Friday, November 9, 2007

Born Again, Again

Craig Unger at explains how there are two conflicting versions of George W. Bush's salvation. The official campaign 2000 version has George saved by Billy Graham. That's a pretty good story, that puts George in rarefied air. But, wait! If he was saved by Billy, it was a re-rebirth. According to Unger, George was first saved by a guy named Arthur Blessit. Here is Unger's description of Blessit:

His evangelicalism was rooted in the Jesus movement of the sixties counterculture. To the extent he was famous it was because he had preached at concerts with the Rolling Stones, Janis Joplin, the Jefferson Airplane, and others, and had run a "Jesus coffeehouse" called His Place on Hollywood's Sunset Strip during that turbulent decade. His flock consisted of bikers, druggies, hippies, and two Mafia hit men. The most celebrated ritual at Blessitt's coffeehouse was the "toilet baptism," a rite in which hippies announced they were giving up pot and LSD for Jesus, flushed the controlled substances down the toilet, and proclaimed they were "high on the Lord."

In 1969, however, Blessitt was evicted from his coffeehouse and, in protest, chained himself to a cross in Hollywood and fasted for the next twenty-eight days. Over the next fifteen years, "The Minister of Sunset Strip," as he was known, transformed himself into "The Man who Carried the Cross Around the World" by lugging a twelve-foot-long cross for Jesus through sixty countries all over the world, on what would become, according to the "Guinness Book of World Records," the longest walk in human history. Blessitt delivered countless lost souls to Jesus. He went to Jerusalem. He prayed on Mount Sinai. He crossed the Iron Curtain. Finally, in 1984, he came to Midland, Texas, to preach for six nights at the Chaparral Center before thousands of Texans night after night on a "Mission of Love and Joy." He did not know it, but he was about to bring George W. Bush to Jesus.
Not quite as impressive a leader to salvation as Billy Graham. But then again, if in 2000, you are lying about the roots of your salvation, have you really been saved?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This is funny. I looked up Arthur Blessitt, the guy who converted Bush, and found this on a web site about strange record albums