George Bush’s Second Coming – Dubya on a Christian mission to convert Jews

 

Los Angeles

If George W Bush thought he was done being controversial, it appears he was mistaken. Next week, the 43rd US president will deliver the keynote address at a fundraising event for the Messianic Jewish Bible Institute (MBJI), a global organisation that trains its members to convert Jews to Christianity, in the hope of bringing about the Second Coming of Christ.

Messianic Judaism first emerged as an evangelical force in the 1960s. Its adherents are made up of Christians who have adopted Jewish ritual and customs, and Jewish people who believe that Jesus is the Messiah and the son of God. The sect is frequently criticised by Jews of other denominations for its claim that Christian beliefs are consistent with Jewish theology.

In 2010, former Republican Senator Rick Santorum spoke at the Messianic Jewish Alliance of America’s annual conference. Abraham Foxman, president of the Anti-Defamation League, which is devoted to battling anti-Semitism, described Santorum’s decision to appear as “insensitive and offensive”.

According to a report by Mother Jones, the MBJI is based in Dallas but has Bible schools in 12 countries as well as an online “Messianic theology” school and training programmes for aspiring Messianic rabbis or pastors.

Mr Bush is scheduled to recount his White House experiences to MBJI supporters on 14 November at the Irving Convention Centre in Texas. Tickets for the fundraising event range from $100 (£63) to $100,000. The guest speaker at the MBJI’s 2012 fundraiser was the right-wing television personality Glenn Beck.

Last month, former President Bush made a surprise appearance in New York at a 50th anniversary event for umbrella group the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organisations, where he warned that the Iranian government could not be trusted to pursue a peaceful nuclear programme.

Yet Mr Bush, now 67 and living in Dallas, has for the most part steered clear of political commentary or intervention since he left office in early 2009, speaking out only sporadically on issues close to his heart, such as relations with Iran and immigration reform. The George W Bush Institute, based in Dallas, works to promote causes related to education, the military and “human freedom”, and he has travelled to Africa with a programme to combat cervical cancer.

Mr Bush reportedly plays golf regularly, as is the wont of every president and ex-president besides Jimmy Carter. He has a season ticket close to the dugout at the home of his baseball team, the Texas Rangers. A keen painter, he is also said to have begun working on a series of 19 portraits of the foreign leaders with whom he dealt while US president.

Meanwhile, his reputation has benefited by his absence from the public eye. A recent Gallup poll founded that 49 per cent of Americans now view Mr Bush favourably, as opposed to 46 per cent who view him unfavourably – his first positive approval ratings since before his administration’s bungled response to Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

According to Days of Fire: Bush and Cheney in the White House, a new book by New York Times White House correspondent Peter Baker, one of the 43rd president’s associates likes to describe his post-presidential life by comparing it to his predecessor’s. “Clinton is a citizen of the world,” the friend says, “and Bush is a citizen of Dallas.”

* Messianic Judaism – the best of both creeds  

Voices
The Sumatran tiger, endemic to the Indonesian island of Sumatra, is an endangered species
voicesJonathon Porritt: The wild tiger population is thought to have dropped by 97 per cent since 1900
Arts and Entertainment
Beast would strip to his underpants and take to the stage with a slogan scrawled on his bare chest whilst fans shouted “you fat bastard” at him
musicIndie music promoter was was a feature at Carter gigs
News
news
Arts and Entertainment
Story line: Susanoo slays the Yamata no Orochi serpent in the Japanese version of a myth dating back 40,000 years
arts + entsApplying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
News
Performers dressed as Tunnocks chocolate teacakes, a renowned Scottish confectionary, perform during the opening ceremony of the 2014 Commonwealth Games at Celtic Park in Glasgow on July 23, 2014.
news
Life and Style
Popular plonk: Lambrusco is selling strong
Food + drinkNaff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz
News
Gardai wait for the naked man, who had gone for a skinny dip in Belfast Lough
newsTwo skinny dippers threatened with inclusion on sex offenders’ register as naturists criminalised
News
Shake down: Michelle and Barack Obama bump knuckles before an election night rally in Minnesota in 2008, the 'Washington Post' called it 'the fist bump heard round the world'
newsThe pound, a.k.a. the dap, greatly improves hygiene
Arts and Entertainment
La Roux
music
Arts and Entertainment
Graham Fellows as John Shuttleworth
comedySean O'Grady joins Graham Fellows down his local Spar
News
people
News
Ross Burden pictured in 2002
people
News
Elisabeth Murdoch: The 44-year-old said she felt a responsibility to 'stand up and be counted’'
media... says Rupert Murdoch
Arts and Entertainment
tv
Extras
indybest
Sport
Arsenal signing Calum Chambers
sportGunners complete £16m transfer of Southampton youngster
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Junior / Graduate Application Support Engineer

£26000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A highly successful international media organ...

QA Manager - North Manchester - Nuclear & MOD - £40k+

£35000 - £41000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: QA Manager -...

Property Finance Partner

Very Competitive Salary: Austen Lloyd: LONDON - BANKING / PROPERTY FINANCE - ...

Agile Tester

£28000 - £30000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: An ambitious...

Day In a Page

The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

The air strikes were tragically real

The children were playing in the street with toy guns
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

Britain as others see us

Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them altogether

Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them

Jonathon Porritt sounds the alarm
How did our legends really begin?

How did our legends really begin?

Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

Lambrusco is back on the menu

Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz
A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

A new Russian revolution

Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

Standing my ground

If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
The man who dared to go on holiday

The man who dared to go on holiday

New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

The Guest List 2014

Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

Jokes on Hollywood

With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on