Culture, Identity, Politics

Bush: 'Best Friends' Going To Hell

An new book about Bush admin. puppeteer Karl Rove reports allegations of anti-semitism by President George W. Bush. The book cites comments also previously reported by the reporter in a newspaper that that President made disparaging remarks about Israeli Jews who haven’t accepted Jesus. [Raw Story]

“You know what I’m gonna tell those Jews when I get to Israel, don’t you Herman?” a then Governor George W. Bush allegedly asked a reporter for the Austin American-Statesman.
When the journalist, Ken Herman, replied that he did not know, Bush reportedly delivered the punch line: “I’m telling ’em they’re all going to hell.”
Bush’s thoughts on the fate of non-Christian souls became a minor source of controversy after he told the Houston Post in 1993 that only those who “accept Jesus Christ” go to Heaven. However, the future president was also earlier briefly engaged to a half-Jewish woman.
The quip never received wider media attention, even though the Austin American-Statesman reported it in December of 1998.
“As he gazed out a hotel hallway at the Superdome and waited for an elevator, Bush — clearly going for a laugh at his own expense — said the first thing he was going to say to Israeli Jews was that they were all ‘going to hell,'” Herman had reported. “Bush, who has both a quick wit and generally good judgment on when to use it, made the comment to the same Austin American-Statesman reporter who had reported his 1993 comments about his religious beliefs.”

16 thoughts on “Bush: 'Best Friends' Going To Hell

  1. I’ve never understood why it’s a problem for non-christians that christians believe they are going to hell. Why should I care if a christian believes I’m going to hell?

  2. agreed. whenever i hear people justify their votes for bush as “good for israel” i am reminded of the famous quotation from the time of the holocaust,
    “first they came for the jews and i did not speak out becuase i was not a jew. then they came for the communists and i did not speak out because i was not a communist. then they came for the trade unionists and i did not speak out because i was not a trade unionist. then they came for me and there was not one left to speak out for me” (pastor martin niemoller)
    – if we stand up for israel at the cost of standing up/speaking out for others who are being oppressed (women, the working poor, children left behind, individuals without health care, etc), then how do we expect to ever have any allies or supporters when we sacrifice them for our own interests time and time again? when there is injustice, we must speak out, even if on the surface it is tempting to support an administration seemingly in our own usually marginalized interests. even if he is not anti-semetic, bush is anti enough marginalized groups and civil rights for me to oppose him on moral grounds equivalent to anti-semitism in my book.

  3. This is clearly a joke, even if he really believes it. Interesting to know that the man is capable of at least two levels of irony.
    Also, I have absolutely no problem with Christians thinking I’m going to hell. It’s not like I believe in their messiah.

  4. I’ve heard that real estate in hell is a good investment. I’d love to buy some property right next to the Lake of Fire. Spectacular views and reasonably priced, too.

  5. I feel just the opposite way; I’ve never understood people who don’t have a problem with it. It’s the ultimate form of invalidation; the fundamentalist is saying, “As long as I’m saved, that’s all that matters. What happens to you is of no consequence.” Salvific exclusivism is a concept so despicable, it ought to be considered beneath the dignity of a human being to believe it. However, not only does he believe it; he jokes about it! He enjoys the thought of us roasting for all of eternity – and he isn’t the only one who feels that way. We’re nothing more than a theological expedient to them; a critical number of us move to Israel, and BANG! – Armageddon starts. I’ve said it here before – it’s completely inappropriate for Jews and conservative evangelicals to be working together, on any issue.

  6. Wow, cipher – I can’t believe you preference abstract theological disputes over practical existential disputes. If someone will help me defend Israel, I don’t care if they also think I am going to hell. Fine. If you are about to be slaughtered, would you really turn down an evangelical Christian who would save your life? I hope not. That is the issue we face on a larger scale. Israel’s existence is threatened. Christians make it possible for the US to support Israel. Who cares what their personal predictions for our souls may be. Besides, while they will profess an expectation that we will go to hell, almost all of them agree that the decision is G-d’s, and that they ultimately cannot speak for Him.

  7. I’ve been told repeatedly that Israel needs their money and political influence. Occasionally, someone tells me that we don’t. I honestly don’t know what to believe. I do feel that if we have to get into bed with them, we should be honest about it and admit, at least among ourselves, that it’s an unpleasant necessity – we’re doing it because we have to. To say, “I don’t care if they also think I am going to hell” – I see that as a form of denial. I don’t begin to understand it.
    As far as their leaving to God the decision of “who goes to hell” – that’s the biggest cop-out in history. They invest a tremendous amount of energy into distinguishing between the “saved” and the “lost” – then they abdicate responsibility by saying that they can’t speak for God. It’s the height of duplicity.
    Again – I’ve never understood people who aren’t bothered by this. I wouldn’t even want to work in the same office with someone who believes that I’m going to go to hell; I certainly wouldn’t want to take money from him or her. It’s the most horrible belief system ever devised. I genuinely believe it’s a form of evil.

  8. No, I get that he was joking – that’s precisely my point. The thought of us burning forever in a lake of fire doesn’t really bother him – he can make jokes about it. He’s saved – that’s all that matters.

  9. The problem with the fundamentalists is they are attempting to enact “bible prophecy” upon the middle east. This means:
    1) Get all the Jews back to Israel.
    2) Make sure that all human-made peace treaties fail.
    2) Unite the countries surrounding Israel into a force for destroying Israel.
    4) Provoke those countries into war with Israel.
    5) Watch as many Jews are slaughtered.
    6) At this point, after there has been sufficient blood spilled, Jesus will return and convert the rest of you. Those not converted go to hell.
    7) Then everyone gets raptured or some shit like that.
    Stop being ignorant, it isn’t like these fundies are keeping these notions a secret. There have been many books written on this so-called “bible prophacy” crap. Don’t you get it? They *never* want there to be peace between Jews and Arabs. If there is man-made peace, that will spoil their end-times prophacy.

  10. I stumbled on to this site tying to look up something specific about end-times prophecy. I don’t know that I would consider myself a fundamentalist, but I am a Christian, born again, if you will, who believes in a literal interpretation of the bible. There are certain misrepresentations on this site I would like to point out to you.
    1. Cipher says on 9/4 “…the fundamentalist is saying, “As long as I’m saved, that’s all that matters. What happens to you is of no consequence.” This completely contradicts what the true Christian believes. Once a person is “saved” or accepts the gift of Christ’s salvation, his most important mandate is to tell others about Christ…”Therefore go and make deciples of all nations…” Matthew 28:19. Basically, our job is to tell others about the saving grace of Christ… the rest is between God and the one who has heard the message. No man has the power to change the heart of another. That is why forced conversion doesn’t work.
    2. Cipher further says “…he jokes about it! He enjoys the thought of us roasting for all of eternity…” I am not sure if Cipher is talking about President Bush, another person, or all Christians in general. I can’t speak for any one individual, but as a Christian, I reject this premise as inherently Christian, based on the following; “God is not willing that any should perish but everyone come to repentance” 2Peter 3:9.. If it is God’s desire that all come to accept Christ’s gift of salvation, then it should follow that this should be the desire of all Christians as well. However, as we are all imperfect humans, this desire is harder to express in certain situations. For example, I find it exceptionally more difficult to pray that Osama Bin Laden come to a saving knowledge of Christ, than I would to pray that Cipher come to a saving knowledge of Christ
    3. Cipher again says, “As far as their leaving to God the decision of “who goes to hell” – that’s the biggest cop-out in history. They invest a tremendous amount of energy into distinguishing between the “saved” and the “lost” – then they abdicate responsibility by saying that they can’t speak for God. It’s the height of duplicity.” I would reply that our energy is not focused on distinguishing between the saved and the lost, but rather it is, or should be, focused on the great commission of spreading the word as in Matthew 28:19 (point #1) and saving the lost. I don’t agree with you interpretation that this is an abdication of responsibility, but rather a simple truth. I cannot be responsible for your choices, only in giving you information. You are responsible for rejecting or accepting the information. And, yes, a true Christian would never presume to speak for God, but would reference God’s word, like I have done, in attempting to make a point. If you are ever in a conversation with a Christian, ask him/her to support his/her point with scripture. Do not let them get by with “I have heard… or so-and-so told me. Only the word of God can be used to defend Christian truth.
    4. Nick on 9/6 says, “…they are attempting to enact “bible prophecy” upon the middle east” I would agree that there are people out there that are like that, Christian and non-Christian alike. However, a true Christian is humbled by the power and will of God and understands that God’s plan cannot be forced by man. Whether or not the current Middle East conflict will fulfill end-time prophacy, I do not know. Any desire I have for it to be true is completely selfish, as it would limit the # of souls that could be saved for the Kingdom of God.
    5. More of Nick’s Points:
    1) Get all the Jews back to Israel.– Read Ezekiel, and Isaiah 14:1, 43:5-6 which predicts the return of Jews to Israel… is it wrong or some sort of conspiracy for Christians to support the return of Jews, who want toreturn, to Israel? I have heard of no forced return of Jews to Israel, if it exists, please enlighten me. One’s motivation, selfish or magnanimous, cannot thwart the will of God
    2) Make sure that all human-made peace treaties fail.— Wrong, Wrong, Wrong… Peace in Israel is a necessary prerequisite to the return of Christ, See Dan 9, Isaiah 28:15,18 I pray for peace in Israel daily.
    2) Unite the countries surrounding Israel into a force for destroying Israel. See above. Look at Ezekiel 38 and 39, which predict a time of peace, broken by the Gog & Magog war of Ezekiel 38 at the start of the tribulation, a war which begins and ends suddenly, followed by the peace deal with the antichrist.
    4) Provoke those countries into war with Israel. See above—I don’t think those that hate Israel need any provocation to attack Israel
    5) Watch as many Jews are slaughtered. Any true Christian sees the Jewish people as kin…Rom 11:17– But some of these branches from Abraham’s tree, some of the Jews, have been broken off. And you Gentiles who were branches from, we might say, a wild olive tree, were grafted in. So now you, too, receive the blessing God has promised Abraham and his children, sharing in God’s rich nourishment of his own special olive tree. Eph 2:11-13– Therefore remember that you, once Gentiles in the flesh–who are called Uncircumcision by what is called the Circumcision made in the flesh by hands that at that time you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.
    6) At this point, after there has been sufficient blood spilled, Jesus will return and convert the rest of you. Those not converted go to hell. – Anyone who does not accept the gift of salvation prior to the return of Christ, will not be save
    7) Then everyone gets raptured or some shit like that.—actually there is debate about the timing of the rapture. It could be prior to the tribulation, in the middle of the tribulation or at the end. I tend to believe in a pre-tribulation rapture. (1 Thessalonians 1:10, 2:19, 4:15-18, 5:9,23 and 1Corinthians 15:51-55)
    I have no hate in my heart for any Jewish person. I struggle with those who preach Islam, and those who act as militant atheists. Yet my faith commands me to pray for their salvation as my own. I acknowledge that everyone who purports to be a Christian, is not. Hate, ignorance, prejudice, and political posturing exist in any organization with more than 2 members. It is not my job, or any Christian’s job, to judge anyone; only to spread the word that Jesus was the spotless lamb of God; the perfect sacrifice for the sins of the world. His sacrifice is a gift to us all, we only need to accept that gift for everlasting salvation. I cannot tell anyone what his or her final disposition will be, only God knows the heart of any man. I can only tell you that, based on the Word of God, I believe that the only way to heaven is through Christ Jesus.
    Thank you for your time and consideration of my message.

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