A Mom's FYI:
George W. Bush Unfurls Christianity
"Therefore, I, George W. Bush, Governor of Texas, do hereby proclaim June 10, 2000, Jesus Day in Texas and urge the appropriate recognition whereof, In official recognition whereof, I hereby affix my signature
this 17th day of April, 2000."
- George W. Bush, "Jesus Day 2000" Proclamation
Factoid: "In the 2004 election, it looks as if Bush got 62 percent of the practicing Catholic vote. And generically, Bush won about 51 percent of the entire Catholic vote; that’s up 4 percent from four years ago. "
--Michael J. Miller, "Catholic World News", Dec.,
April 5, 2004
Orange County, CA U.S.A.
Yesterday morning, as I was walking down the hall at the public school where I teach, I looked up at our school's American flag, half-way down the flag pole, blowing gently in the breeze. "Half-way down the flag pole? Half-staff? Who died?" I asked myself.
After a nanosecond of thought, I realized, it was the Pope. I froze. "The spiritual leader of the Roman Catholic Church? My school is honoring a spiritual leader of the Christian faith? Huh? What about separation of Church and State?" And then my mind
flashed to our Christian Coalition, born-again President.
I gazed again at the American flag flying half-way down the flag pole, over my place of employment, and an uncomfortable sense of forced, governmental religiosity came over me.
What was President Bush-Cheney-Rove up to this time?
After work, I got on the internet and went directly to
CommonDreams.Org looking for someone's thoughts about our U.S. flag flying at half-staff in honor of the Pope. I found nothing. I scrolled down to the White House website link, and there I found my
answer, a Presidential Proclamation ordering all U.S. flags to be flown at half staff to honor the Pope. Pope John Paul II, the CATHOLIC anti Iraq-war Pope. Six days of mourning.
A proclamation. An order. An edict. Wow!
I sat back in my chair, and I found my mind drifting back in time. November 22, 1963. Sixth grade. President John F. Kennedy had been killed. Students and teachers formed a circle around the tall
flag pole and watched as the American flag was lowered to half-staff in Kennedy's honor. I remember the principal speaking, her voice quivering. I remember teachers crying. I remember Judy Bobson
snickering because her parents had voted for Barry Goldwater. She said she was glad Kennedy had died. I remember knowing that something tragic had occurred, that a United States President of great importance had been killed. I remember learning a new word that day....assassination. I remember our nation in mourning.
Yet yesterday at my school, there was no ceremony. No words for the children. No explanation. Just a flag, at half staff, blowing gently in the cool breeze.
Now is it just me, or does anyone else feel a bit uneasy about George Bush's Papal proclamation?
It's an eerie feeling to be at a public school and to see a religious leader's life honored half-way down a secular institution's flagpole.
And I know I'll be struck down and sentenced to a life in Hell for asking this, but, is George Bush taking advantage of the Pope's death to promote Papal Christianity for right-winged, political gain?
Here is the text of the Bush Proclamation:
For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
April 2, 2005
President Bush Orders Flags Flown at Half Staff in Honor of Pope John Paul II A Proclamation by the President of the United States of America.
As a mark of respect for His Holiness Pope John Paul II, I hereby order, by the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the United States of America, that the flag of the United States shall be flown at half staff at the White House and on all public buildings and grounds, at all military posts and naval stations, and on all naval vessels of the Federal Government in the District of Columbia and throughout the United States and its Territories and possessions until sunset on the day of his interment.
I also direct that the flag shall be flown at half staff for the same period at all United States embassies, legations, consular offices, and other facilities abroad, including all military facilities and naval vessels and stations.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this second day of April, in the year of our Lord two thousand five, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and twenty ninth.
GEORGE W. BUSH
On Separation of Church and State:
James Madison: "Religion and government will both exist in greater purity, the less they are mixed together."
On Public Education and Religion:
Secular schools can never be tolerated because such a school has no religious instruction and a general moral instruction without a religious foundation is built on air; consequently, all character training and religion must be derived from faith.... We need believing people.
- Adolf Hitler, April 26, 1933, from a speech made during negotiations leading to the Nazi-Vatican Concordat of 1933
"The public education movement has also been an anti-Christian movement... We can change education in America if you put Christian principles in and Christian pedagogy in. In three years, you would totally revolutionize education in America."
- Pat Robertson, The 700 Club television program, September 27, 1993
"Ladies and gentlemen, Christianity offers the only viable, reasonable, definitive answer to the questions of 'Where did I come from?' 'Why am I here?' 'Where am I going?' 'Does life have any meaningful purpose?'
" DeLay said. "Only Christianity offers a way to understand that physical and moral border. Only Christianity offers a comprehensive worldview
that covers all areas of life and thought, every aspect of creation. Only Christianity offers a way to live in response to the realities that we find in this world -- only Christianity."
--House Majority Whip Tom DeLay (R-Tex.) at the First Baptist Church of Pearland, TX., on April 12, 2002
Perhaps I'll see you in Hell.
Amen (and Ahwomen)