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JOHN CHUCKMAN
 

POSTED RESPONSE TO A COLUMN BY DANIEL FINKELSTEIN IN THE TIMES

Bush did say God told him to do several things.

John O’Farrell should do his own research on his question, rather than expecting others to do it for him. I’m sure Google would get you a hatful of such quotes in a few minutes.

In general, you cannot get at the truth of a matter like this by just adding up citations.

American presidents must bring God into their speech, going back to Washington, who was a deist, or Jefferson, who was altogether a skeptic. There is just too big a pool of Puritan descendents to ignore.

After all, only about fifty years ago, Congress added “under God” to the Pledge of Allegiance, itself already representing a rather obnoxious, fascist-tinged practice.

It is very clear that Obama is a sophisticated man, a genuine intellectual and one who questions things.

It was equally clear that Bush is a dull man no one would call an intellectual, one moreover whose idea of sophistication was to dance naked on a bar room table after drinking lots of beer(something he actually did).

I don’t believe that Bush was any more religious than Obama, but he cheaply, very consciously exploited religious feelings of fundamentalists at every turn, having been advised that it was the thing to do.

When Obama mentions God, he clearly does it in the Washington tradition.

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