GOSPEL OF GEORGE BUSH - And He Taught Them Saying...


Denise Giardina, Opinion and Comment

Denise Giardina, one of West Virginia's outstanding authors and political activists, whose novels have spoken loudly about working people and common justice, including "Storming Heaven" and "The Unquiet Earth." She was born in Bluefield and grew up in a coal camp. She has received critical recognition for her work.

Gospel of George Bush: AND HE TAUGHT Them, Saying...

1. Blessed are the rich, for they have more than they need and still they take with such joy.

2. Blessed are those who mourn, for their numbers shall multiply.

3. Blessed are the meek, especially the liberals, for they will not stand up to me.

4. Blessed are those who hunger for righteousness, for they may wish in one hand and spit in the other and see which one fills the fastest.

5. Blessed are those who are not merciful, for they shall laugh upon those without health insurance.

6. Blessed are the pure in ideology, for they shall promote religious fascism.

7. Blessed are the warmongers, for they shall control the world's resources.

8. Blessed are those who persecute, for they shall trample upon the First Amendment.

9. Blessed are you when you are an abject failure, yet people still think you're doing a fine job.

10. Blessed are you when you base your policies upon a fundamentalist interpretation of scripture. You violate the consciences of millions of Americans. But they're going to Hell anyway.

11. Blessed are the undecided and those who don't vote, for you allow me to get away with murder.

12. Blessed are the Americans, for God loves us better than anyone else.

13. Jesus said, "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." But I tell you, do unto others before they do unto you. And be sure to use cluster bombs.

14. If you are offering your gift at the altar, and then remember that your brother has something against you, have your friends run as many untruthful TV ads as they can. And do not fear to lie, for if you do it often enough, you shall be believed.

15. And if anyone oppose you, yea even if they wear an insulting T-shirt, shake the dust of your shoes in their face, have them arrested, fire them from their job and confine them in a pen called a free speech zone where they may enjoy their freedom in security. Also make certain your friends in the TV media ignore their point of view.

16. Jesus said, "But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart." But I say that is ridiculous, for it means I'm as bad as those awful homosexuals. Jesus didn't say anything about them. Perhaps that's a gap in the record, like my National Guard service.

17. Jesus said if anyone would sue you and take your coat, let him have your cloak as well. But I say to you, tell the lazy bum to get three minimum wage jobs. That's why we have three shifts.

18. Lay up your treasures on earth, for if you have a lot, you will be eligible for a big tax cut. And I shall let you keep your money for your own benefit, not give it to a bunch of stupid old people on Social Security. I may even figure out a way you can take your treasure to heaven with you, if Dick Cheney tells me what it is.

19. Jesus said, "Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you." (Do you ever wonder if Jesus was smoking some of that stuff I got hold of back in the '70s?) But I say, "Bring 'em on!" Bring on all the Arabs and the U.N. and the cowardly French and Germans and Russians and the Canadians and the wimpy liberals and even the New York Yankees! Who cares if they hate us as long as they fear us! Veni, vidi, vici! (Bet you didn't think I know Latin.)

20. You, therefore, must be perfect, as I am perfect. As I said in a recent press conference, I can't think of a single mistake I've made. And I thank my Father, who makes sure that no matter what I do, I get away with it.

Denise Giardina is a Charleston novelist.

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