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Much fuss has been made of the allegation that President Bush believes he is acting on instructions from God. It would not be the first time the almighty has used a Bush as an instrument of his will, although the last one was Burning.

Nonetheless in an increasingly secular western world this is inevitably seen as a a bad thing. However, things could be worse. God, could be acting on advice from President Bush.

This is a worry. For a start any number of the president’s close friends could be elevated to positions of authority. If you thought Michael Brown was out of his depth as head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, imagine the damage he might do if required to oversee the production of an Ark.

Even now one can imagine Mr Brown testifying at the Heavenly Senate commission of inquiry into preparations for the Great Flood. “Well yes, I accept that the original plan was for two of each species. Unfortunately on the weekend in question, I was out of town having left the issue of evacuation of the Elephants and other large mammals to the Canaanites. I was entirely unaware that the pachyderms had gathered at the Ararat Convention Centre until I saw it on CNN, by which time it was sadly too late to reach them.

“With hindsight it is also clear that would could have done more for the rodents, apes, bears and zebra. In many cases we managed to get one of those species out. although clearly the breeding programme might be inhibited.”

The Big Guy should also consider the risk of sleaze allegations if he starts employing Halliburton for any of his continental rebuilding programmes. It is all very well awarding contract for the redevelopment of the Arctic ice-cap as a beach resort, leisure complex and golf course to the company which was formerly chaired by Vice President Cheney, but it looks bad if it turns out that he was the man who advised the Lord to let it melt in the first place.

As the Supreme Being, the Lord probably need not concern himself unduly with money. But even so there are some celestial economists who question the wisdom of running up deficits so large that Heaven’s prosperity is now entirely dependent on Chinese goodwill.

In the wake of the scandal over the leaking of the name of a CIA covert agent, the Almighty might also wish to reconsider any advice to employ Karl Rove as chief strategist and archangel. There is no doubt that Mr Rove is a formidable operator who has proved his worth in mobilising the religious right, but secrets such as Samson’s hair, King David’s sling technique and Moses’ Red Sea skills are simply too valuable to entrusted to anyone who might blab just to discredit a political opponent.

Furthermore, the Almighty’s claim to omniscience may be seriously undermined by the choice of ex CIA-chief George Tenet as his collator.

There would also be concerns that Don Rumsfeld may not be the best man to oversee the pursuit that well-known bearded global terrorist, Lucifer. Although Mr Rumsfeld is an implacable foe of the Devil, having cornered the aforementioned Mr Beelzebub in the mountains near the Tora Bora caves, there is a danger he would allow himself to be diverted into the pursuit of a lesser enemy. The fact that Saddam and Satan sound quite similar is not, in itself, reason for for letting Lucifer slip through the net.

Then again, Mr Rumsfeld has proved he has something to contribute when it comes to punishing offenders. Seriously, all that the pillar of salt stuff and slaying of the first born stuff was truly groundbreaking in its day, but of late it is Mr Rumsfeld who has made all the running. His work in Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay certainly show he could prove a valuable adviser on the smiting front.

On the subject of the slaying of the first-born, the Lord may also wish to think carefully before accepting Harriet Miers as his choice to fill the key swing vote seat on the Supreme’s Court. Many wonder whether she is committed to upholding the constitutional right to infanticide. She has no track record on the subject and more importantly, she looks dangerously underqualified.

But perhaps, this is too much carping. Few can deny that Mr Bush, has much to contribute. Who can forget his memorable early passage in Genesis. “In six days the Lord made the Heavens and Earth, then he got in some golf and on the 9/11th day he read My Pet Goat”?

Many also credit him with authorship of the heartwarming parable of the Prodigal Son, who squandered his inheritance in a haze of booze and wild-living, while his other son laboured hard to become governor of Florida. Yet when the hell-raising son returned to Kennebunkport, his father embraced him warmly and anointed him his political heir. When the younger son complained, his father said, “You are always with me, but your brother was lost to us and now he is back. Now go and labour harder in Florida. We may need you come election night”.

Even so, on balance many will feel it better that the president takes draws his inspiration from God rather than the other way round. Having said that one has to wonder about Mr Bush’s capacity for misunderstanding his celestial directions. Even now in some quiet corner of the White House the Almighty may be carpeting his disciple. “What was with this Saddam adventure? I said Iran, George, can’t you get anything right?”

robert.shrimsley@ft.com

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