March 5, 2003
 

Dear Mr. President,

I have been reading the Newsweek article about you, and in view of other evidence, its assertion that you take the Bible seriously seems right, and so I will proceed on that assumption.

One most disturbing point made in the article, abundantly confirmed by your public behavior, is your abounding confidence in your own hunches and feelings.  The Bible flatly states, "He who trusts in his own heart is a fool, but whoever walks wisely will be delivered" (Proverbs 28:26).  Clearly then, to walk wisely is not to trust in our own hearts but to remember that "the way of a fool is right in his own eyes."  Anyone taking the Bible seriously - indeed, anyone looking around himself and suspecting that he might be like other people - will recognize that this is true, and live accordingly.

Related to this is your unrestrained self-righteousness.  Ever since 9/11/2001, you have consistently flattered yourself and the American people that all this is due to the iniquities of others and that America is essentially without sin in the matter.  In this, of course, you repudiate not only the witness of Scripture but even the foundations of American political thought, which rightly states in Federalist #10 that no man may judge rightly in his own cause.  The way to determine whether American wickedness is or is not a factor is to measure ourselves against the witness of Scripture, not to boldly assert our own righteousness, concerning which the Bible says, "The wicked man shows a bold face" (Proverbs 21:29).  Does "swift to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger" (James 1:19) in any way describe you?

Whether you want to admit it or not, the United States has carried out mass murder by embargo against the civilian population of Iraq.  God knows what has taken place, and what God knows is what counts, not how you or anyone else cares to spin it.  That the American people have done a good job of concealing the truth from themselves does not silence the cry of the innocent blood, which goes up to God like the blood of Abel - and God does not shut his ears to the cry of innocent blood, no matter who sheds it and no matter what excuses are offered.  Indeed why should this surprise anyone?  A nation that slaughters millions of its own children in its abortion clinics - should we expect it to take greater care with the lives of other children?

Through this embargo, and by supporting brutal dictatorships all over the world in pursuit of its aims, has not the United States afflicted widows and orphans?  Does God accept excuses or rationalizations for doing so?  Hear what Moses says, in Exodus 22:22-24:

"You shall not afflict ANY widow or fatherless child.  If you afflict them in any way, and they cry at all to me, I will surely hear their cry; and my wrath will become hot, and I will kill you with the sword; your wives shall be widows and your children fatherless."

Instead of showing any contrition whatever, and calling your people to humility, as Abraham Lincoln did in his second Inaugural Address, you have hardened both your heart and theirs to assert your own righteousness and theirs.  In all this, as you denounce the wickedness of others and assert your own righteousness, you make God a liar and walk in darkness as John the apostle declares in 1 John 1:8-10:

"If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.  If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.  If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and the truth is not in us."

As though all this is a light thing, you claim for a nation such as this a mandate to banish evil from the world, although Jesus said, "You hypocrite, first remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye."  This warning and many others like it seem altogether lost on you, as does a parable Jesus spoke to some who trust in themselves that they are righteous and despise others (Luke 18:9-14).  If you and your people do not "trust in themselves that they are righteous and despise others,"  have such people existed at any time from the foundation of the world?

Indeed, the religion of those who advise you is strikingly similar to that of the Pharisees in the gospels - full of zeal for God and desire to do good, combined with utter blindness to doing justice, loving mercy, and walking humbly with your God, to the point where unbelievers are horrified by your heartless conniving at the cruelest oppression in Palestine and your plans to lightly use nuclear weapons and otherwise slaughter large numbers of innocent civilians in pursuit of your utopian visions.  Only such religion can so sear men's consciences that they can do such things and count themselves virtuous.  Thus even the whores and tax collectors get into the kingdom of God before such people, just as Jesus said.

Indeed, any man or nation that appoints itself a savior of the world, as we see in your public statements, is arrogating to himself a position that God has already given to His Anointed.  Anyone who asserts such a right is certainly exalting himself and insuring that God will abase him (Luke 14:7-11) - and no amount of terrifying military or economic power will ultimately overturn God's decree.  To exalt yourself in this way is simply to become an antichrist, an enemy of God in the most fundamental way, and God promises that all who act like this will be abased.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church puts it quite well in paragraphs 675-676:

"The supreme religious deception is that of the Antichrist, a pseudo-messianism by which man glorifies himself in place of God and of his Messiah come in the flesh.  The Antichrist's deception already begins to take shape in the world every time the claim is made to realize within history that messianic hope which can only be realized beyond history through the eschatological judgment.  The Church has rejected even modified forms of this falsification of the kingdom to come under the name of millenarianism, especially the 'intrinsically perverse' political form of a secular messianism."

Most certainly, not only in your assertions 18 months ago that you were going to rid the world of evil, but in your big plans for Iraq and for the Middle East in general, you have preached and practiced a secular messianism - America the savior of the world.  In practice, as the whole world sees, this means America "the hammer of the whole earth" (Jeremiah 50:23), and the Bible does not promise good things at the end of that road.

The tree, as Jesus said, is known by its fruit.  The fundamental wickedness of your intended project in Iraq is evident in the villainy you have resorted to in the entire endeavor.  Consider:

You have openly before the world relied on bullying, extortion, bribes and threats to induce others to support or condone your plans.  Truly, you and your servants do fulfill what is written, ". . . in whose hand is a sinister scheme, and whose right hand is full of bribes" (Psalm 26:10).

You and your servants have put your trust in slander and deceit, falsely claiming that the Iraqi regime has worked with
al-Qa'eda even when your own intelligence agencies know better.  Saddam Hussein is certainly not Jesus Christ, but in the way you have persistently sought false testimony against him, without even being able to make your false witnesses agree, you certainly remind the world of those who treated Jesus that way.  Apparently you think that "you shall not bear false witness against your neighbor" does not apply to Saddam Hussein because he is a bad guy, but we never want to bear false witness against our neighbors unless we have determined that they are bad guys.  Bad guys, then, are the only neighbors the commandment is talking about - and you flout it daily.

You have nurtured cowardice in men and relied upon it at every point to carry out your plans.  You have bullied the United Nations, threatening to render it irrelevant by ignoring it, although in fact it will be most irrelevant if it rubber stamps your plans contrary to its charter.  You have bullied small nations, especially the Eastern Europeans, threatening them with economic retaliation if their governments do not support you against the will of their peoples.  You have bullied the Turks, insulting them beyond endurance, as you have seen.  You have bullied our Congress, relying on the cowardice of our representatives to keep them in line.  You have nurtured unjustified fears in the American people, deceiving them into thinking that Iraq sponsors terrorism and presents a threat to the United States, when you know very well that it does not - indeed, if Iraq really could hurt us, you would treat them more politely, as you do others who actually have nuclear bombs they can use.

Indeed, your project relies so far on cowardice that only cowardice all around will enable it to go forward.  If anyone plays the man, you will be stopped in your tracks.  If the American people stop and think, instead of yielding to the irrational fears you have cultivated in them to their shame, you will be stopped.  If the Congress actually remembers its constitutional duties, you will be stopped.  If the Pope puts his body where his mouth is and goes to Baghdad, you will be stopped.  If the inspectors refuse to leave and even a few of the nations opposing you send peacekeepers to accompany them, you will be stopped.

To use and rely on the cowardice of others is to build on sand, because cowardice is evil, and is indeed at the root of all evil, just as courage is at the foundation of all virtue.  The coward not only flees where no one pursues, he lashes out before anyone harms him - and you have built this attribute of cowardice into your National Security Strategy, wholly against the words of your "favorite philosopher" Jesus Christ in Matthew 5 and elsewhere.  To make use of anyone's cowardice is to make a covenant with hell, an agreement with death - it is a contract with Satan.  All that have made this deal have eventually come to grief, and you too, if you persist in this course, must certainly be caught in your own craftiness, just as it is written (Job 5:12-13, 1 Corinthians 3:19).

In view of the Bible's witness to how far you have indebted yourself to evil, I bring to your notice Revelation 6:2-8, the opening of the first four seals, keeping in mind that in a scroll sealed with multiple seals the opening of one seal is what leads to the opening of the next.  The first is a conqueror on a white horse with a bow - reminding us of the real conqueror on the white horse in Revelation 19.  You are riding off to conquer on the support of the people who bear the name of Jesus - American "Christians" who trust in the cruise missiles and depleted uranium of man - with the only military in world history to have won a war entirely with air power, with the bow only, and not the sword.  And your project of conquest will certainly arouse terrorism, peace taken from the earth so that men kill one another - and that's the second seal.  If that happens, the economic disasters described in the next two seals will certainly follow.

Now it would be presumptuous to suppose that these are in fact being fulfilled in your case.  But it would be reckless madness to see how well the shoe fits and not take care.  At the very least, such a resemblance warns you what spirit you are of.  As we know, not knowing what spirit we are of has happened to better men than either of us (Luke 9:54-56).  And as in your case, those men thought they were serving God by wanting to kill people with fire from the sky.

Yours,

Peter Attwood
attwoods@earthlink.net

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