16 Mar. 2008

Is George W. Bush Jewish?

If so, he obviously doesn't know it. He told reporters back in 1994 that Jews cannot go to Heaven. And if his supposedly "Christian" supporters are also Jewish, they sure don't know it either. But let me explain.

I was thinking about what kind of values system drives violent Islamic terrrsts. Bush doesn't want you to think about that, but of course these radical extremists do have a values system, however warped and irrational it may be. You don't kiss goodbye to your family and then go and blow yourself up just for fun. And we are never going to "defeat" these terrrrsts (or more to the point, reverse the growing incidence of terrorist attacks) if we don't even understand where they are coming from.

Then I got to thinking about Bush's values system. Of course he claims to be a Christian, but despite all the media-friendly rhetoric, there is little evidence of the Christian gospel in any of Dubya's works: lots of killing, not much forgiveness. Bush's values are actually more in line with Old Testament thinking: an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, and an angry, vengeful God who bestows his blessings on warring tribes. So does that make Bush a Jew?

At the risk of over-simplifying things, the Jewish people did not acknowledge Jesus as the Messiah - in fact, they put him to death for daring to utter such "heresy". The Jewish faith maintains a basis in the Old Testament, whereas Jesus brought a revolutionary New Testament message of love and forgiveness:
"You have heard it said: An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth. But I say to you..."
If we take Bush at his word as a man of the bible, it's pretty clear he has only one Testament in his heart. That arguably makes him Jewish, at least for all intents and purposes.

NOT THAT THERE'S ANYTHING WRONG WITH THAT! Some of Bush's greatest critics are also Jewish. Look at Joshua Micah Marshall or Antony Loewenstein, for example. I'm sure those guys would argue that true Judaism does not condone violence such as Bush has practiced, let alone justifying the demented claims of radical Zionism.

I'm not trying to stigmatize Bush with a "Jewish" label, I'm just trying to rationalize his belief system in a semi-coherent way. For the man to present himself as a Christian is not only an affront to all true Christian believers, but also an affront to basic intelligence.

Mind you, the words "Christian" and "intelligence" do not always sit comfortably together. For example, the guys at biblebelievers.org have put together a long list of Jewish people who support Bush, but their multilingual website also links to an Earthquake monitor! If only God's will were that simple, we might all enjoy the sort of blinkered self-assurance that seemingly sustains Dubya's over-hyped "faith".

Cartoon by Moir.