Thursday, March 13, 2003

As long as I'm doing the now-and-then thing, Jackson Lears observes:

President Bush's war plans are risky, but Mr. Bush is no gambler. In fact he denies the very existence of chance. "Events aren't moved by blind change and chance" he has said, but by "the hand of a just and faithful God." From the outset he has been convinced that his presidency is part of a divine plan, even telling a friend while he was governor of Texas, "I believe God wants me to run for president."

This conviction that he is doing God's will has surfaced more openly since 9/11. In his State of the Union addresses and other public forums, he has presented himself as the leader of a global war against evil. As for a war in Iraq, "we do not claim to know all the ways of Providence, yet we can trust in them." God is at work in world affairs, he says, calling for the United States to lead a liberating crusade in the Middle East, and "this call of history has come to the right country."

Stonewall Jackson had a similar belief in divine providence, which sustained him in his long fight to keep millions of human beings enslaved. He is famous for saying, "My religious belief teaches me to feel as safe in battle as in bed. God has fixed the time for my death. I do not concern myself about that, but to always be ready, no matter when it may overtake me." It overtook him at Chancellorsville; he died after eight days in pain and the amputation of an arm from wounds received in battle, from his own troops' guns.

Via The Mahablog, which would be on my blogroll right now if blogger was letting me change the template. This is getting annoying...


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