June 02, 2004


Phillip Adams rails against George W. Bush’s use of the G-word:

In declaring his wars on terror, the Taliban, Saddam Hussein, the French, the Germans, the UN and the Democrats, George W. Bush started saying "God" once, twice, even thrice in every sentence ... Replace God, the Almighty and the Lord with Allah, and Bush's dangerous devotions would be appropriate to an Islamic fundamentalist.

Adams wishes Bush was more like John F. Kennedy, who, he writes, "was a tribal Catholic, not a dogmatist, and kept God out of politics."

Really? Here’s JFK’s inaugural address:

Man holds in his mortal hands the power to abolish all forms of human poverty and all forms of human life. And yet the same revolutionary beliefs for which our forebears fought are still at issue around the globe -- the belief that the rights of man come not from the generosity of the state but from the hand of God.

In a 1962 speech on the space program:

As we set sail we ask God's blessing on the most hazardous and dangerous and greatest adventure on which man has ever embarked.

And an address on the Cuban missile crisis:

Our goal is not the victory of might but the vindication of right-not peace at the expense of freedom, but both peace and freedom, here in this Hemisphere and, we hope, around the world. God willing, that goal will be achieved.

UPDATE. Professor Bunyip reveals the apparent source of Adams’ inspiration.

Posted by Tim Blair at June 2, 2004 02:47 PM

There's a fairly screechy segment of Americans who are having fits about Bush's unabashed faith. I am an American atheist - and his faith doesn't bother me in the least. In fact, he has been an amazingly gutsy leader who grew into some damned large shoes and does what must be done and doesn't apologize all the time for being who he is. S'okay with me. Hey, if it helps people sleep at night, find some peace of mind, and they don't impose it upon others, I say good on 'em.

Posted by: .com at June 2, 2004 at 02:54 PM

Yeah, but that was taken out of context....

Posted by: John F Kennedy at June 2, 2004 at 03:05 PM

Now where are the Goddamn broads?

Posted by: John F Kennedy at June 2, 2004 at 03:13 PM

If Iraq is George Bush's Vietnam, does that mean Vietnam was JFK's Vietnam?

Posted by: Mike Hunt at June 2, 2004 at 03:20 PM

" Replace God, the Almighty and the Lord with Allah, and Bush's dangerous devotions would be appropriate to an Islamic fundamentalist. "

Riiiiiiight... and gee, if you replaced "Nazi" with "Jew", Churchill could have written all of Hitler's speeches.

Those wacky nouns. Tiny little bundles of nuance, the lot of them...

Posted by: richard mcenroe at June 2, 2004 at 03:38 PM

Replace Adams with anybody else, you'd have a column worth reading.

Posted by: tim at June 2, 2004 at 03:50 PM

When has Fatboy ever let something as inconvenient as facts get in the way of a good rant ??

Posted by: Hippy Hunter at June 2, 2004 at 04:05 PM

I remember reading in one of Phil's inspiring tirades against Christianity that he concluded when he was 5 that there was no God. The more I read of the man, the more it would appear that it wasn't only theological thought processes that ceased at this time.

Posted by: jpr at June 2, 2004 at 04:10 PM

Thomas Jefferson, whom the US Supreme Court has credited with the "separation of church and state" metaphor:

[It is] God who gave us liberty. And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are a Gift of God?

Adams says both Kennedy and Paul Keating were both merely 'tribal' Catholics. I once saw him interview Keating and he casually described the former PM as "nominally a Catholic" - as if he was trying to airbrush something away from the picture of a man he regards as one of the greats. Keating, interestingly, didn't let that go without a rebuke. I paraphrase his response: "Yes, I am a Catholic and not just a nominal one either."

Somewhat embarrassing for renowned idiot, Adams.

And if references to - and obsession with - God constitute the major criterion for adjudging nutty fundamentalism, then Adams himself makes the Ayatollah Khomeini look like a groovy secularist.

Posted by: CurrencyLad at June 2, 2004 at 04:21 PM

Too bad it took Adams until decades after he was 5 to realise the evils of the Communist Party he was once a member of...oh wait a minute, he's never actually done that!!

Posted by: HippyKiller at June 2, 2004 at 04:36 PM

Question: why do the publishers of The Australian not care that Adams is a plagiarist? Has Media Watch's kid gloving of Adams ever been raised with the ABC through its complaints mechanism?

Posted by: Yosemite Sam at June 2, 2004 at 04:43 PM

Well, the Right has to endure Phillip Adams and the Left has to endure The Parrot and Lawsie. I don't know who has the worst deal.

Posted by: Mr T at June 2, 2004 at 04:45 PM

I am an American atheist - and his faith doesn't bother me in the least.

Same here. Who cares if someone mentions God? As long as I agree with them on most things, i believe someone elses religon is none of my business.

Posted by: Quentin George at June 2, 2004 at 05:30 PM

Eh...sorry, when I said "same here", I should have mentioned I was referring to the atheist part.

Posted by: Quentin George at June 2, 2004 at 05:30 PM

everyone has to suffer John Laws....good allah that man's painful.

I sometimes wish we did had a Christian crusade to get behind. Why should the allah-botherers get all the rightgeousness? Some goat herder learns to read and suddenly it's jihad time. Where's ours?

Posted by: JakeD at June 2, 2004 at 05:38 PM

Of course, if a president were to say Marx, Trotsky, Pol Pot, Mao, Stalin, Ho Chi Minh, Lenin, that would be quite o.k. for Phat Phuc Phil.

Posted by: d at June 2, 2004 at 05:47 PM

Mr T
"Well, the Right has to endure Phillip Adams and the Left has to endure The Parrot and Lawsie. I don't know who has the worst deal."

I do. The Right has the worse deal. Yes, Gloria and Lawsie are collossal wankers but my tax dollars don't pay their salaries. That's the difference.

Posted by: Yosemite Sam at June 2, 2004 at 05:57 PM

Note the Left gets hot and bothered about Bush talking about God, while it considers the faith of out-and-out clerics -- the Reverend Al Sharpton, the Reverend Jesse Jackson -- no barrier for a Democrat candidate for President.

Posted by: Warmongeting Lunatic at June 2, 2004 at 06:09 PM

Why does the name Ellsworth M. Toohey pop into my head whenever I hear something about Phillip Adams?

Posted by: Brett Milner at June 2, 2004 at 06:58 PM

Has anyone elso noticed how utterly obsesed with Bush Phat Phil is? I've read columns of his that had absolutely nothing to do with Bush or America and still there will be one sentence somewhere near the end with "by the way the way Geooorge Buush is a poo poo face". He's not even obsesed with Howard as much

Posted by: Troy at June 2, 2004 at 07:10 PM

Warmongering Lunatic (now why didn't I pick that screen name?) makes a good point. To further that point, the left didn't seem too bothered by Jimmah Carter's public faith in Gawd. Nor did they seem to get their collective panties in a wad when the Boy Clinton tucked a Bible under his arm and headed off to church most weekends. Or, for that matter, when Clinton called illegitimate dad Je$$e Jack$son in to be his "spiritual advisor" during the impeachment process. Begob! We almost became a Democratic theocracy!

Posted by: Sean M. at June 2, 2004 at 08:25 PM

Just a loose thought but PA - Pompous Ass?

Posted by: Louis at June 2, 2004 at 09:10 PM

Adams' flaw in bracketing Bush with the Ayatollahs is his failure to notice that Bush, with the possible exception of his policies on stem cell research and his comments on abortion, does not allow his religion to interfere with the effective and logical government of his country(if there are flaws with that they are of his own hand).
Clearly this is not the case in Iran, where the apparent decree of god(allah) sanctifies the word of the 'leader' and the words of a thousand year old text govern the direction of a 21st century nation. Ayatollahs are of fundamentally religious background and happen to have political power. Bush is fundamentally political and happens to be religious. His comments might sound bad in the Arab world and reminiscent of the crusades, but that's another issue.
There is no need to point to Kennedy's faith to declare Adams wrong. His argument is flawed and superficial, not merely hypocritical.

Posted by: Shoogle at June 2, 2004 at 10:34 PM

Tim, all US presidents use/d God in just about every speech they make.

Posted by: tony at June 2, 2004 at 10:43 PM

It's such an upside down world.

If Pres. Bush were a Muslim who mentioned Allah in his speeches and denounced Israel, the same people who castigate him for his Christian beliefs would be praising him.

Posted by: Chris Josephson at June 2, 2004 at 10:46 PM

It must be exhausting, being a leftie. You have to display every one of their idiotic prejudices lock stock and barrel, including militant anti-Christianism. And the theatricality of your display decides how far up the pecking order you rise.

Posted by: Byron_the_Aussie at June 2, 2004 at 11:32 PM

Insightful comment, Byron!

I'm going to pinch that and use it on the next croaking lefty that assaults my eardrums with their Bush=Hitler crap.

Posted by: Pedro the Ignorant at June 3, 2004 at 12:45 AM

President Bush is doing a great job. He has never waiver on his conviction or his belief. That's something the voters should look for. Someone that states what he will do and go ahead does exactly what he said he would do. No nuance, no interpretation... I am not a religious person at all and have no problem with all the presents and past speeches by presidents and politicians using "GOD" in their speech. This is after a Christian founded country.

Posted by: Alex at June 3, 2004 at 01:54 AM


Re the "all presidents mention God" line -- I know. My point is that Adams doesn't.

Posted by: tim at June 3, 2004 at 03:54 AM

"George W. Bush started saying 'God' once, twice, even thrice in every sentence ... "

Wow, if Bush was saying 'God' 'twice or thrice' in *every* sentence, you'd think Adams would be able to come up with at least *one* example of it occuring.

Posted by: Brent Smith at June 3, 2004 at 05:30 AM

Philip talks about God so much that he reminds me of an old Indian parable... Apparently there was an atheist who, day after day, from dawn to dusk, daylight to night, reminded himself, "There is no GOD, There is no GOD, There is no GOD...".
Eventually he died - and was instantly united with God. His obsession was so great, that he had kept God constantly on his mind throughout his life.

Philip had better be careful, or maybe he'll find himself in the same position!

Posted by: TimT at June 3, 2004 at 01:02 PM

Sixty years ago this weekend FDR announced the Normandy landings with a prayer that would incite calls for Bush's impeachment.

And, O Lord, give us Faith. Give us Faith in Thee; Faith in our sons; Faith in each other; Faith in our united crusade. Let not the keenness of our spirit ever be dulled. Let not the impacts of temporary events, of temporal matters of but fleeting moment let not these deter us in our unconquerable purpose.

With Thy blessing, we shall prevail over the unholy forces of our enemy. Help us to conquer the apostles of greed and racial arrogancies. Lead us to the saving of our country, and with our sister Nations into a world unity that will spell a sure peace a peace invulnerable to the schemings of unworthy men. And a peace that will let all of men live in freedom, reaping the just rewards of their honest toil.

Thy will be done, Almighty God.

And that's just part of it. I'm another athiest who just isn't too bent out of shape about this.

Posted by: David [.net] at June 3, 2004 at 02:24 PM