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Faith and fraud on DVD – and in the White House

Was out with the missus at the local Target this evening, just milling about, as we usually do each week, hoping that products don’t leap into our cart, lol. We cruised over to the DVD section, which seemed to have been ransacked during the week (a lot of them were $7.50 or $9.99, so that’s not surprising). I picked up a copy of Deliverance (1972, yes, youngsters, the flick with the Ned Beatty-raped-by-the-hillbilly-crackers scene). I know, I’m a freak, but it’s otherwise a really beautifully shot and moody film. It’s also notable because of a good performance by the pre-rug, pre-crazy Burt Reynolds.

Anyway, over in the documentary section, I see this DVD, George W. Bush – Faith in the White House, pick it up and burst out laughing and handed it to Kate. This was obviously released before the election, but I had forgotten about it. All I can say is that it is the most ridiculous and pathetic piece of propaganda I’ve seen in a long while, especially in light the escalation of the ethics-free administration’s activities…

I turn it over and read the description, I nearly come unglued right there in the store. This is a full-blown Rove production.

No sitting president since Abraham Lincoln has talked as much about God as George W. Bush, and none has so boldly, publicly, and genuinely lived out his faith on the job. As the leader of the free world, Bush bears an enormous responsibility, and its weight drives him to his knees…in prayer and supplication.

[OK. There are so many ripe jokes in next paragraph; please feel free to have at it. ]

Says BBC correspondent Justin Webb, “Nobody spends more time on his knees than George W. Bush. The Bush administration hums to the sound of prayer. Prayer meetings take place day and night. It’s not uncommon to see White House functionaries hurrying down corridors carrying Bibles.”

This powerful program is a unique insider’s look at how one man’s dedication to prayer and the daily application of God’s word transformed his life and leadership. His dependence upon God gave him the clarity of vision and quiet confidence needed to lead us through the 9/11 terrorist attacks and the ensuing wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

My question — was Karl one of those “functionaries” running down the hallway with The Good Book while leaking on his cell to The Prince of Darkness?

Anyway, I wasn’t going to spend a dime on that sh*t, but Kate got all excited to see what kind of reviews this DVD received on Amazon. So, here’s a few excerpts for your entertainment.

5 out of 5 stars George W. Bush, the greatest president of all time, June 8, 2005

I heard about this DVD from my church group. I love that he’s so religious. Who says you have to separate church and state; that’s a horrible rule. That’s how Bush won the election, because good [smart] christians like myself voted him in. Satan would have risen from the underground if Kerry took over. If it weren’t for us hard working Christians, America would be in a nucular holocaust by now.

Fake in the White House, April 11, 2005

…Bush’s conception of faith is so flawed it’s remarkable more thoughtful Christians haven’t called him on it publicly. No matter how ardent your beliefs, if they’re factually incorrect then that’s that. I can believe in my heart of heart that two plus two does not equal four. Doesn’t make it so. But because Bush looked into his heart and “prayed on” whether invading Iraq was the right thing to do, we’re now supposed to forget that the invasion was not only morally reprehensible but based on at least incomplete and very likely purposely skewed intelligence analysis? Think I’ll pass on that Kool-Aid.

Bush is the worst president ever. That’s pretty clear by now to anyone (a) older than 8, (b) not a member of the Bush family, or (c) who can and does read. How much more evidence do we need? Like when he said he looked into Vladimir Putin’s eyes and “saw his soul.” This, despite Putin’s increasingly autocratic and racist policies, including the continued oppression and murder of his own countrymen? Or like when he said the jury is still out on evolution?

…This DVD just adds ammo to the inescapable conclusion that Bush is a pious fraud. From his fake Texanisms (your blue-blood Connecticut family spent tens of thousands of dollars to put you through Harvard AND Yale and you STILL can’t pronounce “nuclear”?) to his cynical and exploitative (see e.g. Terri Schiavo) religiosity, George W. Bush stops being sincere the second he wakes up. He’s a bigoted, myopic little child of privilege who should be given a gun and sent to fight alongside the soldiers he’s thrown into the meat grinder. I know he chickened out the last time such an opportunity dropped into his lap, but it’s never too late. Proceeds from this DVD could be used to buy him a one-way ticket to Fallujah so he can put that spiffy flight suit to use. But since Bush has clearly played the Jedi Mind Trick on the filmmakers, that’s not likely to happen.

So…why the two stars? Because the “Left Behind” crowd will spend two more hours in front of their DVD players and two less hours picketing Planned Parenthood clinics. Anything that sedates the farthest right fringes of American religion is good by me. Plus, there’s something kind of appealing about watching a puff piece on someone you just know is ultimately going to be shown for the charlatan they are.

Bush Haters Beware!, March 11, 2005

This is an amazing documentary told through the eyes of people who have known President George W. Bush. The documentary makes it clear that when the President brought up Jesus Christ it wasn’t to get votes by some hungry politician it was because his Christian faith really means a lot to him.

We hear about the things that the public would never know about if it weren’t for people like some of the ones interviewed. God seems to truly have turned a reckless youth into a humble and devotional man. Like President Reagan and his fight against communism, President Bush also seems to feel that God is using him to better the world.

President Bush comes off as humble, prayerful, and touched by God in this documentary, in fact, someone who kisses the bandages of a wounded soldiers arm and breaks into tears and prays he sounds more like a future saint than a president of the United States.

The true character and image of George W. Bush comes out in this well made documentary on the faith of this President. Highly recommend!

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Pam Spaulding

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