April 23, 2003
By Lisa Ashkenaz Croke
Although the president of these United States repeatedly
assured the world that our wars are against terror - not Islam
- the message doesn't seem to be sinking in.
Could it be that in addition to President Bush's inability
to keep the idea that he may have been Chosen to his own damn
self, Muslims familiar with repressive countries ruled by
fundamentalism might be a tad concerned about the born-again
Christian president's growing religious influence in the United
In an apparent effort to combat Homeland Security deficiencies,
the House has authorized the same president who has been banned
from Christ's birthplace to declare a national day of humility
and submission in order to get on You Know Who's good side.
According to H. Res. 153, there is a "public need for fasting
and prayer in order to secure the blessings and protection
of Providence for the people of the United States and our
Armed Forces during the conflict in Iraq and under the threat
of terrorism at home".
We wonder, did the bill's author negotiate these terms personally
- was Jesus involved or did President Bush use his personal
relationship with the Lord to get this on the table?
As of this posting, President Bush hasn't made his declaration.
Presumably he's awaiting Authorization.
In North Carolina, the brave men and women at Fort Bragg
will be treated to a visit from the Faith Force Multipliers.
"It's completely inappropriate to have the Army put on a
revival meeting at a military base, and that is the bottom
line of this event," said the Rev. Barry Lynn, executive director
of Americans United for the Separation of Church and State.
Meanwhile, religious coercion has made its way into the
battlefields of Iraq, where an Army chaplain at Camp Bushmaster
was inexplicably given control of a 500 gallon pool of clean
water. American soldiers living in the dust, smoke and grime
for over two weeks could only gain entry to this treasure
if they agreed to be baptized.
"You have to be aggressive to help people find themselves
in God," explained Army chaplain, Josh Llano, a southern evangelical
Aggressive indeed. If the Unsaved prefer filth over Christian
salvation, Llano is not above holding out food to bring the
heathens to Christ.
"There is no fruit out here, and I have a stash of raisins,
juice boxes and fruit rolls to pull out," he said.
Those who couldn't catch the show could still catch the
Spirit by reading A Christian's Duty in a Time of War.
In addition to daily prayers for the president, the books
contained postcards for soldiers to sign and send to the White
House confirming that they'd said their prayers.
Bet that will get you on Bush's Christmas card list, though
abstaining soldiers should pray he's not checking it twice.
Finally, fundamentalist Christian organizations led by decriers
of Islam plan to send their sheep into Iraq armed with band
aids and bibles.
Somewhere in the world, Osama bin Laden is laughing his
Lisa Ashkenaz Croke is a community affairs reporter in
Chicago and member of the Society of Professional Journalists
and Investigative Reporters and Editors.