A President’s Religion Matters — Gog, Magog, Kolob, Etc.

500 Days In 2003 President George W. Bush sought the support of French President Jacques Chirac for his invasion of Iraq; Chirac was forced to seek the advice of a theology professor to help make sense of the ensuing conversation. The Guardian wrote in 2009,

President Jacques Chirac wanted to know what the hell President Bush had been on about in their last conversation. Bush had then said that when he looked at the Middle East, he saw “Gog and Magog at work” and the biblical prophecies unfolding. But who the hell were Gog and Magog? Neither Chirac nor his office had any idea. But they knew Bush was an evangelical Christian, so they asked the French Federation of Protestants, who in turn asked Professor [Thomas] Römer.

He explained that Gog and Magog were, to use theological jargon, crazy talk.

In his new book “500 Days: Secrets and Lies in the Terror Wars” Kurt Eichenwald revisits this horrifying and embarrassing episode. From the Vanity Fair excerpt.

The response from Römer confirmed Chirac’s worst fears—Biblical writings were influencing Bush’s decisions about war in the Middle East. A certainty of God’s will would surely blind any political leader to the evidence of man—weapons inspections would never persuade the Administration if Bush believed a clash with Iraq was being guided by God. And that sealed it—Chirac would oppose all military action. France was not going to fight a war based on an American president’s interpretation of the Bible.

(Meanwhile, congressional buffoons were renaming fried potatoes in the cafeteria.) Now comes the same Republican Party with a candidate who wears magic underpants and believes God is a man living on the planet Kolob. Mr. Romney has expressed an interest in straightening things out in Iran and Syria; probably with your sons and daughters, not his.

(Read also Eichenwald’s Op-ed in yesterday’s New York TimesThe Deafness Before the Storm.)

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