist Christians. Bush is already under fire for allowing the appointment of General William Boykin to head the hunt for Osama bin Laden. Boykin, who speaks at evangelical Christian meetings, once said the war on terror was a fight against Satan, and also told a Somali warlord that, 'My God was bigger than his. I knew that my God was a real God and his was an idol.'

Bush has also been accused of a 'creeping Christianisation' of federal government programmes. In September, the government made more than $60 billion available for religious charitable groups. Critics say the groups will be able to use the cash to promote their religion. One group that benefited from previous grants was an Iowa prison project that entitled inmates to televisions, private bathrooms and computers - in return for Christian counselling. Now Bush is likely to face intense scrutiny. The book, The Faith of George W. Bush, was written by Christian author Stephen Mansfield. It details numerous incidents where Bush's faith has been shown to be at the centre of his political thinking".

The article is meant to ridicule Bush as a born-again Christian. It would be fairer to judge him by his actions. In so far as he is honestly trying to do good, that is better than the cynical wheeling and dealing which discredits politics and politicians. I know nothing about General Boykin, but not to recognize the existence of evil is to be blind, stupid or evil oneself. I can understand Palestinian terrorists, angry that their people was brutally expelled from their homes and lands, but those who bomb UN and a Red Cross buildings, killing good people serving humanity, are evil, and, if General Boykin can get them, it will be a victory for good over evil. Incidentally, if only Bush had stuck to red wine.

Ronald Hilton - 11.02.03