Two Presidents Die


Separated by only a few days in those that closed 2006, the deaths of two former presidents, whose passing has been firmly documented on worldwide television, have spoken eloquent volumes about the nature of two world religions.

The former president of Iraq, Saddam Hussein, was the first to be buried. A lone pick-up truck carted his coffin in silence to the simplest of graves near his hometown in that war-ravaged land he once ruled with an iron fist. A freshly-turned pile of dirt is his memorial.

The former president of the United States, Gerald R. Ford was taken to his final resting place in his hometown too: Grand Rapids, Michigan. A grateful nation set aside the busy routine of life to follow the progress of those farewells which began shortly after his death in California and which proceeded on to Washington, D.C. All this respect and dignity was shown in behalf of a president who led the nation only briefly but that with kindness and compassion.

The National Cathedral, the site of President Ford’s funeral in Washington, rang with Christian hymns delivered by bands, soloists and the public. God’s Word was featured reminding all of President Ford’s trust in Christ.
The atmosphere of cherished civility and faith in the Lord, crowned with the peace of God upon many faces could not have been missed.

The ghastly scene featured Saddam Hussein standing upon a crude platform of ugly gallows. His defiant but whitened face curled as he hurled back the taunts his tormentors shouted at him: “Go to Hell,” they screamed at each other. The hangman’s noose was affixed to his bound body. Just as the platform dropped away carrying him to his death he could be heard to shout: “I do affirm that there is no God but God [Allah] and Mohammed is his messenger!”

The hatred of these “good Muslims” of this “great religion of peace” gave the lie to all for which this and all of paganism stands. It does not represent truth and it does not find God. Ironic though it is, the final half of the verse John 14:6, obviously intentionally omitted from the Episcopal priest’s Scripture reading at President Ford’s funeral, gives the death knell to godless Islam: “… no man cometh to the Father but by me [Christ.]”

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