Comments on the George W. Bush Coloring Book
commentson 21 April 2004 : 20:00, Boris Anthony sez:

Nice. For some reason this reminded me of a song...
Methodist Coloring Book
Performed By The Dead Milkmen
Metaphysical Graffiti

You've got a Methodist Coloring book
and you color really well
But don't color outside the lines
or God will send you to Hell
'caues God hates war
and God hates crime
but he really hates people
who color outside the lines


commentson 21 April 2004 : 21:37, souris sez:

i got this email earlier this week. i thought i'd share:

Fire Damages Presidential Library

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A tragic fire on Monday destroyed the personal library of President George W. Bush. Both of his books have been lost. Ari Fleischer, the presidentís spokesman said the president was devastated, as he had not finished coloring the second one.

commentson 21 April 2004 : 21:58, L. Manning Vines sez:

[. . .] you begin to understand that when he wakes up in the morning the man actually talks to God. No doubt that he believes, without any level of abstraction, that he is a close conversational buddy of GOD.

I was surprised at the incredulous tone.

I wonder how much of the world's population -- 60%? 70%? 80%? 90+%? -- believe that they talk to God (or something like God) every day.

commentson 21 April 2004 : 23:31, gk darby sez:

L. Manning:

Yes, I'm in disbelief that we have a leader who evidently takes instructions directly from God.


commentson 22 April 2004 : 07:54, L. Manning Vines sez:


I'm a liberal and an atheist. I don't talk to God and I don't vote Republican. I want Bush out. I think he's incompetent and dangerous.

Nevertheless, I am neither surprised nor dismayed at the level of his apparent religious devotion since it seems not to be unlike that of the vast majority of the earth's inhabitants, or unlike that of a great many Americans.

Your disbelief seems to me quite similar to Justin's disbelief a few days ago at his discovering that the founders of a certain inn were Republicans; it led Justin to worry that something had rubbed off on him -- I think he called it "Bay Area self-righteousness" or something along those lines, though it is certainly not peculiar to the Bay Area.

In any case, it sounded to me less like self-righteousness than a sort of out-of-touchness with the world beyond a certain social/political/cultural minority.

I wonder if it is fundamentally different from Bush Sr.'s being baffled by barcode scanners -- or if it's the same or a similar phenomenon in a different social class.

commentson 22 April 2004 : 10:06, gk darby sez:

There's a difference here between a mainstream puritanical/philosophical belief in God and a literalist/mystical knowing of God. For instance, on several occasions, Bush appears to argue that exterminating terrorists is a manifestation of God's power to transform the world (for example bringing God-given freedom forcibly TO other nations).

Do you really think the "vast majority of the earth's inhabitants" carry around religious ideologies that contain the capacity for man to become a deity unto himself? Surely, a small minority do. Fanatics yell "God is great" when they blow themselves up on crowded buses. And certain Presidents proclaim self-justifying expressions of faith when they launch cruise missiles into crowded cities. When the modern separation between God and man disappears, man becomes God. Most religious people I know would find this a sin against God.

I'm neither a liberal nor an atheist. But I still register surprise when I find out the man holding the most powerful office on the planet is a fundamentalist mystic who carries around a phone hard wired to the cosmos.

commentson 22 April 2004 : 12:16, L. Manning Vines sez:

"There's a difference here between a mainstream puritanical/philosophical belief in God and a literalist/mystical knowing of God."

I don't know what, exactly, you mean by "puritanical" when you align it with "philosophical"; nor what you mean by "mystical" when you align it with "literalist."

If my vague sense of what you mean at all approaches accuracy, I am very skeptical of where you place the "mainstream."

I do actually expect that most of the world's religious men and women, and perhaps even a fair majority of American Christians, are literalists. This is not, however, "mysticism" in the traditional sense (under that title I would, with tradition, include, for instance, Meister Ekhart, but not American fundamentalists or Palestinian suicide-bombers, certainly not Osama bin Laden).

I believe that some credible surveys in recent years have estimated that something very near to 50% of Americans don't believe in biological evolution. This is a stunning figure to a secular humanist, but it demonstrates the level of religious literalism in the US.

"Fanatics yell 'God is great' when they blow themselves up on crowded buses."

I am quite sure that in, for instance, Palestine, these men are not exactly "mainstream" for their interpretation of the particulars of God's will (though it is significant that neither are they marginalized for this), and that they are quite extreme for what they are willing to do or what they feel themselves personally called to do in accordance with this will (though unfortunately this doesn't make them as extreme as we might like); but also that beyond this their sort of religious devotion, their beliefs about their own personal access to God, do not differ substantially from the majority of their neighbors.

commentson 22 April 2004 : 16:47, gk sez:

Your vague sense of what I mean does not approach accuracy. Thanks, however, for the debate. I'd love to chat some more, but I need to go back to the grocery store and figure out that barcode scanner. Please buy a coloring book.

commentson 23 April 2004 : 00:33, Mike B. sez:

Bob Woodward asked George W. if he had ever sought his father's consultation when developing the Iraq war plans that were to commence in 2003.


"No, we don't have that kind of relationship. I answer to a *higher* father."

In this, there's an unmistakable messianic tone coming from a guy with his finger on the button.
This is a real world scenario whose urgency transcends the debate over philosophical particulars... am I wrong?

Here's some straight dope on the difference between atheism and agnosticism. I found it very enlightening and think it's relevant to the thread.

commentson 23 April 2004 : 07:21, gk darby sez:

Exactly! The religious minority in which I refer (and of course you could include Meister Ekhart in this group!) is a group that feels one with THE universal truth. Who needs advice from a seasoned ex-president who happens to be your father when the ultimate truth flows through you? It's the difference between following a religion and becoming a religion unto oneself.

commentson 23 April 2004 : 18:45, Mike B. sez:

I decided to try to learn a little bit about Meister Eckhart. From the start of my search, I found an interesting quote from him.

"Be silent therefore, and do not chatter about God, for by chattering about him, you tell lies and commit a sin. If you wish to be perfect and without sin, then do not prattle about God."

February 2005 - comments are closed on Thanks.