John Ashcroft seems to believe that he is ordained by God to blend politics and religion.
According to an article by David Johnston and Neil Lewis in the January
7 edition of the
New York Times,"The son of an Assemblies of God minister and educator, Mr. Ashcroft
has woven his private faith into his public life. In his 1998 book 'Lessons from a Father to
His Son,' he wrote that he held voluntary daily prayers with his staff and anointed himself
before each of his two terms as Missouri's governor. He did so again, using a bowl of
Crisco oil, before being sworn in in 1995 as senator.
"The act of anointment, he wrote in his largely autobiographical book,
practice of 'the ancient kings of Israel, David and Saul,' who Mr. Ashcroft said "were
anointed as they undertook their administrative duties."
Neither Saul nor David anointed themselves.
Saul and David were anointed by the prophet Samuel. According to the
acted on instructions from God. (1 Samuel 9:15-10:1; 1 Samuel 15:1; 1 Samuel 16:1-13).
There is something entirely appropriate about Ashcroft anointing himself in Crisco.
The Bible prescribes the specific formula of sacred anointing oil in
Sacred anointing oil is comprised of fine spices blended into olive oil. The spices include myrrh,
cinnamon, fragrant cane, and cassia, all in a "fragrant blend, the work of a perfumer." (Exodus 30:25)
John Ashcroft substituted supermarket cooking oil for sacred anointing
This seems appropriate for a senator distinguished for representing corporate interests.
Ashcroft's self-anointment resembles Napoleon crowning himself as emperor more than it
resembles Samuel anointing David.
According to the Bible, Saul and David were anointed by a prophet bringing
God's oil and
acting on God's call.
John Ashcroft anointed himself. If he has a call, it comes from the
unsavory coalition of
lobbyists and right-wing religious interests who hail Ashcroft as their servant.
"...the Anointed One will be cut off and will have nothing. The people
of the ruler who will
come will destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end will come like a flood..." [Daniel 9:26]