Thursday, Jul. 22, 2004
It's been reported that last week the president of the United States told a group of old order Amish in Pennsylvania, "I trust God speaks through me. Without that, I couldn’t do my job."
Here are three possible ways to look at this:
Personally, I'm leaning towards Door #2 because I think we can all agree that diction is probably not an issue here.
Door #1 is kind of terrifying. I mean, the last time the big Western powers decided that they were God's spokesmen and it was Time To Get The Word Out we got involved in a little something called The Crusades. It was long, drawn out, and a lot of people died.
Of course, for you and me that's quaint history. Old and dusty. Long forgotten.
In the Arab world? Not so much.
The whole "God speaks through me" notion raises an interesting question. When President Bush tells the world he wants to bring democracy just like America has to the Arab world, what does he mean exactly? Is this born again man capable of mentally and emotionally separating church from state the way the American founding fathers envisioned?
One possible way to answer this question is to ask yourself how many times has he proposed amending the U.S. Constitution, that most secular of documents, so that its provisions would reflect his religious beliefs.
Yes, this is a quiz! A pop quiz!
The answer would be twice so far, once involving abortion, the other time gay marriage.
Better to leave Door #1 firmly, firmly closed, though. Because if we don't, then we have to acknowledge the notion that the person facing off against a crazed fundamentalist who's willing to fly airliners into office towers because he thinks he's on a mission from God, well the guy on the other side also believes he's on a mission from God.
These mission from God dealies? Crusades? Jihads? The people waging them tend to see the world in black and white. You're either with 'em or you're agin them. It's very straightforward.
It must be wonderful to have that kind of clarity, to never have to worry about the various shades of gray that trouble other people who don't have a direct line to God. Another beautiful thing about this is that because God is on your side it's impossible to make a mistake. A lovely corollary of this is that the other guy is always wrong and thus there's no point whatsoever in trying to understand his point of view.
Oh, and any death or destruction that comes from your decisions, even if it involves innocent people? God Meant To Do That. It serves a higher purpose.
I think we can all agree that all this makes everything so much simpler. For the person who believes they have a direct line to God. You can well imagine my envy, although ….
It seems to me that having TWO men who each believe they have a direct line to God involved in a war would bring us dangerously close to Armageddon, what with the technological advances since the days of Richard the Lion-hearted and all. So I'm just going to believe that the one with the biological weapons, the weapons of mass destruction, and the most powerful army on earth is perfectly capable of separating his religious beliefs from his day job.
Which leaves us Door #2. The Amish. Those people are freaks. They've turned their backs on almost everything modern western society has to offer. They're different. Why should we believe anything they say?
My thoughts, exactly.
So we can all exhale. The President of the United States could not possibly have said or believe that God speaks through him. Why, why that's just plain crazy talk! The Amish people who claimed he said just that? Those people don't believe in new-fangled technology. They don't have the tee vee cameras or the tape recorders, so we can safely say that their claims are pure mendacity.
Good we could clear that one up, eh?
Oh man. This is going to be hard
Goal for 2004: 1,000 miles - 1609 kilometers
Want to delve into my sordid past?
She's mellllllllllllllting - Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2012 - Back off, Buble - Monday, Dec. 19, 2011 - Dispersed - Monday, Nov. 28, 2011 - Nothing comes for free - Monday, Nov. 21, 2011 - None of her business - Friday, Nov. 04, 2011 -
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