The Pope and Bush walk into a bar…

The other day I was in the gym doing my routine and noticed the TV’s had the Present-dent Bush welcoming the Holy Father to (a)Merika. I sat there gliding on my elliptical journey across the world.

As I was gliding across Europe towards Asia I heard Bush describe this nation as a nation of prayer. He also specified the gender of God as he excluded a feminine relation of the divine in his usage of masculine pronouns.

A nation of prayer I pondered as I approached Eastern Europe. Is Bush referring to the Muslims that pray to Allah, the Hindus performing puja, or the Wiccans performing rites? Is there room in Bush’s America for worship of “nature’s God” that he refers to in his address?

Bush claims a compassionate America where “the measure of a free society is how we treat the weakest and most vulnerable among us.” I take a right at the Caucasus

mountains and enter Turkey. I continue into Iraq as look for the denizens that America is protecting from tyranny and despair. There are no hungry, sick, and discomforted people here.

I imagined this area to be covered with danger and glimmering with hope provided by the majestic humble majesty of George Bush and his “awesome God.” Where is the compassion of the death and destruction laying claim to Iraq and her children? Where is the measure we believe in of this free society in our dealing with the weakest and most vulnerable?

In Bush’s Gospel Jesus claims only US. The compassion of turning the other check, the love in giving your tunic also and the call to love your neighbor seems lost on all of US.

I glide across Iraq and cross the beautiful deserts of Arabia and then into the Sahara. The red sands give way to the green canopies of Sudan and then the north of Uganda. I am soon faced with the banks of the mighty river Nile.

I sit at its banks a while and soak in the smells and sounds of this life giving ancient river. On it waters it carries many nations and hopes along with it. The lush pineapples and bananas on its banks, with children playing in the waters.

Is God the God of love here, Mr. President? Does America also seek to protect the weak and vulnerable here? What does profit have to do with love? Can we comfort the sick and care for the infirm here?

I dive into the waters. They caress and comfort me. They sooth my soul. The Lord has lay me inside these cool and still waters to restore my soul. I continue my journey around the world, gliding in my imagination to bear witness to the compassion of the world. Please pray for us that we do hold compassion for all. Let us not hold that we are the ideal and divine bearer of truth or justice. Let us walk together to call into existence the Kingdom of God. This is my prayer…

Mr. Bush you will be gone soon. You speak of embracing love (God’s love) as the surest way to save [creation] from falling prey to the teaching of fanaticism and terrorism. Terror and fanaticism are rooted in the certain assurance that ones opinion is the only way to truth. Mr. Bush, I ask you to treat human life with the same regard and respect as you idyllically paraded on the world stage around the Holy Father. It is time to live up to the call on your life as a man of God.

If each of us is willed, loved, and necessary to bring forth the Kingdom of God, is it about time that we as a nation lived this way. Real freedom in found in the bondage in service to others. Truth lies in the mysterious capacity of being, existence, and reality to which all I participate and none to which I own. May God blessings be upon you and may love (the love of God) be our guide.  Love is no joke…

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