A few nights
ago I was watching some TV coverage of the U.S. Presidential election
battle which is soon to draw to a close as Americans go to the
polls on November the second. In the coverage, some people from
a church in Arizona were asked about Bush and The War Against
Terror (which has the ironic acronym
TWAT). Their answers left me quite literally stunned.
They gave their full support for Bush, citing that he was "God's
President" and that by waging war in Iraq, President Bush
the word of God." The report then showed them standing
in a circle, in their frumpy fashions, praying aloud and asking
the good Lord to put his chosen president in place to lead America.
Further scenes showed the congregation standing around singing
and clapping out of time to some old praise song being banged out
of an equally old piano by an even older
"Is this war more of a crusade, do you think?" asked
the interviewer to one female member of the congregation.
"Well of course! This is about proclaiming the truth of Jesus
Christ, bringing the gospel to a part of the world that has been
lied to throughout history."
"Would you then describe this as a Holy War?"
Without hesitation the woman responded, "Absolutely."
I could only sit there shaking my head in disbelief. This isn't
a Holy War, this is supposed to be a war about freedom and liberty,
though many speculate that there is possibly a more sinister
motive involving Iraq's vast oil wells.
After all, if America and Britain were so concerned with the freedom
of Iraq under the oppressive dictatorship of the now toppled leader
Saddam Hussein, then how come those countries haven't
yet started military action against other regimes that flout human
rights so openly, like for example China?
Say what you will about this war, one thing is surely true: the
last thing it's about is religion. Surely that's the last
thing it should be about too. This isn't a Jesus -v- Allah showdown.
Making it that would only serve to make an already volatile and
seriously out of hand situation far graver than it already is.
The Christians interviewed in the news story claimed that God
was on their side. The interviewer then asked if that wasn't exactly
what al-Qaeda have repeatedly claimed. The disturbing answer is
of course, yes.
God himself has yet to come out and publicly comment on whose
side he's on. But my thought is that God, whichever team he plays
for, must surely not be in favor of any kind of war? If
God isn't a peaceful leader/creator then it would seem that heaven
isn't going to be the wondrous bliss so many are looking forward
Of course, as America gets ever closer to voting day the rest
of the world is looking on, with a fair few of those onlookers
hoping that Bush will be ousted from the currently less than White
In his four years as President it would seem Bush has fudged foreign
policy and upset numerous countries,
many of whom (including the UK) were, and still are, considered
friends and allies. His unwinnable war has created more problems
than it has fixed, and he's a card-carrying oil man. Having said
that, though, maybe America (and the world) should give him a chance
to 'fix' that which he has so badly broken.
Kerry is popular across the world more by default than by virtue.
He's popular mainly because Bush is so intensely hated. We know
very little about him. The bumper stickers I've seen in the United
states with slogans such as "Anybody but Bush '04" may
be funny, but is it really a considered and sensible thing to simply
vote for 'the other guy' just to get 'the present guy' out of office?
Whatever happens, I hope it won't turn into the farce that we saw
in the Bush -v- Gore vote of 2000 where America looked pompous
and utterly foolish on centre stage of the world. Though with
postal votes in Florida already going missing the outlook isn't
I wonder, though, if Kerry wins the election and becomes America's
forty-fourth President, will the happy clappy Christian Bush supporters
from Arizona, who were featured in that news story, stand behind
God's decision? Who knows. I guess we'll just have to wait and