Sunday, March 05, 2006

God is a Bad Word

The new orthodoxy, in Britain.

So it turns out that Tony Blair, well known to be a religious man, actually did something as shocking as pray to God (gasp!) before he made the decision on War in Iraq.

Shocking, indeed!

It's a truth which dare not say it's name aloud. At least not before the squeamish press.
[P]erhaps, without another election to fight, Mr Blair feels less need to make allowances. If he now feels that he can be truer to himself in public remarks, that is all to the good. But it would be very bad indeed if he set a trend for "doing" God in British politics.
The funniest bit is the evident lack of familiarity of all those who wrote about this great scandal with the mechanics of prayer. They assume that praying to God naturally leads to God responding in kind. As if the only experience they have of the phenomenon is that scene in Love and Death where Diane Keaton tells Napolean she was praying. And when he asks why he heard two voices, she replied, she was playing both parts.

Perhaps they don't realize that that is a comic spoof?

Either that or they are taking Martin Buber's notion of the dialogic relation between God and Man very literally, indeed. Though of course, Tony Blair is a Christian, and Christianity does not precisely share that philosophy.
Liberal Democrats agreed that God should not be part of the [Iraq War] equation.

"It is a bizarre and shocking revelation that the prime minister claims to have been guided by the supernatural in this matter, especially given the particular religious sensitivities in the Middle East," said Evan Harris, a Liberal Democrat member of parliament from the Oxford area, who is an honorary associate of the National Secular Society.
In other words, those who pray naturally claim that their decisions were guided by the supernatural.

Here's another example:
Roger Bacon, who has been trying unsuccessfully to meet Tony Blair since his son, Major Matthew Bacon, 34, was killed in Iraq, said last night: "This would explain why he won't see the parents. How can he speak to us when God told him to send the troops out to Iraq so our sons could be killed?"
Of course, this man, whose son was killed in Iraq, is apparently distraught. But the Independent dignifies his argument by printing it. As though his response had a direct relation to what Mr. Blair revealed.

And then the other "scandalous" thing Mr. Blair said was to invoke God as the final judge of the Iraq war. In effect, he is saying that since he believes God presides over history, then God will be the final judge of the war, as He will be of everything else.

This seems an obvious comment to make, for a religious person. But somehow it has shocked Britain.

Would they prefer him to lie about what he really believes? Or simply omit it because it is too racy and edgy for the British public. Speak about desiring one's own infantalization. Somehow grown-up concepts are too shocking to say aloud. It's a truth which dare not say it's name. Lie to me, baby.

Of course no Independent article would be complete without an egregious slam of President Bush. And this one doesn't disappoint on that score.
Mr Bush once told Palestinian leaders: "God would tell me, 'George, go end the tyranny in Iraq' and I did."
I suggest Mr. McSmith check the record, now available, gee, on google. It might take him 5 minutes or so. I wrote about this previously here.

Mr. Nabil Shaath, former PA Foreign Minister and member of Fatah, professed that President Bush "said to all of [the Palestinians at a certain meeting]: 'I'm driven with a mission from God. God would tell me, "George, go and fight those terrorists in Afghanistan." And I did, and then God would tell me, "George, go and end the tyranny in Iraq." And I did. And now, again, I feel God's words coming to me, "Go get the Palestinians their state and get the Israelis their security, and get peace in the Middle East." And by God I'm gonna do it.'"

Or to translate this into English, Abu Mazen, who appears to be slightly less excitable in temperament, recounts that President Bush told him, " "I have a moral and religious obligation. So I will get you a Palestinian state."

Of course, the White House absolutely denied Mr. Nabil Shaath's claim, calling it absurd, as, indeed, it sounds to anyone familiar with President Bush and not suffering from severe Bush Derangement Syndrome, a particular form of brain rot.

It is all too obvious if the preppy, Yale-educated Bush ever spoke like this in his life once, and I'd be shocked if he had, he'd have the discretion and brains not to do it in front of Nabil Shaath.

But I guess those thoughts are too complex for Mr. McSmith to work out on his own.

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