In Baltimore earlier this week, President Bush made a pointed reference to his “addiction,” saying his turn to Christianity gave him the strength and wisdom to beat the bottle – and, somewhat shockingly – his wife.
“Used to be whenever I felt frustrated or depressed and life was getting me down, I’d turn to the bottle for comfort,” Bush said during a visit to the Jericho Program, a project that helps former prisoners deal with addiction problems. “Nowadays I turn to the Bible. And Good Lord, what a difference it’s made! They don’t call it the Good Book for nothing, heh-heh.”
Bush then took his audience by surprise when he said, in addition to providing him solace, his exploration of the scriptures changed his relationship with his wife, now First Lady Laura Bush.
“My faith gave me the inner strength to end my love affair with the lovely brown lady they call whiskey,” Bush said. “On top of that, the Bible told me it was OK to give Laura a good whack every now and then when she gets out of line. Don’t get me wrong, she’s a great lady, and I love the heck out of her. But sometimes she needs a little of that old-time discipline.”
Bush has acknowledged a 1976 arrest for drunken driving and claims he quit drinking for good the day after he turned 40. And it was the Bible, he confessed, that gave him the courage to stay on the wagon back in his early days of sobriety.
“I remember one boiling hot August day when we were reading this book, I think it’s called Evasions or something, don’t quote me. And I wanted to quit for the day and go to the ballgame and get me a hot dog and a lemonade. But dang if that red-ass pastor didn’t make me stay, and am I ever glad he did. Check it out:
“Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the savior of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their husbands in every thing.”
“You can imagine the lightning bolt that went off in my head when I discovered that passage,” Bush said. “It was like a whole new world opened up to me, big and beautiful as the sky over West Texas. You know, you grow up in the modern age and they say that giving your best gal a backhand in the chops when she speaks out of turn, they say that is “domestic abuse.” Back in the old days, they called it getting right with God.”
Bush then cited a passage from I Timothy 2: 11-14, which he says reinforced his newfound belief that “a good woman will shut her trap unless her man tells her otherwise.”
“Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. For Adam was first formed, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression”
“Dang, I wish I knew that back when I was throwin’ down my old buddy Jack Daniel’s like them Russkies was gonna nuke us before I could get to the bottom of the bottle,” the president said. “When Laura said I had to choose between her and the bottle, one good uppercut woulda ended that dispute right there. Heh-heh.”
Accepting a higher power, Bush said, has been the key to his presidency. And, he added, a day with the Bible beats a “100-degree day with a bourbon hangover.”
“The Bible’s the best book ever, even better than “The Pet Goat,” he said. “It’s simple and straightforward. Pretty much paints it clear as day. A woman should be silent and still and let her man do the talkin’ for her.
“And I’m done with the drinking, for real. But if I ever do fall off the old wagon and renew acquaintances with old Jack, Laura ain’t gonna give me no sass about it. I guarantee you that. There can be only one president in the family, and one decider.
“Thank God for the Bible!”