American presidents reverently end their speeches with the audience-approving Benediction, “God bless America.” What they are really communicating is that God favors America. That, today, America is God’s chosen people. Even more! They are equating America with God. Which— in the magical twinkle of a rationalizing mind’s eye—means that America isGod—white America, that is. As political leaders like to assert: America is today’s embodiment of Jesus’ teaching that “a city set on a hill cannot be hidden,” and by inference, his followers, “are the light of the world.” (Matthew 5: 14-16) With a “manifest destiny” that swept our white forefathers across the American continent, over the bones of indigenous people and on the backs of black persons forced into slavery—today’s continuation of which includes a trail of bodies, citizens killed by police “while being black.”
America also sees itself as “the leader of the free world,” possessing the gold standard of morality, and thus determining which countries need to be liberated and which are state sponsors of terrorism. America’s unmatched military force allows it to live in a parallel universe, and assume the role of judge, jury and executioner over much of the world with its economic power, sanctions and “kill lists.” A dominant majority of its citizens are conditioned to believe that they are the “good guys” and those who resist America’s policies “the bad guys.” All of which means that other people worship lesser gods, and therefore don’t count, and are disposable.
A classic example of America’s God complex is the Bush administration’s invasion and occupation of Iraq. An unnecessary, horribly destructive pre-emptive war against the Iraqi people, which author, political commentator and social justice activist Noam Chomsky calls, “The major crime of this millennium.” (“’Any reader of Orwell would be perfectly familiar’ with US maneuvers—Chomsky to RT,” rt.com/usa, April 17, 2015)
A “Christ changed my heart”-President George W. Bush said, at a March 2003 news conference on Iraq, “I pray daily . . . for peace.” Two weeks later, America was hell-bent for war against Iraq. A war based on trumped-up lies accusing President Saddam Hussein of possessing mushroom-cloud”-threatening weapons of mass destruction and ties to the 9/11 attacks against America. And “God” was reverently woven into these manipulating falsehoods.
In his 2003 State of the Union address, a preying President Bush declared, “We seek peace. . . . And sometimes peace must be defended. . . . If war is forced upon us (italics added), we will fight in a just cause and by just means.” The “just cause?” “If Saddam does not fully disarm, for
the safety of our people and for the peace of the world, we will lead a coalition to disarm him,” Bush declared to applause. And that “coalition” included a divine Partner. “We do not claim to know all the ways of Providence,” Bush asserted, “yet we can trust them, placing our confidence in the loving God behind all of life, and all of history.”