Monday, December 08, 2008


Cynthia McFadden's Nightline interview of George W. Bush hasn't aired yet, but this strikes me as a revealing excerpt. McFadden wants to know about Bush and biblical literalism; what Bush seems to want to talk about is ... what? The core message of the Bible? Or perhaps, without quite realizing it, himself and his family?

MCFADDEN: Is it literally true, the Bible?

BUSH: You know. Probably not ... No, I'm not a literalist, but I think you can learn a lot from it, but I do think that the New Testament for example is ... has got ... You know, the important lesson is "God sent a son."

MCFADDEN: So you can read the Bible...

BUSH: That God in the flesh, that mankind can understand there is a God who is full of grace and that nothing you can do to earn his love. His love is a gift and that in order to draw closer to God and in order to express your appreciation for that love is why you change your behavior.

If Bush is giving us a glimpse into his psyche, it's a much more conflicted one than he lets on. He seems to be grandiosely talking about himself as well as Jesus when he says, "God sent a son" -- and then he becomes the exact opposite, invoking a God whose love a person can't earn no matter what he does, and yet it's necessary for him to be grateful for that love and to have changed his behavior to earn it. That's wounded Georgie, alternately seeing himself as a little son of God and as someone who, at least originally, was utterly unworthy of God's love.

I guess if you want to get to his psychodrama, you should ask him about religion. And all McFadden really wanted to know was whether he's a creationist.

No comments: