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Bush's "God thing": Divine providence and liberal Jewish hatred

By Marcus J. Goldman
web posted June 21, 2004

So al-Qaida operatives planned to blow up a mall in Ohio. Big deal. Saddam's WMDs found in pieces spread out over the Middle East? Who cares. Headlines of unbridled importance are routinely banished to the dung heap of random word garbage. What else has been buried in the crevasses of common sense? I recently spoke to a hateful Jewish liberal intellectual who pointed out the president's resemblance to an orangutan.

As a Jew, I understood Jewish liberal hatred of the President-his stupidity, his stupid religion, his stupid Middle East policies, his stupid rejection of the UN, the stupid Iraq war, his stupid refusal to condemn Israel's right to defend itself, and the stupidly dangerous Patriot Act. But my understanding was incomplete. Hatred also comes from "the God thing" -- the Jewish liberal belief that Mr. Bush advocates divine providence, the supposed invocation of God's name, on our behalf, to invade countries, take over the world and baptize everyone.

Mr. Bush has never adopted any of those positions. However, presidents have always sought comfort and strength in God. But Jewish liberals, believing fiercely in the separation of church and state, loath any merging of God, democracy's moral underpinnings and politics. Of course, only fearmongering Republican zealots use God to comfort us in times of tumult. Presidents Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton respected the sacred separation of church and state...or did they?

Jimmy Carter invoked God often. In his inaugural address, he merged God, morality and responsibility:

"... I have just taken the oath of office on the Bible my mother gave me a few years ago, opened to a timeless admonition from the ancient prophet Micah:

"He hath showed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God." (Micah 6:8)"

"Ours was the first society openly to define itself in terms of both spirituality and of human liberty. It is that unique self-definition which has given us an exceptional appeal, but it also imposes on us a special obligation, to take on those moral duties which, when assumed, seem invariably to be in our own best interests."

In State of the Union and other speeches, Bill Clinton frequently invoked God. In 2000:

"And we will become at last what our founders pledged us to be so long ago -- one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."

In 1993:

"The Scripture says ‘And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.' ...And now, each in our own way and with God's help, we must answer the call."

In 1995:

"...And also to fulfill the eternal promise of this country, the enduring dream from that first and most-sacred covenant. I believe every person in this country still believes that we are created equal and given by our creator the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."

How about God and war? While discussing the need to confront Saddam and his WMDs, Mr. Clinton, on February 17, 1998, stated:

"If we look at the past and imagine that future, we will act as one together. And we still have, God willing, a chance to find a diplomatic resolution to this, and if not, God willing, the chance to do the right thing for our children and grandchildren."

While invoking the name of God during an attack on Iraq on December 16, 1998, President Clinton noted:

"May God bless and protect the brave men and women who are carrying out this vital mission and their families. And may God bless America."

Jewish liberals' apparent comfort with God-invoking Democrats and hatred of George Bush's God is baffling. Perhaps they consider their own leaders to be disingenuous. That there is a difference between the divine providence of King Arthur and the firm religious conviction of George Bush is lost on Jewish liberals. Believing it is a harbinger of a crusade to come, Jewish liberals fear and rebel against what they think is divine providence. They confuse absolute theocratic abuses with moral conviction.

The real danger is not George Bush‘s God. Manifested as totalitarian or communist regimes, absolute God-rejectionists have bitten Jews and others hard. Genocidal warrior states like China, the Soviet Union and Germany demanded godlessness while slaughtering believers. Our current leadership are the exact opposite. In fact, in case anyone has forgotten, it is not George Bush who invokes the name of God to inflict evil, it is the psychosis of radical Islam. Invoking God's name to steady a weary nation is a comfort not a liability. Choosing to misrepresent or misunderstand Mr. Bush's God, Jewish liberals do a disservice to themselves. Sadly, once again, the chosen people are choosing poorly.

Marcus J. Goldman, MD is a psychiatrist and author of "The Joy of Fatherhood". His work has appeared in The Washington Times, Tech Central Station and The Boston Herald. Dr. Goldman is a Guest Writer for OpinionEditorials.com and NewsWithViews.com.

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