Monday, December 05, 2005

Fatherly Advice

The one single theme of the Bush presidency that bothers me the most is his faith, or actually the way he lives his faith. He shows great concern for issues like abortion, but he turns his back on the poor struggling to provide basic needs for their families. In other words, Bush talks the talk, but he doesn't walk the walk when it comes to his faith. Extreme evangelicals may be on his side, but more and more mainstream Christians are starting to speak out and challenge the president to act on his faith.

A tongue-in-cheek rebuke of Bush is online at the Society of Mutual Autopsy in the form of a letter from Bush's father. Bush Sr. is concerned that his son may in fact be a true follower of the Gospel, and he warns him not to do anything that may tick him off.

Dear Son,

I hear from Uncle Dick that you're going through yet another rough patch. Chin up! Remember what I've been telling you all these years: God Helps Those Who Help Themselves to Everything. Now, we Bushes have certainly helped ourselves to gazillions, and God has truly blessed us in return. After you said God told you to invade Iraq, remember how Pat Robertson gave you God's blessing? You are truly blessed my Son. I made sure of that.

Now, I know what it's like to be down in the polls. Let's not forget '92. But if you're feeling a bit low, why not watch Joel Osteen instead of reading your Bible? Granted, this fellow Texan is a bit too touchy-feely for my taste, but he does say that the Lord is all about success. I'm sending you his upbeat #1 New York Times bestseller, "Your Best Life Now." Soon you'll be experiencing victory, joy, and happiness every day of your life!

As you know, mum was a bit disturbed when you decided to leave the family's Episcopal faith for that middle-class Methodism. And while I would never proclaim Jesus Christ as my favorite philosopher, I got to admit that move really helped secure your political base with the righteous Republicans.

But I just heard from your mother you're so despondent that you actually got down on your knees and decided this time to really commit your life to Christ and, God forbid, the tired, the poor, the huddled masses yearning to breathe free. Please tell me this isn't so. I didn't pay good money to get your fanny on Easy Street just so you could go off and pull a Dorothy Day or a Martin Luther King Jr. I thought I taught you better than that. Please, son, stop with this loony discipleship business before you embarrass the entire family.

After all we've done for you, how can you give up your ranch, your SUVs, and your cozy, cash-cow bedmate, Halliburton? Not to mention that brand new $100,000 set of digitally engineered cheat-to-win golf clubs I gave you on Father's Day. How else do you think you've been making all those birdies? I know you, son, and you have a habit of rushing into things without thinking about the long-term consequences. And if you choose to follow Christ, it's going to have eternal consequences.

You can kiss goodbye to fun - and you know how much you like to have fun. No more two-month long vacays. No more $200,000-a-plate barbecues. You'll be out there fighting for peace, and all you'll get is war and destruction. To quote Luke 12:51-53, "Do you suppose that I came to give peace on earth? I tell you, not at all, but rather division. For from now on five in one house will be divided: three against two, and two against three. Father will be divided against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother." These are definitely not Bush family values.

Now I hear you're facing pressure to abolish the death penalty and end the war in Iraq. Please, my son; focus on Leviticus 24 with its call for "an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth" instead of this "turn the other cheek" crap. Between you and me, Jesus wasn't always the sharpest knife in the drawer. Just look at the riff-raff He chose as his disciplines. Uneducated fishermen who are nothing but welfare bums, a tax collector turned raving liberal, two hotheaded rowdy youths nicknamed "sons of thunder" and a political activist a.k.a. terrorist. Would you want untouchables like these to enter the halls of the Yale Club?

Uncle Karl says you've been talking about running around Washington D.C. loving God with all your heart and soul and loving your neighbor as yourself. Have you no decency? Have you no shame? Never, ever, has a Bush fed the hungry, clothed the naked, welcomed the stranger, and visited those in prison. We have a family tradition to uphold, after all.

Finally, I can't afford to have you sell all of your possessions, give the money to the poor, and chuck the presidency of the greatest nation on earth. Please son, I'm retired. I need the tax cuts you promised me.

Now, my Prodigal Son, it's time to come back to the fold. A place is waiting for you at the National Prayer Breakfast. After all, the Bible does say, "Honor thy father and mother," and despite what Christ says, I am your father.


Pappy Bush forgot a line: "Never, ever, has a Bush attended a funeral for a soldier killed in war."

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