MARK KARLIN, EDITOR BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT
After 9/11, then President George W. Bush spoke of leading a Crusade against Afghanistan and Iraq. His handlers quickly walked back the use of the word Crusade, given its connotations of endless bloodletting of non-Christians during several journeys of butchery conducted by Christian knights in the Middle Ages. Jews were killed and Muslims in the Holy Land were slaughetered mercilessly.
So it not surprising that Bush is speaking (his spokesperson won't say whether or not he is being paid his usual six digit fee) on November 14 at a Jews for Jesus fundraisier in Dallas. Of couse, the Bush public relations machine is crying fowl at criticisms, that this is just akin to the many other speeches he gives (and gets paid for) as he avoids the public eye (most of his gigs are closed to the press).
According to The Atlantic: "Bush's chief of staff Josh Bolten previously told the magazine that the Bush family is 'very open to and respectful of faiths of all kind, but particularly Judaism.' This decision, to say the least, complicates that reputation." Did we just hear something like, "some of my best friends are Jewish"?
Actually, Bush doesn't appear Anti-Semitic in the least (although you could say he wouldn't mind if Muslims disappeared from the face of the earth, except for the Saudi leaders that he literally held pinky fingers with as they posed for the cameras during his years in office), but he does apparently believe that Jews would be better off if they "saved themselves" by accepting Christ. Looking at the results of the reborn Bush from a few decades back, there might be a triple digit IQ loss through conversion though.
According to the Dallas Morning News:
The [Jews for Jesus] Bible Institute says part of its mission is to help “educate Christians in their role to provoke the Jewish people to jealousy and thus save some of them.” Its keynote speaker last year was the polarizing media personality Glenn Beck.
Simply seeking Jewish converts does not make this group unusual. But so-called Messianic Jews believe that they can believe in Jesus as their messiah and still be considered Jewish. That idea is rejected by all other groups that identify themselves as Jewish.
And the use by Messianics of symbols and rituals of Jewish tradition infuriates many Jews who see that as deceptive marketing. That’s why some Jewish leaders so oppose what they see as the former president’s granting the group credibility.
Let's face it -- even if you are an atheist or a non-believing identifier with a faith due to upbringing -- most of the human race needs some sort of belief to get through life. But that's fine as long as it is not imposed on others, does not lead to wars and violence, and does not lead to the belief that non-followers of a specific faith are damned. If you need religious support, that's fine; just don't use it as cudgel against others.
Bush, in his near silence as he goes around the world collecting a fortune in speaking fees, doesn't understand why many are so upset that he would (perhaps take a fee and) support a group whose goal is conversion. What's his next speaking engagement, Muslims for Jesus?
The majority of earth's inhabitants need to believe in an unseen God because life is such a perilous journey.
The world doesn't need a man of war, torture, disregard for the needy, and generally inarticulate spokesperson ("I know the human being and fish can coexist peacefully"), -- not to mention vengeful -- advocating anybody's conversion from one religion to another.
If Jimmy Carter is America's best ex-president, Bush surely has to be its worst in memory.
(Photo: Donkey Hotey)