Freedom not of this world.

We love freedom in America, and we’re the leader of the world not because we try to limit freedom, but because we’ve helped to spread it. You and I know that freedom has the power to transform lives. You and I know that free societies are more peaceful and more prosperous. You and I know that if given the chance, men and women and children in every society on Earth will choose a life of freedom — if just given a chance. Unless, of course, you don’t believe freedom is a gift from the Almighty. The liberty we value is not ours alone. Freedom is not America’s gift to the world; it is God’s gift to all humanity.

and

I believe — and I know most of you, if not all of you, believe — that every man, woman and child on the face of the Earth has been given the great gift of liberty by an Almighty God. (Applause.) And today I want to speak about this precious gift, the importance of protecting freedom here at home, and the call to offer freedom to others who have never known it.

–George W. Bush while addressing the National Religious Broadcasters 2008 Convention.

I find this belief very fascinating. This is another example of our President irresponsibly blurring the lines between two different kinds of “Freedom”. In the context of this speech, Bush is clearly talking about the freedom of this world while attaching to it the attributes of the Freedom that God offers us through a religious and spiritual relationship with him. In pushing for the spread of Democracy, he’s making his case by trying to convince us that democracy is God’s gift to all human beings. Where did this notion come from? I’d love for someone to show me a consistent theme in scripture where God exclusively sanctions political freedom or “liberty” for all people. What would the Apostle Paul or John the Baptist or exiled Isrealites think about what Bush is implying? Kind of hard to claim that freedom of this world is literally a universal gift from God when you’re behind bars or exiled to some island. This is just another reminder that we have had a President for the past 8 years that has continually proven to be inconsistent and clumsy when attempting to fuse the will of God to his foreign policy.

You can read the whole speech here. The good news……….only 312 more days…….

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5 thoughts on “Freedom not of this world.

  1. oh man… i can’t even start with words… there is nothing to say other than how twisted God’s freedom has become in the hands of theo-political ideology.

    “‘Where the spirit of the Lord is there is freedom’ (2 Corinthians 3:17) The freedom of which we talk is God’s freedom to disclose himself to men, to make men accessible to himself, and so to make them on their part free to him. The one who does that is the Lord God, who is the Spirit.” – Karl Barth: Evangelical Theology.

    there is nothing in there about america… strange?

  2. Well, it’s not like George W. is treading new ground here. Every political power in the world that has claimed the reign and rule of God within its political boundaries has made this similar claim. We are living in a piece of history where we think this makes little sense. The church of england and the church of rome don’t/haven’t agreed.

    Fortunately, Paul didn’t have to think about Democracy. Jesus is Lord and Caesar is not – as his battle cry – still makes sense I think. Defining Caesar is a little more difficult. Is it George W? Is it America? Is it consumerism? Is it democracy? I don’t know.

  3. Do you read Time magazine? There was a fascinating article on Bush in last weeks magazine by Bob Geldof. Like they say there’s two sides to every story, lets hope the next President continues funding for Dubya’s fantastic policies on Africa.

  4. J.I., yeah, Bush’s efforts in aiding Africa are certainly a move in the right direction. He’s yet to actually fully come through on what he’s promised but he certainly deserves credit for doing what he has up to this point.

    but this story is not at all “the other side” of the point i’m trying to make in this post. there has been a long history of world leaders trying to justify their militaristic foreign policies with the blessings of God and it needs to stop. Just because a world leader sends aid to a region in need it does not in any way remove the need for accountability in regards to their clumsy and irresponsible use of “God’s will” for political gain.

  5. The two sides to every story thing was really in reference to Bob Geldof’s concerns that many of Bush’s plans to spend on Africa will need to be rubber stamped by the next president who may choose not to. Compared to your (understandable) excitement that he will be leaving office.

    Still credit where credit’s due, although he’s made a horrible mess of an awful lot, he means well and I feel Africa is somewhere where he has made real progress.

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