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  

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment
Joel Edgerton, John Turturro and Christian Bale in Exodus: Gods and Kings
film Ridley Scott reveals truth behind casting decisions of Exodus
News
Andy Murray with his girlfriend of nine years, Kim Sears who he has got engaged to
peopleWimbledon champion announces engagement to girlfriend Kim Sears
Arts and Entertainment
Jake Quickenden and Edwina Currie are joining the I'm A Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here! camp
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Roisin, James and Sanjay in the boardroom
tvReview: This week's failing project manager had to go
Life and Style
Fright night: the board game dates back to at least 1890
life
Life and Style
fashion
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

Argyll Scott International: Senior Business Analyst- Insurance

Negotiable: Argyll Scott International: Senior Business Analyst - Insurance ...

Recruitment Genius: Property Manager

£25000 - £29000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This independent, growing Sales...

Recruitment Genius: Graphic Designer

£16000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Multi-skilled graphic designer ...

Austen Lloyd: Court of Protection Solicitor

£30000 - £50000 per annum + EXCELLENT: Austen Lloyd: Court of Protection Solic...

Day In a Page

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game
There's a Good Girl exhibition: How female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising

In pictures: There's a Good Girl exhibition

The new exhibition reveals how female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising
UK firm Biscuiteers is giving cookies a makeover - from advent calendars to doll's houses

UK firm Biscuiteers is giving cookies a makeover

It worked with cupcakes, doughnuts and macarons so no wonder someone decided to revamp the humble biscuit
Can SkySaga capture the Minecraft magic?

Can SkySaga capture the Minecraft magic?

It's no surprise that the building game born in Sweden in 2009 and now played by millions, has imitators keen to construct their own mega money-spinner
The King's School is way ahead of the pack when it comes to using the latest classroom technology

Staying connected: The King's School

The school in Cambridgeshire is ahead of the pack when it comes to using the latest classroom technology. Richard Garner discovers how teachers and pupils stay connected
Christmas 2014: 23 best women's perfumes

Festively fragrant: the best women's perfumes

Give a loved one a luxe fragrance this year or treat yourself to a sensual pick-me-up
Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Drifting and forgotten - turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Our partner charities help veterans on the brink – and get them back on their feet
Putin’s far-right ambition: Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU

Putin’s far-right ambition

Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU
Tove Jansson's Moominland: What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?

Escape to Moominland

What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?
Nightclubbing with Richard Young: The story behind his latest book of celebrity photographs

24-Hour party person

Photographer Richard Young has been snapping celebrities at play for 40 years. As his latest book is released, he reveals that it wasn’t all fun and games
Michelle Obama's school dinners: America’s children have a message for the First Lady

A taste for rebellion

US children have started an online protest against Michelle Obama’s drive for healthy school meals by posting photos of their lunches