by Sherman Alexie

Let me quote from the book of Bill Hicks: "I was over in Australia and somebody asked me if I was proud to be American. And I said, 'I don't know. I didn't have a lot to do with it. My parents fucked there, that's about all.'"

Let me celebrate the fact that my Roman Catholic Coeur d'Alene Indian father and Assembly of God Spokane Indian mother fucked somewhere in the vicinity of Wellpinit, Washington, and made me an American. My passionate parents engaged in interdenominational and intertribal sex within the sanctity of marriage.

When I was six months old and being prepared for life-threatening brain surgery, my father had me baptized Catholic and my mother had me baptized Protestant. When it comes to the afterlife, I'm covered. When it comes to my current life, I'm vaguely Christian. And as a vague Christian, I want to reclaim God and Christ from the right-wing, pro-war, patriotic hypocrites. More specifically, I want to paint a big old red "L" on the United Methodist George W. Bush's forehead because, according to The Book of Discipline of the United Methodist Church, he is a lousy Christian.

According to their rulebook, the United Methodist Church "officially opposes capital punishment and urges its elimination from all criminal codes." And yet the sacrilegious Bush presided over the executions of 132 convicted criminals while he was Texas' governor. During a 2000 interview with the conservative journalist Tucker Carlson, W. wickedly mocked Karla Faye Tucker, the only woman to be executed in Texas during the 20th century. When Carlson asked W. how he felt about pleas for Karla Faye's clemency, he pretended to be her on death row, and whimpered, "Please don't kill me."

I wonder if Pontius Pilate was that funny about state-sanctioned murder?

The United Methodists believe that "citizens of all countries should have access to all essential information regarding their government and its policies. Illegal and unconscionable activities directed against persons or groups by their own governments must not be justified or kept secret, even under the guise of national security."

So much for the Christian nature of the Patriot Act!

The Bush administration profanely refused to release documents indicating the meeting dates and attendance rolls of the energy task force chaired by Dick Cheney, another good Methodist man. If I were a lousy Christian like W. or Dick, I wouldn't have wanted the voting public to know that those lousy Christian Enron officials were once so welcome at the White House.

The United Methodists insist that "homosexual persons no less than heterosexual persons are individuals of sacred worth" and the Church is "committed to supporting [equal] rights and liberties for homosexual persons." But during his irreligious 1994 campaign for governor, Bush defended Texas' sodomy law, which makes sexual activity between same-sex adults illegal, as a "symbolic gesture of traditional values." And in 1999, as governor, he supported an ungodly measure that banned gay couples from becoming foster parents or adopting foster children. As president, Bush allowed the military to discharge nine students, including seven students of Arabic descent, from the Army's main language-training center because they violated the "don't ask, don't tell" policy by identifying themselves as gay.

How do you say "homophobic heathen" in Arabic?

The United Methodists also believe that "the manufacture, sale and deployment of armaments must be reduced and controlled; and that the production, possession or use of nuclear weapons be condemned. Consequently, [the Church] endorse[s] general and complete disarmament under strict and effective international controls."

Does that mean God wants the United States to destroy all of its weapons of mass destruction?

And I'm not subjectively quoting from the Methodist rulebook. W.'s own church isn't too happy with him.

The United Methodist Church General Board of Church and Society believes "United Methodists have a particular duty to speak out against an unprovoked attack [on Iraq].... It is inconceivable that Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior and the Prince of Peace, would support this proposed attack."

So, my brother and sister Christians, what would Jesus do in a time of war? Be careful with your answer. It was Shakespeare, the public Protestant and private Catholic, who warned, "The devil can cite Scripture for his purpose."

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