GOD SAVE US FROM RELIGIOUS ZEALOTS
Again we hear that George W. Bush was instructed by God to attack Afganistan and Iraq. He also apparently told him to solve the Palestinian problem by creating a Palestinian state that will live in peace with Israel. http://www.commondreams.org/headlines05/1007-03.htm He has used this kind of language before and his supporter on the religious right no doubt find it reassuring. I frankly find it terrifying.
I have spent my adult life trying to find out what people are really saying when they use religious language. What is the existential experience to which it is pointing. Is it literal, metaphorical or some other abstraction of speech. Does it point to a 'reality', a metaphysical entity, express a feeling or desire? I am convinced most religious language is metaphor. It is more like poetry than descriptive prose. It should not be taken literally. We should experience it and let whatever meaning we find wash over us and illicit a response.
When religious language is used outside the worship experience or prayer, it should be qualified.
It should be preceded with "as if" or "I feel".
With George W. Bush's remarks there are never any qualifies. He speaks as if he is making a statement of fact not of faith. God speaks to him, apparently in American English with a phoney Texan drawl ( for we know, like George, God is a New Englander) He hears instruction from God to carry out a mission. If he really believes he is making factual statements and not metaphorical ones he should be viewed as suffering from religious psychosis, a mental illness. This is the man who decides if people live of die. This is the man in control of the largest stockpile of weapons of mass destruction the world has ever known. What if God tells him to launch a thermonuclear attack of another nation? Who is too stop him. Common sense or sweet reason will never trump God. The problem with religious literalist who claim their truth is from God, there can be no dialogue. http://www.lewrockwell.com/tucker/tucker29.html
When you read that George Bush sees people "either you are with us or against us" and the world as divided into good and evil, you know he does not understand that the hard choices are between relative evils. Seldom are our choices between good and evil.
I for one lay awake at night wondering what other evil nonsense will George hear from "God".
It would at least be nice if God told him to stop torturing prisoners. "Remember George I declared 'Thou shalt love thine enemy'. Be a good boy and do as I say."