Over the weekend, I’ve seen a lot of people express nostalgia for President Bush.

I get it. Compared to recent years, his memory feels steady. Simpler. There’s a sense that things were less complicated and compromised.

But I’m curious, what do people truly miss about him?
When the planes crashed into the towers, Bush had an incredible and impossible task before him. And while there were moments when he offered a steady response and felt measured and in control, we need to be honest about how he led us to deal with the trauma of 9/11.

We didn’t.
The implementation of the War on Terror was extremely cathartic. It made us feel that we were doing something about our enemies who hurt us. We were taking action. And it appeared to be measured and justified. We were acting for good.
It reminds me of Judah’s king, Hezekiah. The Assyrians to the north were a real, immanent, and existential threat to Judah. And so, Hezekiah did what he needed to do: he formed an alliance with Egypt. He readied himself for war.
In response, Isaiah prophesied, “In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength, but you would have not of it.” In other words, don’t act. Rest. Be still. Know that I am God.

What if God was saying that to us? What if we should’ve been still?
What President Bush didn’t do was lead us through our grief. We weren’t led through our fear. Instead, we were led into retaliation and vengeance. And it brought out the worst in us.

Spying on citizens.
Instead of fighting the internal battle against fear and terror, we externalized it. We placed it across the ocean where we could easily distance ourselves from it. It was there, in Iraq. In Afghanistan. A world away where we didn’t really have to come to terms with it.
So I wonder, do we miss Bush the president, or do we miss Bush the ex-president? The one who paints, who seems a little more open and a little more measured? The one who playfully poses with Michelle Obama?

Do we have this anachronistic picture of the man and president?
And I ask this, particularly, for us Christians who are called to view violence and death and war through the lens of the gospel and the call to love our enemies. Those of us who know that violence isn’t redemptive, but that God does redeem violence.
We’ve got hindsight, absolutely. What 20 years of war and spying did was entrench us in our grief and terror rather than help us deal with it. We couldn’t move past it. And it’s shaped our reality.

So I’m not sure what we miss. But I do get the power of nostalgia.

• • •

Missing some Tweet in this thread? You can try to force a refresh

Keep Current with Nate Pyle

Nate Pyle Profile picture

Stay in touch and get notified when new unrolls are available from this author!

Read all threads

This Thread may be Removed Anytime!


Twitter may remove this content at anytime! Save it as PDF for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video
  1. Follow @ThreadReaderApp to mention us!

  2. From a Twitter thread mention us with a keyword "unroll"
@threadreaderapp unroll

Practice here first or read more on our help page!

More from @NatePyle79

13 Mar
My daughter is black. She is loud, boisterous, opinionated, charismatic, stubborn, and lively. I love with her with the same ferocity with which she does life. It’d be easy for me to say, “I’m not a racist.” But I must admit: I have racist thoughts.
Here’s what I mean. I can remember a couple years back after a particularly difficult time of parenting that I wondered, “I wonder if my daughter is so loud and opinionated because she’s black?”

That’s a racist thought. Straight up.

It grieved me to see it in me.
It’s a racist thought because it stems from a racial stereotype: the sassy black woman. That stereotype was handed to me by society—a society that used the stereotype to keep black women in their place—and then it wormed it’s way deep into my mind, only to come out as a parent.
Read 7 tweets
28 Jan
In the last year, young people punked a presidential campaign into thinking millions would show up at a rally and manipulated a stock, toppling hedge funds.

If you don’t think society is going to experience significant change in the next 20 years you may not be paying attention.
Let me expand on this a bit.

What we are seeing is that those under 30 take unique, black swan type approaches to problem solving.
They grew up in a world of technology and video games, and they use the skills (yes, skills) to tackle problems in way boomers and even Gen-Xer’s can’t really imagine.
Read 7 tweets
17 Nov 20
Read the story of the Good Samaritan, but replace the man in the ditch with a man trying to get into a full hospital—for any illness—and the priest and the Levite with a Christian refusing to wear a mask or worship online.
The priest and the Levite would have been disqualified from their temple duties in caring for the man in the ditch. In other words, they were prioritizing their worship of God over the physical needs of the one before them.

There’s a parallel to today’s arguments for meeting.
But Jesus shifts the mental model. Loving God is not at odds with loving our neighbor. They are the same thing. To say it differently, when we love our neighbor we are rightly worshipping God. It doesn’t have to be one or the other. It can be both/and.
Read 6 tweets
16 Nov 20
Had a conversation with @chuckdegroat this morning about reading “blessed as the poor in spirit” as “blessed are those who have come to the end of themselves” and I can’t stop thinking about how that’s good news for all of us this year.
Are you at the end of trying to hold it all together?

Blessed are you. For yours in the kingdom of heaven.
Are you at the end of being able to plan your future and control your world?

Blessed are you. For yours in the kingdom of heaven.
Read 6 tweets
6 May 20
The amount of conspiracy theories shared on Facebook in the last month is absolutely staggering. Humans are meaning making creatures. When something doesn't fit our current paradigm of thinking, we pull together disparate facts...
...to make a story to that gives meaning, purpose, or reason. Using facts makes those stories believable. But just because something is believable doesn't make it true.
Sadly, most of the people I see sharing conspiracy theories are Christians.
They are people I know who deeply love Jesus. Why are Christians so susceptible to believe and propagating conspiracy theories? I blame Left Behind.

Read 8 tweets
28 Jun 18
Evangelicalism must accept that the American public doesn't trust its pro-life ethic because it hasn't politically advocated for the children who are alive in the way it has for the unborn.
Far too many evangelicals have worked to silence BlackLivesMatter, have echoed the words 'They aren't our kids', celebrated tax cuts for the rich at the expense of safety nets for the poor, chosen policy over families, and sided with sexism and misogyny.
How have evangelicals built trust with the broader public that the black boy will be treated fairly? The Latina immigrant who is due any day will find resources? What policies have we advocated for that would structurally support an influx of children? Tax cuts aren't enough.
Read 4 tweets

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just two indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member ($3/month or $30/year) and get exclusive features!

Become Premium

Too expensive? Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal Become our Patreon

Thank you for your support!

Follow Us on Twitter!