Friday, October 07, 2005


Not unknown before, but nonetheless alarming to read on the front of today's Guardian. Definitely made me gulp my tea. Ghastly stuff. You'll find a much more detailed version of the story (with background, comment and links) here on Ekklesia. To summarise from the beginning...

US President George W. Bush has been criticised for “making a mockery of Christianity” after it was revealed last night that he directly claimed he was on a 'mission from God’ when he launched the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan. Mr Bush, an evangelical Christian since 1985, is alleged to have declared his conviction that the wars were God’s direct will in a meeting with the Palestinian delegation at a summit in the Egyptian resort of Sharm el-Sheikh in 2003. But the UK Christian think-tank Ekklesia says that linking the peacemaking faith of Jesus Christ with policies responsible for death and destruction is “a political abuse of religion” which may further inflame Muslim sentiment and should be renounced by church leaders. [Continued]

I might add, by way of a footnote, that while GW is convinced that God told him to oust Saddam Hussein, God apparently made no mention to him or his president-father that there was anything wrong with arming the dictator to the teeth in the first place. Presumably this is because the Almighty, ever-concurrent with GOP policy swings, was at that stage more worried about Iran (whose bombing may or may not have divine warrant as I write). Such nonsense does, of course, merit some rather more serious theological investigation about what people of faith think they are doing when they talk of God "speaking", or use biblical claims of this kind to bolster their decisions. On that more later.

Meanwhile, by an interesting piece of synchronicity, I was clearing out some boxes the other day and came across a couple of investigative journalistic pieces I wrote for the now defunct City Limits magazine 15+ years ago. They were both about Britain's involvement in arms sales to Baghdad. One mentioned a parliamentary Early Day Motion condemning this. The copy I saved has no mention of a Mr Blair showing much interest... how times change.

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