God's Word Is Beneficial, But...
Last week President Bush met with a group of Pennsylvania Amish and made what is to some a rather startling comment.
President Bush is quoted as saying: "I trust God speaks through me. Without that, I couldn't do my job."
That is a pretty powerful statement.
One has to wonder what it means.
Does Mr. Bush now fancy himself a prophet?
Is this statement blasphemous?
Does God really talk through President Bush?
If so, what does God say?
Was it God who told us that Saddam Hussein had a nuclear capability or simply President Bush?
Does God talk through President Bush in private or does he channel him regularly?
Who transcribes what God says and how does Mr. Bush know when God is talking versus when he is talking?
This is not to make light of religion, anyone's beliefs, or God.
But at what point can we question whether President Bush is really a conduit for God's word or is this revelation an attempt to persuade us that his actions are in turn God's (don't forget he claimed to have undertaken the intervention into Iraq because God told him to) and thus we are not supposed to question him?
People believe they have conversations with God through prayer all the time. Is it actual conversation or does one receive one's direction or insight from a feeling, an inexplicable sense one gets when they believe their prayers have been answered or their needs fulfilled?
Whichever, it is sometimes a great comfort, and/or relief, to have that conversation, even though from experience it seems that many times God answers in mysterious ways, often times not quite giving you the answer for which you had hoped.
That is if you take the time to listen and look for and then realize the response.
But that is entirely different.
Having conversations with God is different than claiming to have God speak through you.
In President Bush's case he says that if God didn't speak through him he couldn't do his job.
That kind of leaves the implication that he is saying his presidency is God' s work.
That seems to be yet another example in supporting the claims of those who believe that President Bush and his allies in the extreme Christian right are pushing closer and harder in turning this nation into a theocracy.
How can we not think that when the President is claiming to speak God's word directly?
Having a true relationship and personal relationship with God can be, and is, an important and wonderful thing in a person's life.
Having faith helps us in times of trouble.
But, it just seems convenient and troubling that President Bush is claiming that he is actually a mouthpiece for God at this juncture.
Maybe he misspoke and really wanted to say he has a personal relationship with God.
Or, maybe he is a prophet and God is speaking through him.
If so, then maybe he needs to forgo his current position and take up the ministry as with all that is going on in the nation and the world, hearing God's word, when not politically motivated, is something from which we could all benefit.