US President George Bush's recent visits to Israel, timed to coincide with that country's 60th anniversary celebrations, and to the World Economic Forum, held in the Egyptian resort of Sharm El-Sheikh, were meant to consolidate the Middle East peace process. At least, that's what White House spokespersons tell us. Instead, it served to expose his partisanship like never before.

Whereas the US president's pro-Israel bias is well-known, during previous visits to this region, he has sought to maintain a flimsy façade of being an honest broker. In the past, he has used diplomatic-speak to persuade major players that he wants the best for all concerned and is sincere about getting the peace process back on track.

On this occasion, he didn't even bother to keep up the pretence. With only little more than six months left in office, it seems he's decided to reward his Christian Zionist base with a vivid display of his true colors.

His speech, last Thursday, before the Israeli Knesset will arguably go down in history as the most sycophantic ever delivered by a US president to an allied nation. More than praise, the president's words were adoring, even worshipful.

He thrust the state of Israel on a pinnacle of democracy, liberty, justice and respect for human rights. He assured its people that Americans would stand by them no matter what, condemned their enemies as anti-Semitic lovers of violence and labeled US politicians who would talk with Hamas or Hezbollah as naïve appeasers. He regretted that former Israeli President Ariel Sharon — dubbed 'the Butcher of Beirut' throughout the Arab world — was unable to join in the celebrations. Most crucially, he told Israeli lawmakers that Jews are the 'chosen people' to whom Israel was promised and assured them that Americans would make certain it remained theirs in perpetuity.


...in Egypt. Once again, Bush chucked diplomatic-speak and chose, instead, to sternly lecture Arab delegates on democratic political reform, religious tolerance, and treatment of political prisoners, with his harshest comments. He forgot that Hamas was fairly and freely elected before being labeled "terrorist." He forgot that his own soldiers in Baghdad have been using the Holy Qu'ran as target practice, and when it comes to political prisoners still being held in his Guantanamo gulag without trial he's developed convenient amnesia.

Bush also called for the "pushing back" of countries he termed "spoilers" such as Iran and Syria and asked all countries in the region to confront Hamas "which is attempting to undermine efforts at peace with acts of terror and violence."

And incredibly he sung the praises of those marvelous examples of democracy and freedom in action — Iraq and Afghanistan. Yes, delegates had a hard time suppressing their laughter too.

Source: "Bush's Visit Fails to Jump Start Middle East Peace," by Linda Heard. Arab News. May 22, 2008.


The following should appear at the end of every post:

According to the IRS, "Know the law: Avoid political campaign intervention":

Tax-exempt section 501(c)(3) organizations like churches, universities, and hospitals must follow the law regarding political campaigns. Unfortunately, some don't know the law.

Under the Internal Revenue Code, all section 501(c)(3) organizations are prohibited from participating in any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for elective public office. The prohibition applies to campaigns at the federal, state and local level.

Violation of this prohibition may result in denial or revocation of tax-exempt status and the imposition of certain excise taxes. Section 501(c)(3) private foundations are subject to additional restrictions.

Political Campaign Intervention

Political campaign intervention includes any activities that favor or oppose one or more candidates for public office. The prohibition extends beyond candidate endorsements.

Contributions to political campaign funds, public statements of support or opposition (verbal or written) made by or on behalf of an organization, and the distribution of materials prepared by others that support or oppose any candidate for public office all violate the prohibition on political campaign intervention.

Factors in determining whether a communication results in political campaign intervention include the following:

  • Whether the statement identifies one or more candidates for a given public office
  • Whether the statement expresses approval or disapproval of one or more candidates' positions and/or actions
  • Whether the statement is delivered close in time to the election
  • Whether the statement makes reference to voting or an election
  • Whether the issue addressed distinguishes candidates for a given office

Many religious organizations believe, as we do, that the above constitutes a violation of the First Amendment of the US Constitution.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

That said, we make the following absolutely clear here:

  • The Real Liberal Christian Church and Christian Commons Project not only do not endorse any candidate for any secular office, we say that Christianity forbids voting in such elections.
  • Furthermore, when we discuss any public-office holder's position, policy, action or inaction, we definitely are not encouraging anyone to vote for that office holder's position.
  • We are not trying to influence secular elections but rather want people to come out from that entire fallen system.
  • When we analyze or discuss what is termed "public policy," we do it entirely from a theological standpoint with an eye to educating professing Christians and those to whom we are openly always proselytizing to convert to authentic Christianity.
  • It is impossible for us to fully evangelize and proselytize without directly discussing the pros and cons of public policy and the positions of secular-office holders, hence the unconstitutionality of the IRS code on the matter.
  • We are not rich and wouldn't be looking for a fight regardless. What we cannot do is compromise our faith (which seeks to harm nobody, quite the contrary).
  • We render unto Caesar what is Caesar's. We render unto God what is God's.
  • When Caesar says to us that unless we shut up about the unrighteousness of Caesar's policies and practices, we will lose the ability of people who donate to us to declare their donations as deductions on their federal and state income-tax returns, we say to Caesar that we cannot shut up while exercising our religion in a very reasonable way.
  • We consider the IRS code on this matter as deliberate economic duress (a form of coercion) and a direct attempt by the federal government to censor dissenting, free political and religious speech.
  • It's not freedom of religion if they tax it.

And when they were come to Capernaum, they that received tribute money came to Peter, and said, Doth not your master pay tribute? He saith, Yes. And when he was come into the house, Jesus prevented him, saying, What thinkest thou, Simon? of whom do the kings of the earth take custom or tribute? of their own children, or of strangers? Peter saith unto him, Of strangers. Jesus saith unto him, Then are the children free. (Matthew 17:24-26)

  • Subscribe

  • Tom Usher

    About Tom Usher

    Employment: 2008 – present, website developer and writer. 2015 – present, insurance broker.

    Education: Arizona State University, Bachelor of Science in Political Science. City University of Seattle, graduate studies in Public Administration.

    Volunteerism: 2007 – present, president of the Real Liberal Christian Church and Christian Commons Project.

    This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.