Saturday, July 10, 2004

The Eight Beatitudes of Jesus

DAILY KOS - I continue to be troubled by a particular scene in Fahrenheit 9/11 - one that is part of the full trailer but, as fortune would have it, can be viewed solo as well. (Either way, go here for links.)

In the clip, President Bush jokes that his base consists of the "haves and the have mores." This from the man who not only identifies Christ as his personal savior and favorite philosopher, but implicitly alluded to Christ (or god generally) as a more important authority than his own biological father for guidance on what he should do about Iraq.

Self-deprecating humor is one thing. But a president joking to his "have mores" while he perpetuates the expansion of the gap between the most and least fortunate Americans is, to put it mildly, heretical to almost every Christian value. By contrast, this pro-Christian site provides a list and interpretation of the "Beatitudes" that Christ delivered during his Sermon on the Mount, as recounted in the Gospel of Matthew. (Interpretation is often important; for example, the first Beatitude says the "poor of spirit" will own the kingdom of heaven, but "poor of spirit" is generally interpreted to mean humble and modest, not depressed or disconsolate.)....

Question: have the president's behaviors in office (not personally, but in office) contradicted any of the principles espoused by the man he cites as his philosopher-savior-policy adviser?

THE EIGHT BEATITUDES OF JESUS
  1. Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
  2. Blessed are they who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
  3. Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
  4. Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
  5. Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.
  6. Blessed are the pure of heart, for they shall see God.
  7. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called children of God.
  8. Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (Gospel of Matthew 5:3-10)

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