I'd always thought that George W. Bush was a religious phony. He was just the typical Republican, throwing bones to the religious right to score political points. In my defense, he played the game like the rest of them, talking the talking while not walking the walk. He'd make a big deal out of how similar he was to the GOP base -- hating the right people and holding the religiously correct positions -- while doing very little for that base. They wanted abortion to be illegal, they got a capital gains tax cut. They wanted evolution out of schools, they got No Child Left Behind. They wanted a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage, they got an attempt to privatize Social Security. The religiously-based changes Bush made were mostly temporary, policies set by executive order that could easily be changed by following presidents. The zealots got very little in terms of lasting change. The evidence points to Bush being only an ordinary madman, not a lunatic of the religious type. Looking at what he left behind, you'd assume he was just a talentless ideologue who took a job beyond his ability and found the ideology he relied on to fill in the gaps wanting. In no way have two terms of George W. Bush left the world any better. In many ways, he left it worse. But, in any case, there's nothing especially Christian about any of it, other than the language and the propaganda.
But what if Bush was that very special type of religious fanatic -- the truest of true believers? What if Bush was an "End Times" nut and his politics were based on the belief that the Apocalypse was just around the corner? What would abortion and gay marriage and evolution matter then? If Jesus is coming back tomorrow, which would be more important; saving people who were already damned or cashing out as quickly as possible?
There can be no real doubt that Bush policies allowed the already wealthy to make themselves even wealthier. New evidence shows that he thought it was one last party before the end.
First, there are the covers for secret briefings on Iraq prepared by Donald Rumsfeld. Those covers featured Bible verses that suggested the invasion was a Holy War. According to Bush biographer Eric Draper, the covers were used to please Bush specifically.
Second, and more damning, is an account by Jacques Chirac from 2003:
In 2003 while lobbying leaders to put together the Coalition of the Willing, President Bush spoke to France's President Jacques Chirac. Bush wove a story about how the Biblical creatures Gog and Magog were at work in the Middle East and how they must be defeated.
In Genesis and Ezekiel Gog and Magog are forces of the Apocalypse who are prophesied to come out of the north and destroy Israel unless stopped. The Book of Revelation took up the Old Testament prophesy:
"And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them."
Bush believed the time had now come for that battle, telling Chirac:
"This confrontation is willed by God, who wants to use this conflict to erase his people's enemies before a New Age begins".
The story of the conversation emerged only because the Elyse Palace, baffled by Bush's words, sought advice from Thomas Romer, a professor of theology at the University of Lausanne. Four years later, Romer gave an account in the September 2007 issue of the university's review, Allez savoir. The article apparently went unnoticed, although it was referred to in a French newspaper.
So there you go. George W. Bush, 43rd President of the United States of America, was just as religiously crazy as he seemed to be. It wasn't a pretense for the chumps he wanted to vote for him, it was real. Bush thought in terms of preparing for a final battle straight out of the Book of Revelation. Turns out that George W. Bush was all different kinds of crazy.
Bush may be in retirement, but the group of religious zealots he belongs to are still in Washington -- out of power, at the moment, but that could change. And the thing about belief in prophecy is that you can't prove it wrong; the future is always the future. Unless a prophecy mentions a specific date, you can't logically disprove it. It never fails to happen, it just hasn't happened yet. The true believer is never proven wrong. The End is always just around the corner, it just wasn't today.
They won't stop trying to bring it about. The Bush administration really was a sort of death cult, trying to end history and the world. We can be grateful he didn't show up earlier, when the end of the world looked like war with the USSR. I don't have a lot of doubts that Bush would've pushed that shiny, red button without hesitation and with a quiet little prayer.
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