Art Buchwald, God Bless
The Washington Post, July 10, 2003
Kelsey Kemper Valentine, the 12-year-old daughter of a friend of mine,
asked me, "Why does President Bush say at the end of his speech 'God bless
America' instead of 'God bless the world'?"
It was a very interesting question and deserved an answer.
I told her, "It's because he doesn't want God to bless everyone in
the world. There are a lot of people and places he doesn't want God to bless."
"When the president gets mad at someone, he wants God to know about
it. For example, he certainly doesn't want God to bless Osama bin Laden or
Saddam Hussein, if they are still alive."
Kelsey was listening to every word.
I continued. "And he doesn't want God to bless Castro, the Taliban
or the Hamas in Palestine."
Kelsey asked, "How does Bush decide who God shouldn't bless?"
I replied: "He meets with his top advisers and they brief him on
whom God should bless. For example, he doesn't want any country in the United
Nations that voted against America to be blessed. You never heard Bush say, 'God
bless France,' or Germany or Russia or Iran. Once the decision is made -- that's
Kelsey looked perplexed.
"Now it's obvious the president doesn't want God to bless terrorists.
He consults with the CIA and Attorney General Ashcroft. The only time he wants
God to bless them is when they have had a military trial and are going to be
Kelsey nodded as I continued: "This is important. When Bush says 'God
bless America,' he is not talking about all Americans. He is asking God
to bless only Republicans, conservative supporters and Vice President Cheney. He
also doesn't want God to bless liberal members of the media and, naturally, the
Americans who did not support him in Iraq as well as traitors who still think
there are no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq."
Kelsey asked, "How does God know who the president really wants him
"God knows Bush very well. He knows what is really in his heart.
That is what makes him a great president."
"How does God have time to do everything Mr. Bush wants him to
"He makes time. America is one of his favorite causes. He always
answers President Bush's calls and never puts him on hold. Bush has a red phone
on his desk, and it's a special line that no one else uses."
"Doesn't he have a cell phone when he is traveling?" Kelsey
"Yes, and when he is on Air Force One he is patched into Heaven. The
United States has the most modern communications of any country in the world."
I said: "Kelsey, you are very smart to ask the question. Most adults
wouldn't ask. As a matter of fact, many people think the president is God, which,
of course, is not true."
"Are you going to be in trouble for saying all this?"
"No, but Jerry Falwell will be mad as hell."