Dear True Christians & Real Americans:

This is my first newsletter since the faith-based initiative that razed the World Trade Center towers. I sincerely hope that all of you and those you love are safe and well. As with any horrible tragedy, we are left with so much that craftily avoids convincing explanation. We have, however learned that:

3 out of 3 Religious Fanatics Agree!

God is crazy about terrorism!

What Else Have We Learned Since September 11?

1. In All Wars Over Faith, The First Thing To Go Is The Faith.

While foreign Muslims use their scriptures as an excuse for death, domestic Christians use death as an excuse to ignore their scriptures. All Americans are now supposed to unabashedly and publicly embrace Jesus, but to repeat His command to "turn the other cheek" is viewed as treason. ("That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also." Matthew 5:39). Truly, our glorious tradition of ignoring Jesus when He asks the inconvenient has never been more useful!

2. The Only Thing Worse Than A National Tragedy Is A National Tragedy That Doesn't Lend Itself To Marketing A Previously Unpopular Idea -- Like Giving Up Civil Liberties.

Every horror can be parlayed into an occasion for pushing unpopular concepts on a still-stunned public. As we conservative Americans reflect on the horrors of the recent coup de fors, we have found comfort in being able to use tragic deaths as a vehicle for trying to silence people whom we never used to listen to anyway. Usually a stern "how can you say that?" followed by an exasperated "especially now" is a useful reply to anyone who criticizes your politics – or has the temerity to respond to you criticizing their politics. Verily I say on to thee, every senseless killing is just blame masquerading as insanity. It is up to resourceful (conservative) pundits to harness feelings of both bafflement and anger and try to channel general resentment into specific dislike of people and ideas we never liked in the first place. There was a time when monomaniacal souls who constantly muttered the same thing ("The end is near! The end is near!") were simply avoided as they pushed their A&P carts full of cans and filthy blankets down a crowded sidewalk. Now, monomaniacal souls who constantly mutter the same thing ("It's Clinton's penis's fault! It's Clinton's penis's fault!") are given columns, book deals and Cabinet posts. Praise the Lord!

3. A Respectful Moratorium On Pushing Partisan Agendas Provides a Less Cluttered Field in Which To Push Our Own

Under the somewhat claustrophobic star-spangled cloak of "togetherness," remember that it is we Conservatives who allowed the lie-berals to join us in supporting OUR President; we did not rush into their all-too-eager-to-hug arms. That is why, while it is an America-hating outrage to exhibit partisan behavior in questioning a Republican President's foreign policy, it is rather winning for exalted New York policemen and firemen to hurl catcalls and spit at a Demon-crat President's wife when she appears in public to honor those lost on September 11.

4. The Difference Between Islamic Fundamentalists and Christian Fundamentalists Basically Boils Down to Better Marketing

Truly, those Islamic Fundamentalists are giving mindless adherence to quaint, if somewhat barbaric, folklore a bad name! Naturally, as a Christian Fundamentalists, it worries me that there are people running around revealing the natural consequence of religious fanaticism without the benefit of adept public relations firms to soften, obscure and perfume their message. If we are not careful, these coarse people will reveal far more to the American people about religious Fundamentalism than we are, frankly, prepared to tell them at this time.

5. The Difference Between A Crazed Religious Person and a Devout Religious Person Basically Boils Down To Typography.

You see, it appears that people are confusing those of us who follow without question God with those who follow without question god. See the difference? Their "god" has a lower-case "g." - ours has a more glamorous and authoritative upper-case "g!"

While President Bush bends over backwards to soft-sell Islam as being so benignly peaceful, such charming reminders seem too diplomatic by half when one considers the fabulous fatwas routinely issued by mainstream Muslim clerics in the Middle East. Furthermore, those Muslims are patently crazy. They do everything in the name of some imaginary fellow living in the sky -- Allah! We, on the other hand, only do things for Jesus (unless, of course, it is inconvenient, like give away all our money to the poor.)

Pretending other people's gods (note: lower case g) are not ridiculous fabrications, may be politically correct, but as a True Christian, the only time you will hear me appear to invoke "Allah" is when I am ordering from a French menu – preceding the word "carte." Of course, I don't begrudge the Islamic Fundamentalists wishing to downplay their penchant for killing those who don't share their faith. We Christian Fundamentalists are hardly keen on being reminded that we share the same bloody heritage. I do, however, find it deplorable manners for Muslims to still hold a grudge over all the trips we made to their countries to kill for God (note: capital g) during one of our many Christian road shows, the Crusades.

6. When life gives you terror – make tiramisu!

Every tragedy is an opportunity. True Christians™ everywhere are embracing with alacrity the senseless deaths of over 5,000 civilians as a Golden Opportunity to promote our religious agenda and more aggressively market our faith to those who stubbornly refuse to be exactly like us. In August, a failure to bellow God's (note: capital g) name in public was seen as simply un-Christian. Now, it is downright un-American. It is truly a testament to the potency of our faith (or the public's failure to reason) that a massacre by foreign religious fundamentalists is being parlayed into an opportunity to make cold calls for domestic religious fundamentalists. Praise! As America's Best Christian, I am so glad that we didn't wait until Ground Zero was barely cleared to begin using the secular public's horror at what people did in the name of a god (note: small g) as an invitation to railroad what everyone should do in the name of God (note: large g) in every school, car and stadium.

7. Foreign Religious Fanatics Are To Be Hunted Down and Killed.

Whereas domestic ones are to be appointed Attorney General.

8. President Bush Has Clearly Fallen Back Off The Wagon.

His speeches are peppered with self-reproachful rebukes about the "evil Dewars."

9. Somehow, Rancorous Vitriol Can't Be Carried Off Quite As Smugly By The Dead.

My dear Sister-in-Christ Barbara Olson's latest (well, last) book truly proves that while it may be impolite to speak ill of the dead, nothing apparently inhibits the dead from making a preemptive strike against the living.

10. Because the Men We Worship Were Poor Doesn't Mean We Have to Be!

While American Fundamentalists have gotten rich off of a government that gives us money and makes ours tax-exempt, we still have something to learn from our Islamic Fundamentalist brethren. After all, they have gotten what are tantamount to protection payments from the Saudi Government since its inception. I'm uncertain if religious leaders getting lots of cash for giving secular governments a cloak of piety is something we picked up from them or they stole from Billy Graham.

11. This is a New Kind of War – To the President, That Is.

"This is a war without beachheads and enemies in clear view." I was uncertain whether this was President Bush describing our current attempt to drive out Al Qaeda or President Johnson referring to previous efforts to combat the sneaky Viet Cong. But President Bush should hardly be faulted for forgetting about the Viet Cong, as few of them made much of a splash in Alabama, where he was briefly stationed, outside of a charming restaurant in Dothan. In fairness to the President, however, the fact that the only planes he ever had to worry about during Viet Nam were being commanded by Delta, his flying experience may finally be relevant to this new, more domestic war.

12. If You're Carrying Weapons, You Don't Need SkyMiles

I noted with alarm that all of the terrorists on September 11 were booked in the forward cabin (although they clearly had designs on seats in a cabin even more forward). How is it that murderous terrorists somehow manage to get first class seats on multiple flights from busy cities, whereas docile Americans are always told: "We can't upgrade you because there is no room in first class"?

13. American Christians Should Have Patented Those Fabulous Anthrax Spores.

It is rather alarming when Islamic Fundamentalists steal ideas from Christian Fundamentalists. We had clearly earmarked all the available anthrax for receipt by abortion clinics. Those of us in the virulently anti-abortion movement will be rather cross with these unimaginative rogues if they cause a run on spores, jeopardizing our own domestic terrorism in God's (note: capital g) name. Furthermore, to be candid for a moment, when I heard that the Demon-cratic Senate Leader Daschle and a kingpins of the lie-beral media, Tom Brokaw and the New York Times, had received anthrax, I immediately called some of my Brother and Sisters in Christ to find out if they could account for all of their stamps. (They are still supposedly counting.)

14. If I Really, Really Wanted to Kill Someone With Live Bacteria, I Think I'd Spring for FedEx

I read that celebrities in New York and California were hoarding Cipro, a drug that is effective against anthrax. This struck me as odd: Even Louie Anderson doesn't open his own mail, much less Barbra Streisand.

15. When The Dust Settles, Some People Can Always Be Counted On To Help The Person Closest To Them – Themselves.

If I had responded to all of the e-mails imploring me to prove that I care about those poor people killed on September 11 by buying a $19 (S&H extra) plastic American flag, not one single factory in China would have gone silent in the past three weeks.

16. In Order To Beat The Taliban, We Must Become Just Like Them.

In other words, we must now countenance no political or religious dissent – and do everything as a nation in the name of God (note: capital g).

17. As Half-Millionaire Horace Vandergelder Once Said, In Another Context With No Apparent Ending ("Hello Dolly"), Sometimes "It Takes A Woman."

Last time I did a roll call of my fellow female conservative commentators, things were not looking very splendid, dear readers! Ann Coulter was fired as a contributing editor of the National Review for her delicious "Barbara Olson May Be Dead, But She LOVED My Writing!" piece. In that disconcerting column, Ann issued her own fatwa, braying that we should either kill Muslims or convert them to Christianity, all the time proving more adept at dropping names than her shrill shtick. As a America's Best Christian, I second her fatwa, but take no joy in seeing public figures dissemble, to say nothing of disassemble in public (which is why I declined to sit next to a passel of 12 year old boys at a recent Michael Jackson tribute to, well, himself). I do, however, take surreptitious delight in the self-important being self-impaled (and – no – I am not making some ribald allusion to what Sally Quinn revealed over cocktails last week about catching Orin Hatch in the Senate cloakroom with his trousers dropping quicker than the NASDAQ).

Now, my dear anorexic Sister-in-Christ Ann is being accused of plagiarizing her book ''High Crimes and Misdemeanors." Honestly, after reading the prose that appeared under her name in that book, it would seem that she would have some cause for substantial damages for defamation from the hack she stole from!

Meanwhile commentator Debbie Schlussel, a blond conservative minx from the Ann Coulter school of being more artful wielding a mascara wand than a pen, is absolutely correct in her approach: Anyone who disagrees with any policy we conservative Christians repeat obviously "hates America." Glory! Make no mistake: This is a war of propaganda between people who think exactly like us – and America Haters who think for themselves. Since bland mantras of patriotism and rote exclamations of divine imperative hold sway in this warfare, I am sanguine in the knowledge that we will triumph over those who have the impertinence to express contrary opinions.

Sweet Peggy Noonan, another dear Sister-in-Christ, can be relied upon to gauge the mood of white people who adore aphorisms and then quickly distill their ineffable feelings into a charming string of bromides. She and I are verily giddy over America's dalliance with becoming a theocracy in order to topple one. And Peggy told me over light lunch and hearty patriotism that she is rather excited that men are "acting like John Wayne again." If by that she means men who act as if they can't be trusted to artfully speak in their phony Texas drawl unless they have a script before them, I honestly think the White House already had that covered before September 11. At any rate, you must remember, that since Peggy's Patron Saint is Ronald Reagan (although he is no longer aware of her rather strenuous fawning), she never places an onerous premium on anyone's brain actually being completely wired and working. As all the many speeches she used to write underscore, a phrase is to be admired for how artfully it turns, rather than where that turn may actually lead.

NEW ON THE BETTY BOWERS SITE SINCE THE LAST NEWSLETTER

Taking Time for BLAME: Baptist Ladies Accusing Media Entertainers

A message from First Lady Laura Bush:

As parents in this hectic Twenty-First Century world, sometimes we get a little too busy to pay much attention to our children. Months go by, and you get caught up in getting candle wax out of the bottom of over fifty Pier One votives -- or digging up impatiens when you change your mind about the color of a driveway border or wagon-wheel flower bed. Before you know it, you have forgotten you even have daughters! (Well, that is, until your Press Secretary timidly puts the Enquirer, Globe and News of the World on your desk.) As a mother of two spirited girls who often do things that, frankly, embarrass me, it is important to remember that no matter how busy you get: Make time for BLAME.

That is why I am so excited that my dear friend and America's Best Christian, Mrs. Betty Bowers is spearheading a new campaign called Baptist Ladies Accusing Media Entertainers. BLAME is aimed at raising public awareness that responsibility for turning our children into hellions starts outside of the home. My mother-in-law has long been a big proponent of finding homes for the blame that can unfairly taint the parent of an unruly child. Honestly, it is hardly fair to fault the parents for setting bad examples. After all, children can't pick up obnoxious behavior from people they hardly ever see!

Our children are so important to us. Do you know that, next to having a bacteria-free cutting board in your kitchen, having children who don't leave fingerprints on your just-polished reproductions is the greatest gift from God? I hope you will join Betty and me in this important effort to clear the good names of parents everywhere. Remember: America may be at war, but we are never too busy for BLAME.

-- Mrs. George W. (Laura) Bush

While the CIA was flipping through a samboosa-stained copy of the AAA 1986 Afghanistan TRAVEL BOOK in hopes of picking the rest stop where Osama bin Laden was hiding this week, I was more interested in finding out what he was showing this week. It took 14 people being killed at the Pakistani border, but I finally got a copy of "VOGUE Afghanistan" smuggled out! I am sorry for those mishaps, but at least my library is now complete. Truly, as Diana Ross used to say, "Sacrifices have to be made." (Flo and Mary.) I was rather surprised to see the smart little numbers terrorists are wearing this season! I have put the Osama Bin Laden fashion spread on line for your convenience.

How to Spot a Terrorist:

The FBI joins America's Best Christian in showing Americans what to look out for when surveying your first class cabin (which is just one reason Mrs. Bowers never flies commercial, as the airlines make you share a fuselage with unsaved people you don't even know!)

Michael Jackson: A Lovely Tribute (to his evaporating career)

Mrs. Betty Bowers has the lyrics to Michael Jackson's "tribute" song. Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson join him on this rousing tap-dance extravaganza!

If you have managed to get to this far in this rather long newsletter, I applaud you tenacity. Somewhat shorter newsletters earned my ministry last month an E-Zine Online Publishing Award. I encourage you check out the other winners, who are, no doubt, far less godly

I also invite you, as always, to visit the Lord's and my place of worship: Landover Baptist Church. Landover Baptist just put out a fabulous Halloween (as if the world isn't scary enough) issue.

So Close To Jesus, He's putting off the Rapture until my hair grows back out,

Mrs. Betty Bowers

America's Best Christian

A woman known throughout Christendom for her joie d'après vivre

"What Would Betty Do?"

A Spiritual Survival Guide

Succeeding at the Expense of Others in this World – and the Next!

Coming March 2002 from Simon & Schuster

CLICK HERE for more information

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