HARVARD SQUARE COMMENTARY

March 26, 2007
Harvard Square Observer

The President’s “Religion”

Ernest Cassara


George W. Bush, when asked whether he consults his father, the earlier President Bush, responded that he consults  “a higher father.”

Now, I suggest that if your Uncle Louie responded to you in this manner, most likely you would lock him in the attic until you could arrange to have him committed.  Yet, commentators shy away from such judgements, for one thing because they don’t know how to handle such an embarrassing statement, and, two, because they are so ignorant, themselves, of religion that they, conceivably, think its normal among some sects.  I believe that Mr. Bush is a Methodist, and, last I heard, they do not indulge such fantasies.

Of course, I should not condemn all commentators.  After all, it is thanks to Bob Woodward, as he interviewed the president for his 2004 book, Plan of Attack, that we know the president’s religious attitudes.  In the same conversation, Mr. Bush informed Woodward that he asks the higher father for forgiveness.  He should, for, were he the leader of a less powerful country than the U.S., our government would be classifying him as a war criminal.

Oh?  Certainly.  He dragged us into this war with a bunch of lies.  I know the story has changed from time to time, but those of us with fairly keen memories recall that the original big excuse was that Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction.  WMDs!

Of course, having started the war with an attack that was to cause “shock and awe” among the Iraqis, the U.S. killed thousands of civilians.  Have you seen the films of the initial onslaught?  Does not make me, for one, proud of my country.  And, it causes me to wonder what Mr. Bush’s “higher father” thinks of all this.

We have heard of late that many of our troops are returning home mentally disturbed.  It pains me to say it, but, I suspect, any normal person would, given the films clips we see day after day.  U.S. boys and girls, with guns raised, kicking in doors of houses.  Since they do not speak the language, it is not at all clear what this process does but terrorize the inhabitants, and, if any Iraqi young people are at home when this happens, I would think it a great recruiting tool for the so-called insurgents, who are blowing up American Humvees, among other things.

I was curious as to how that word “insurgent” is being used by the U.S. government and decided to check dear old Webster to find out.  Answer: “a person who revolts against civil authority or an established government; especially : a rebel not recognized as a belligerent.” Well, any true blooded Iraqi boy or girl would not consider an invader “an established government.”  They would consider an invader someone to oppose by whatever means possible.

You recall that I quoted an expert on George W. Bush recently, namely his mother, Barbara.  At the risk of boring you, I think it is worth quoting her again.  This appeared originally in Vanity Fair magazine. 

“When Barbara Bush took her 13-year-old son and his best friend, Doug Hannah, to play golf at her Houston club, George would start cursing if he didn’t tee off well. His mother would tell him to quit it. By the third or fourth hole he would be yelling ‘Fuck this’ until he had ensured that his mother would send him to the car.

“‘It fit his needs,’ says Hannah. ‘He couldn’t lose.’

“Once, after his mother banished him from the golf course, she turned to Hannah and declared, ‘That boy is going to have optical rectosis.’" What did that mean? “She said, ‘A shitty outlook on life.’

“Even if he loses, his friends say, he doesn’t lose. He’ll just change the score, or change the rules, or make the opponent play until he can beat him.

“‘If you were playing basketball and you were playing to 11 and he was down, you went to 15,’ says Hannah, now a Dallas insurance executive. ‘If he wasn’t winning, he would quit. He would just walk off. . . . It’s what we called Bush Effort. If I don’t like the game, I take my ball and go home. Very few people can get away with that.’”

I think this says all that needs to be said about our president.  It is going to be a long two years before he leaves the scene!


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