Monday, July 30, 2007

All Hail the King: President George W. Bush

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God's Appointed Leader for America, Speaks and Acts for God


Hail the King: President George W. Bush, God's Appointed Leader for America, Speaks & Acts for God
Image © Austin Cline, Licensed to About; Original Poster:

All Hail the King: President George W. Bush, God's Appointed Leader for America, Speaks and Acts for God

America is supposed to be a democratic nation founded by "we the people" and based upon the will of the people. This conception of government contrasted sharply with European traditions that rulers were essentially chosen by God and thus the decisions of rulers were effectively divine mandates. Unfortunately, more than 200 years of democratic tradition have failed to extinguish the religious impulse to attribute divine agency to democratically elected leaders. There are many who believe God is responsible for George W. Bush being president -- including, it seems, George W. Bush himself.

There are reports of President Bush claiming that he was chosen by God to be president during this time in history. There are also reports of Bush claiming that he speaks to God, with God giving him instructions on foreign policy -- including the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq. If Bush were alone in this it might simply be dismissed as egotistical delusions, but many of Bush's Christian supporters completely agree. They believe that Bush was placed in office by God, that Bush's authority is derived from this divine mandate, and that Bush's policies are all the Will of God.

If people believe their leader is placed in charge by gods, they are less likely to question, challenge, or oppose his decisions. This is what makes such beliefs popular with authoritarian, totalitarian, theocratic, and fascist rulers; it's also what makes such beliefs inimical to democratic systems. If God, not the people, is the sovereign power responsible for Bush being president, then it means Bush is ultimately responsible to God rather than to the people. Democracy requires the principle that citizens, not gods, choose their leaders and that the government is founded on human reason rather than divine agency.

This is fertile ground for Christian Nationalism and Christian Fascism because it allows for the excision of democracy, democratic elections, the separation of powers, constitutionally protected rights, and everything else which makes America a secular and free nation. People who say that Bush was placed in office by God are denying that Bush's authority and office derive from the will of the people. People who say that Bush is doing the Will of God are denying that the American people have any right to challenge or stop Bush. All of this is unequivocally anti-democratic.

This image is based on a World War II recruitment poster for America's Army Air Corps.

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