The powerful symbolism as Bush bows the knee
Reformation Testimony Garnet Milne
Did President Bush cross the line between church and state when he bowed down to the dead pope? Psalm 2 warns the rulers of the earth that they are to “Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way”.
Instead of paying homage to the Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, we see the ludicrous spectacle of president Bush, Bush Snr, Clinton, Mrs Bush and the US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice all apparently in a pious frame of mind kneeling before “Pontifex Maximus”, the man of sin who sets himself up as the “vicar of Christ”. All those genuflecting are Protestants whose churches deny that the pope is the head of the universal or catholic church.
Mrs Bush and Miss Rice were apparently wearing some headgear, not perhaps to make them look by nuns, but more likely to acknowledge that they were subservient to the pope. The only biblical warrant for wearing a head-covering is found in 1 Cor. 11. Head coverings were to be worn in church worship as an acknowledgement that man is head over the woman. But because this is not Mrs Bush’s or Miss Rice’s usual practice in church at home, we must assume that this is a direct acknowledgement that they are in submission to the dead pope they came to honour.
If it was not so serious, this would be amusing. Three US presidents kneeling before a dead pope for all the world to see - the men who are and have been the most powerful civil rulers in the world kneeling before an impostor who sets himself up in the place of God. Whatever happened to the much-vaunted US claim of the separation of church and state. Here you have the state kneeling before a pope and a dead one at that; and by implication before the Roman Catholic Church. Has the pope ever kneeled before a president of the US? Or have the US presidents knelt down and kissed his ring while he was alive also, I wonder?
One does not have to anti-Roman Catholic to see the great irony here. Perhaps these folk were just showing respect to a head of state since the pope was also the head of state in his little country the Vatican. But come to think of it, did any of these genuflectors kneel before the coffin of President Reagan? And when Billy Graham dies, which is not too far off, I wonder whether Mrs Bush and Mrs Rice will don their black headgear and join with several presidents to kneel and pray before the coffin of Billy’s corpse?
No, this is a shocking display of disregard for the evangelical community in the US, and a betrayal of these leaders’ alleged Christian profession. Notice how standards are slipping. Whereas once faithful churches acknowledged that the pope was no “vicar of Christ”, and rulers agreed with them, now we have presidents kneeling before a dead man as if he has some holiness attached to him; and we even learn that for the first time in history the Anglican Archbishop of Canterbury will also go and genuflect before the pope - the leader of church responsible for burning at the stake many protestant martyrs whose only crime was that they refused to bow the knee to Rome and its pope.
It would be amusing to see what our own PM Helen Clark and fellow atheist and leader of the opposition Don Brash would do if they were important enough to get invited to visit the dead pope. Perhaps they could tell us whether they would also bow the knee to Pontifex Maximus?
It would be especially interesting to know whether our own Feminus Maximus Helen Clark would wear the black scarf and kneel down before the one whose moral stands she resolutely opposes. I suspect she would, and probably already has.