Column no. 72 By Steven Jonas, MD, MPH - August 18, 2005
Back on March 8 of this year, at Tomdispatch.com, a project of the Nation Institute, there was published a “Tomgram: William Dowell on George Bush's Wahabbis.” Concerning the “Ten Commandment” cases that were then before the US Supreme Court, now decided, Mr. Dowell said in part:
“Whether the Ten Commandments, graven in stone, sit on a lawn by a government building or a courthouse, isn't for me exactly a life-and-death issue -- and I think I'm not alone on this, which is why the Ten Commandments cases at the Supreme Court right now are so dangerous. The Bush administration and its various fundamentalist allies (religious and political) have proven especially skilled at finding wedge issues that, because they only seem to go so far, successfully challenge and blur previous [Constitutional] distinctions, thereby opening yet more possibilities. The Supreme Court's decision in these particular cases holds great promise for further blurring the lines that once separated church and state in our country.
[Mr. Dowell was quite right. The Supremes said that while inside was a no-no, outside, as long as the Ten Commandments monument in particular was one of many memorial and/or memorializing monuments, that was OK. Talk about blurring the issue, by an “apolitical” (ho, ho, ho) Supreme Court. Is this not a classic case of “one for you and for ye,” splitting the difference when the issue of church-state separation and its numerous major implications for the structure and function of government is surely one that doesn’t lend itself to splitting differences?] “We're in a period, of course, [Mr. Dowell went on] when lines of every sort, involving civil rights, privacy, foreign and domestic spying, presidential power, Congressional rules, the checks-and-balances that once were such a proud part of our political system, and so many other matters are blurring radically. We also have a President who is in the process of casting off the [Constitutional] constraints of any [previous] presidency, while placing religion with powerful emphasis at the very center of Washington's new political culture [e.g., Bush’s recent equilibration of the Theory of Evolution and the hypothesis of “Intelligent Design.” Of course, neither Bush nor anyone in the media that I have come across know the very real and very major difference in science between a Theory and an hypothesis, see also below]. He is now adored, if not essentially worshipped, by his followers as he travels the country dropping in at carefully vetted ‘town meetings;’ and the adoration is often not just of him as a political leader but as a religious one, as a manifestation of God's design for us [emphasis added].”
I agree that the Georgites have made much of “God’s design” and “God’s handiwork” in their appreciation of the Presidency of George Bush. The man himself has made it clear that he feels that he was sent by God to the Presidency, to do HIS work. Now most rational beings would dispute this interpretation of what is going on and who is doing whose work for what purpose. Some of the less charitable among us have supposed that Bush in particular and the Georgites in general are doing the work of the oil industry, the war profiteers (including one, it is charged, in a very high place), the very wealthy in the U.S., the military and prison industrial complexes, the massive exporters of capital (and with it more and more American jobs), and folk with similar interests. But that could be characterized as uncharitable. I have puzzled over this question a good deal myself. I have come to the following conclusion.
If one is to believe the Creation story as told in the Old Testament, or the hypothesis of Intelligent Design (yet to be subject to scientific analysis and testing so that it could characterized as a Theory, like, for example, the Theory of Evolution), before God created man in his own image He created the Earth and all of the other beings, plant and animal alike, that inhabit it. There is nothing in the Creation story that indicates that God under-valued his non-human creatures, although in that story he does place man at the top of heap. In fact, in the Noah/flood story, God made sure that all of the species survived that natural disaster. While God was certainly very proud of his creation man, he also gave him the power to do both good and evil for the earth and all its inhabitants.
Unfortunately over time, man has been doing more and more of the latter. He has created multiple harms to himself and, at an increasing rate, to all of the other species, which happen, plant, and animal alike, to be disappearing at an alarming rate. Since God created all of them, He must be increasingly unhappy at this turn of events. Even before the advent of the Georgites, whose central policies are leading to an acceleration of species destruction, environmental devastation, and the ultimate catastrophe, global nuclear holocaust, things were not looking good for the preservation of life on Earth, exclusive of the human species. With the accession of the Georgites, things are looking infinitely worse.
So what has God got to do with this and where does Bush “as a manifestation of God's design for us” come in? Well, this may come as a surprise to you, my readers, but I think that indeed God has sent Bush to the Earth, on a mission. That mission is somewhat different from what his followers naively think it is, because God is much smarter than they credit Him with being. God sees that the human species, if left unchecked, even without Georgite-type “leadership,” will eventually carry out the destruction of much life on Earth, as we know it. God has decided that they only way He could prevent that outcome is to actually speed up the process of self-destruction by the human species, or if not total destruction, then enough reduction in numbers and level of scientific/technological/artistic “civilization” so that the human species would no longer present the threat to the totality of life on Earth that it currently does.
George Bush and the Georgites are the perfect vehicle for creating this outcome. God is gambling, of course, and yes, certain, but not all, Christian Fundamentalists to the contrary notwithstanding, God is a gambler. He is gambling that the massive de-population and end of civilization as we know it for the human species will be accomplished by Georgite policies without the invocation global nuclear (or even nookyulahr) holocaust. The latter, of course would mean the destruction of most life on Earth, not just human life. But saving the latter, if God is right, Georgite policies will accomplish the destruction of our species while sparing many others. And then, in the fullness of time, as God’s creation Evolution works, the Earth will become repopulated with the gorgeous mosaic (thanks, Mayor Dinkins) of species that existed before the human depredations on it began many centuries ago. And who knows, maybe the next time around Evolution will produce a truly intelligent species, not the half-smart one that ours is.
Yes, God is good, God is just, and God has sent George Bush to accomplish the swift elimination of us, so that the rest of the species can indeed survive the geologically recent arrival of that one that is mis-named “humanity.”
An earlier version of this column was published on Wednesday, March 9, 2005, at http://planetmove.blogspot.com/ as “Dr. J.’s Short Shot No. 52: Why God has Sent George Bush.”