President Bush visited the Mount of Beatitudes today. Amazingly yet thankfully, and with his lame duck status here, Bush has taken to see what he can do about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I'm glad he's there, as I believe that the Bush administration's neglect of the Palestinians is the primary root of the world being such a dangerous place today. Bush's advisors felt that visiting the place where Jesus delivered the Beatitudes would symbolize to both sides the value of peace. Of course, Bush is a big fan of Jesus, but I am not sure he really understands the Beatitudes.
The Beatitudes are basically 8 blessings delivered by Jesus near the Sea of Galilee as recorded in Matthew 5 and Luke 6. They're very useful tools in trying to figure out what Jesus meant when he spoke of "the kingdom of God." I thought it would be useful to compare Jesus' words to those of George W. Bush.
Jesus: "Blessed are the poor."
Bush: "Ike had lots to do. First off, he had to clean up the big mess left by Franklin Roosevelt, a President who wasted so much taxpayer money on needless and wasteful social programs that us Republicans had to impose a two-term limit."
Jesus: "Blessed are they who weep."
Bush: "It's amazing I won. I was running against peace, prosperity, and incumbency."
Jesus: "Blessed are the meek."
Bush: "No President has ever done more for human rights than I have."
Jesus: "Blessed are those who hunger."
Bush: "America must not ignore the threat gathering against us. Facing clear evidence of peril, we cannot wait for the final proof, the smoking gun that could come in the form of a mushroom cloud."
Jesus: "Blessed are the merciful."
Bush: "I'm a war president. I make decisions here in the Oval Office in foreign policy matters with war on my mind."
Jesus: "Blessed are the pure of heart."
Bush to Brazil's President: "Do you have blacks too?"
Jesus: "Blessed are the peacemakers."
Bush: "Yes, if you heard the bombs falling, you'll know that democracy is on the march in the Middle East."
Jesus: Blessed are those who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness."
Bush: "Eventually, these people [at Guantanamo] will have trials and they will have counsel and they will be represented in a court of law."