I cannot read of what Bush and his administration have done in these five years without hearing the voices of the Torah, the prophets and Jesus reminding him and us that we as individuals and as a society can and should do better.
When President Bush makes countless executive decisions in which he sacrifices environmental concerns to the interests of particular industries, I hear the voice of Genesis. It is in the first book of the Bible that, after creating the man and placing him into Eden, God announces to us our species' job description. We are here to tend this global garden.
When President Bush pressures Congress to eliminate or limit a whole range of social and legal services designed for those who are in need, I hear the adamant voices of Moses and the prophets. For Moses, walking with God means taking care of the widow, the orphan and even the stranger who live among us. It means opening our hands widely to the poor. It means establishing a legal system and a civil administration which is neither influenced by money nor class.
For the biblical prophets, God judges a society, not on the basis of its martial triumphs, influence or wealth, but on how the powerful treat the powerless. For the prophet, a society is known by how the weakest live. For an Isaiah or a Jeremiah, a society's growth or decline is dependent upon the seriousness with which a ruler takes his social responsibility to the poor and the disenfranchised.
I wonder what it would take to penetrate the president's defensive barriers enough for him to take on board what real religion is all about?