Alright, I know this is old news, but I thought I’d comment on
discussions in the media a while back about how George W Bush appears
to have confided in Palestinian leaders in June 2003 that
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 …"
happy as I am to criticize this sorry excuse for a leader–and, boy,
how the mighty (and cocky) have fallen–I think we have to give him the
benefit of the doubt on this one matter and accept that this much
derided statement is not necessarily an indication of megalomania.
It’s the way evangelical Christians talk. Anybody who pays
attention to evangelical Christian sermons and popular culture–I’m a
devoted, if sometimes masochistic, listener to "The Bible Answer Man" Hank
Hannegraf, D. James Kennedy and even James Dobson (of "Focus on the Family" fame)–knows that
there’s a lot of emphasis on God communicating with people directly.
People are always talking about how God guides them and tells them to do things, though they rarely explain what exactly they mean by that.
Personally, I sometimes find this rhetorical style trite and
narcissistic–for all its rhetoric about dedicating oneself to Jesus, evangelical Christianity is often fiercely individualistic–but to label it as delusional is to reveal
one to be quite out of touch with the way millions of Americans think
and talk today. It’s a case where the old "cultural elite" jibes at
the media may have some validity, I think.
Now back to your regularly scheduled Bush-bashing.
That’s not to say the scene isn’t peculiar and comical. For W to talk this way to Arab leaders during government-to-goverment negotiations in the Middle East would seems the hallmark of a bona fide country bumpkin, a rube blissfully unaware of other cultures, to say nothing of professional and diplomatic norms.