March 12, 2003
Part II of "Bombing His Way Into the Jaws of Armageddon": The Divine Right of Kings and The Madness of King George
A BUZZFLASH EDITORIAL
For the Introduction to this BuzzFlash Editorial Series on Bush's Hijacking of God, see http://www.buzzflash.com/editorial/03/03/11.html.
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Part II: The Divine Right of Kings and The Madness of King George
There are millions of Americans praying for King George, according to the King himself:
Yes, it is a tradition going back to the Egyptian Pharaohs; the subjects of the divinely chosen leader pray for his wisdom and well-being.
As the inimitable Arkansas journalist Gene Lyons recently wrote:
White House staffers have told journalists that Bush believes God chose him to lead the nation through its hour of darkness. Indeed, shortly after September 11th, Bush used the term Crusade to describe his war against terrorism. In a September 24, 2001, editorial, BuzzFlash.com commented: "Although the White House apologized for Bush's evocation of the 'Crusade,' the propaganda damage had already been done. If we are simultaneously trying to crush extremist Islamic terrorists while minimizing the possibility of the Middle East and parts of Islamic Asia from exploding in an armed uprising, then Bush's use of the word 'Crusade' was like tossing a match onto a tinder box when the use of a fire extinguisher should have been the rhetorical tool of the day."
But the reality is that Bush's notion of being chosen by God implies that he is imparted with divine knowledge that others don't have.
As a divinely chosen leader, Bush believes that he is accountable to no one. He has shown utter contempt for Congress and the democratic election process. That is because Bush believes that they are unnecessary because only he is hot wired into the Lord's intentions.
In Woodward's suffocatingly fawning book, Bush sniffs, "I don't need to explain why I say things. That's the interesting thing about being the President. Maybe somebody needs to explain to me why they say something, but I don't feel like I owe anybody an explanation."
Of course, Kings could make mistakes and they would remain kings. They didn't, indeed, have to explain themselves to anyone. When you lose an election and are appointed by the Supreme Court, maybe you have to a right to view your ascension as divinely inspired.
Bush may, no doubt, believe that he is heir to the great thrones of Europe, when kings viewed themselves as rulers by divine right.
King James VI of Scotland, who later became King James I of England, having ascended to the throne in 1603 following the death of Queen Elizabeth, was one of the better-known proponents of the notion of the divine right of kings.
He wrote: "The state of monarchy is the supremest thing upon earth; for kings are not only God's lieutenants upon earth, and sit upon God's throne, but even by God himself are called gods. There be three principal similitudes that illustrate the state of monarchy: one taken out of the word of God; and the two other out of the grounds of policy and philosophy. In the Scriptures kings are called gods, and so their power after a certain relation compared to the divine power. Kings are also compared to fathers of families: for a king is truly Parens patriae, the politique father of his people. And lastly, kings are compared to the head of this microcosm of the body of man."
When James II angered his countrymen by attempting to restore Roman Catholicism in England, the Glorious Revolution of 1688 put an end to the rule of the House of Stuarts and dealt the notion of divine right a major blow. It still existed in France, however, where the reign of Louis XIV was rooted in the divine-right doctrine; the remark "L'etat, c'est moi" (I am the state) is attributed to him.
It is widely believed that the death of this doctrine occurred in the late 18th century. During the Enlightenment period –- and as exemplified most clearly in the French Revolution –- more democratic ideas held sway and the concept of an absolute monarch, let alone one appointed by God, became part of a mythic past.
And yet the doctrine was once again championed in the early 1900s by the German Emperor Wilhelm II as king of Prussia, and by Czar Nicholas II of Russia. And once again, apparently, by Bush.
Yes, it has taken the madness of King George to restore a concept of divine rule that most scholars thought had been abandoned to the dust heap of history. During his March 6th news conference -- and on previous occasions -- Bush has referred to "my government," echoing Louis XIV ("I am the state"). Citizens of America expressing their opinions are just focus groups to King George. Royal court reporters are vetted for a news conference and escorted in two-by-two to their seats (as they were on March 6th), so as not to offend the king. We also learned that Mad King George wouldn't appear before the common leaders of the European Union unless he was assured of a standing ovation.
"I hug the mothers and the widows of those who may have lost their life in the name of peace and freedom," Bush has said on more than one occasion. He views himself as the benevolent sovereign, sending America's finest off to fight in a war for oil and hegemony, then being the "First Hugger" for bereaved survivors. He hugs them on behalf of his personal Bush Lord, the same one that sends their children off to die.
As for the men and women of the clergy -- representing the religious leadership of every major denomination in the United States, with the exception of the Southern Baptists and Evangelicals -- who believe Bush's little war is a violation of God, Bush won't even meet with them.
Why should King George waste his time talking with these men and women of the cloth? After all, George is busy running his kingdom and has a war to start.
In any case, King George knows that they are all impostors. God has selected only King George to implement God's divine will on earth.
George knows that all of these religious leaders are just hearing voices, so what's the point of wasting time indulging their fantasies?
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Also see these BuzzFlash editorial and commentary archives:
For Introduction to this series see Part I: "Shock and Awe"
I: "Shock and Awe"
Bush Play Chess?
Is the Pope Aiding and Abetting Terrorism?
Profiles in Prophecy: Which Armageddon Angle is Right for You?
otherwise noted, all original