YOU probably won’t be surprised to learn that daily intelligence briefings to the “born-again” imbecile they once called the President G W Bush bore biblical quotes on the cover page.
This barminess came to light when GQ Magazine broke the story in its June issue – and yesterday the Pentagon announced that it had ditched the practice, introduced during Bush’s tenure in the White House.
Air Force Maj Gen Glen Shaffer, who was responsible for including them, retired in August 2003.
For a period in 2003, at least, the daily reports prepared for Bush carried quotes from the books of Psalms and Ephesians and the epistles of Peter. At the time, the reports focused largely on the war in Iraq.
The Bible quotes apparently aimed to support Bush at a time when soldiers’ deaths in Iraq were on the rise. But they offended at least one Muslim analyst at the Pentagon and worried other employees that the passages were inappropriate.
On Thursday, April 10, 2003, for example, the report quoted the book of Psalms:
Behold, the eye of the Lord is on those who fear Him. … To deliver their soul from death.
It featured pictures of the statue of Saddam Hussein being pulled down and celebrating crowds in Baghdad.
The cover quote two weeks earlier, on March 31, above a picture of a US tank driving through the desert, was:
Therefore put on the full armour of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.
Bet this one (Jer. 20-7) never saw the light of day, though:
Oh Lord, thou hast deceived me; and I was deceived. Thou art stronger than I and hast prevailed: I am in derision daily, everyone mocketh me.
The Rev Barry W Lynn, executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, said US soldiers
Are not Christian crusaders, and they ought not be depicted as such.
Depicting the Iraq conflict as some sort of holy war is completely outrageous. It’s contrary to the constitutional separation of religion and government, and it’s tremendously damaging to America’s reputation in the world.