Remarks by Mrs. Laura Bush During November 17, 2001 Morning Radio Address
Good morning, my fellow Americans. As I speak to you, the sun is shining in Washington. It is like the Lord is saying, "Cheer up, Laura! Cheer up, America!"
Peggy Noonan told me that a poet once wrote: "The sun will come up tomorrow. Bet your bottom dollar, there'll be sun!" Now, I don't condone gambling, but what that poet said has certainly turned out to be very prophetic, hasn't it?
I woke up this morning and while I was enjoying my Sanka, and Bushie was pretending to read the paper, I thought to myself, "There has never been a better time to be an American than now!" Aren't we lucky? After all, if you are not a real American, one minute you could be picking out tube socks at Wal-Mart and the next minute you could be hauled before a military court, sentenced and shot before your family even realizes you are late for dinner.
I want to talk to you this morning about how Mr. Taliban is treating women in Africanistan. I was talking to my new girlfriend Cherie Blair yesterday about this. I kept saying to her: "Cher, say that again!" I just love the way she talks with that cute little English accent of hers. No matter what she said, I would just yell, "Say it again!"
Like I told Cher (not the one with ceramic coasters implanted in her cheeks who lives out in Hollywood, but the one in London), it saddens me to see how women are treated in Africanistan at the hands of Mr. Taliban, their unelected president. As a woman who has worn a purple plaid suit made out of easy chair remnants, I know how cruel people can be to women who don't wear pretty things or nice shoes. I can't imagine the catty comments Africanistan Vogue magazine writes about those poor women who have to go around dressed like a sack of potatoes!
All because Mr. Taliban doesn't trust himself to keep his pants zipped. Ladies, isn't it funny how we always get the blame for the weaknesses of our men folk? You know, they can go off on a cocaine and tequila binge with a pack of hookers from Tijuana for two months and it is all because we "nag about cleaning out the trunk of the Buick."
I don't know why I said that. Let's just disregard that. OK?
Until recently none of us have given much thought to the Middle East. Before September 11, when the President or I heard people talk about "the Middle East," we just thought they were referring to Maryland.
Well, that has all changed. And we have been forced to learn about these crazy foreign folks in a mystical, far-off land. Now, when I hear "Middle East," I think of magic carpets. Honestly, who doesn't? The President, on the other hand, thinks of harems.
But we are both right. I mean to say, their area rugs can work magic on a scuffed linoleum floor! And while the idea of harems seems sort of Mormon to me, it is important to realize that even our God (the real one) sort of liked the idea of harems. After all, Solomon had over 300 concubines! And I think most of you ladies out there listening will agree: When it comes to cleaning up after men, I would say that the Lord's ratio is just about right.
(Pause for a chuckle)
What else do we know about the Middle East? Well, they have a lot of genies! The Koran (which is their Bible, only it is more full of lies than a Bill Clinton deposition) teaches that genies are not angels, but demons of Satan. So, Barbara Eden can dress in a cute little pink midriff and seem all sweet and everything all she wants, but it is important to remember that she is ultimately going to entice Major Anthony Nelson to eat his young.
With all those slutty blond genies running around, it is no wonder that women are not thought very highly of in Africanistan. Now, I know, when push comes to shove (and it always does, as the Koran does tell men to beat women), that Mr. Taliban cannot be entirely blamed for treating women like household possessions. After all, a lot of that anti-female locker room talk comes from Allah, the very same God we worship only under this real name, which is, ur, God. Sort of like naming your son "Boy" isn't it?
Anyway, our Bible is full of instances where the Lord reminds us that women are annoying, slutty, deceitful or uppity. In fact, the only female that comes across unscathed is Mary and that is only because Jesus, as a good Jewish boy, would never talk bad about his Mother while someone was busy writing it down.
I know that all of you listening at home have Bibles, so please open it now as I am going to be directing your attention to things you'll want to highlight or draw hearts around or however it is you all mark up the important stuff.
As we all know, the very first woman, Eve, rubbed the Lord the wrong way. He savagely cursed her (Genesis 3:16) and He hasn't let any of us forget it since. You see, just like Mr. Taliban, the Lord in the Bible put different values on men and women. He told Moses that men are worth fifty shekels and women are worth only 30 shekels (Leviticus 27:3-4). So, to God, women are worth about 60 percent what men are!
Now, that may seem insulting, but when our Christian Founding Fathers were writing the Constitution, they decided that colored people were only worth 60% of white people, so it is not like women have been singled out by any means! So, gals, let's not sulk.
And before we womenfolk complain about the slight by our God, it is important to remember that the Allah version of God has even more deeply discounted the value of women! In the Koran women are valued at half of a man's worth whether it be in the sharing of an inheritance or the acceptance of their testimony in court. That is 50% of the value of men! I know that I speak for all Christian women this morning when I say that it touches my heart to know that our God the real one values us a full 10% more than that misogynist Allah.
Can we pause now to give thanks?
Misogynist. That is a very big word. I bet most of you listening have no idea what it means, do you? Well, Bushie didn't either. But it means "men."
I want to tell you a little story about where that word comes from. In Luke 14:26, Jesus says: "If any man come to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters he cannot be my disciple." Now, I'm not a Bible scholar, but fortunately I am very good friends with someone who is. My dear Sister-in-Christ Betty Bowers, told me that Luke was written in Greek, to which I responded: "It's all Greek to me, Betty!" I laughed so hard! Anyway, Betty, after giving me one of her looks, told me that the Greek word for "hate" Jesus uses is "miseo." And miseo is how we get our English word misogyny! To hate women!
Can we pause now to give thanks?
Before we get too hard on the Muslims about the way they "hate women," let's remember that our own New Testament doesn't exactly read like an Alan Alda's commencement speech at one of the Seven Sisters. Jesus (or Paul, who speaks for God at the drop of a hat) tells us:
If a man abandons his wife and children for Jesus, he'll give you a big reward. Mark 19:29. Mark 10:29. So if Promise Keepers really wants to honor people who follow Jesus, instead of getting together for a grope and a cry, they should fill stadiums with deadbeat dads!
Also "the head of the woman is the man," meaning that the women are to be subordinate to men. 1 Corinthians 11:3 As I tell my girl friends, it is important to remember that there were no television remote controls in the Middle East during the first century (well, Lord knows, there still may not be any!), so Paul clearly was not meaning to include them.
Women are commanded to be silent in church and to be obedient to men. "If they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in church." 1Corinthians 14:34-35
Furthermore, while our God doesn't make us wear flour bags, He forbids women from wearing expensive clothing -- "Not with braided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array." 1 Timothy 2:9 A quick look at suburban America tells us that this prohibition against wearing clothing that looks like it costs a lot is one of the few things in the New Testament that today's Christians follow.
We are forbidden to teach or "to usurp authority over" men. Rather, we are to "learn [from men] in silence with all subjection [to men]." 1 Timothy 2:11-12
Furthermore, we are so disgusting that not only are men not to let us in the village while we menstruate, 144,000 men who are not "defiled by women" will go to God's Glory! Only 144,000 celibate men will be saved. (Those who were not "defiled with women.") Revelation 14:3-4
Clearly, Jesus wasn't some liberal Democrat running around wearing an "ERA NOW" button. So it is pretty clear that, when it comes to "woman hating" (misogyny for those of you who like to learn fun, new words), there isn't a hill of beans worth of difference between the real Bible (ours) and the fake one, the Koran (theirs).
So, what makes those foreign religious fanatics different from our own? Well, let me tell you. You see, they don't ignore the stuff written in theirs! But we do! See how easy it is?
For example, our God (the real one) is very keen on folks beating and keeping slaves (Exodus 21:20, Duet. 15:12-17, Duet. 20:10, Joshua 16:10). The Lord provides handy tips on beating your slaves in the Bible and nothing in the Bible is wrong. So there you have it: God loves slavery! But we in the Republican party have reluctantly come to the realization that what may be peachy-keen with the Almighty doesn't play well in New Hampshire or Iowa every four years. So, even the craziest American religious fanatics have begrudgingly ignored God when it comes to owning, much less beating slaves. Well, also when it comes to women not talking in church, folks not getting divorces, giving away your stuff and not committing adultery.
As a wife who has spent the last 30 years turning a blind eye to misbehavior, it boggles my mind that Mr. Taliban can't just ignore the Lord like the rest of us do. Jiminy Cricket, Mr. Taliban, get with the program!
I have devoted my whole life to toiling in the classroom for a couple of years before landing a rich husband, so I know the importance of reading. But I also know the importance of what you don't read.
I mean, if we did what God (the real one) told us to do, our Marines would invade towns and kill all the non-virgin women and children -- sparing only the virgins so they could have sex with them! (Deuteronomy 20:13-15) Let's fact is: We tried that in Viet Nam and it didn't work!
That is why I suggest going through your Bible with some scissors (make sure you have a sharpening stone nothing is more irritating than trying to cut something with scissors as dull as a pair of butter knives!) and cutting out all the stuff that is just downright annoying. Of course, don't be too hasty in making your selections. Early in my marriage, I cut out the part where Jesus tells men to castrate themselves (Matthew 19:11) because it seemed sort of gross at the time I was cutting. The Bible, that is. Later, after 10 years with a coked-up drunk, I missed Matthew 19:11 so much, I went out and bought me a new family Bible!
Coming from the great state of Texas, I know the importance of petroleum resources. After all, if Texas didn't have oil, it would just be another Mexico! The problem Africanistan has is that it just doesn't have any oil. I know that is not their fault technically, but it was a huge mistake to set up a country in that neck of the woods when you don't have oil. Hot digitty, if they had oil, they could mistreat women all they wanted to and we would defend them -- not bomb them just like we did for Muslim Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, where, mercy me, ladies aren't even allowed to drive the cars they could gas up with the fuel from their own backyard!