Friday, May 14, 2004

Bush's Fundamentalism Overshadows All Past Presidents? Nope...
I've been challenged a lot, particularly on DailyKos and seditious libel for my support of President Bush's religious justifications for leadership, particularly in foreign policy. This week's Houses of Worship from OpinionJournal does a great round-up of messianic presidents over the past century, putting the whole argument into a great context. Read it, comment below. I'd like to know especially how the Bush-haters respond.


Beth said...

The point isn't that Bush is religious, and I've said time and again that I don't think people of faith should renounce that faith up on assuming office.

The point is that Bush is so arrogant in his understanding of God (who, many would argue, is ultimately beyond the ability of our weak little brains to understand) that he is acting only on his religious convictions. He is using American forces for his holy war, and his "divine guidance" is entirely impossible to substantiate. He shows no willingness to consider other interpretations of God's will, be they from liberal Christians, Jews, Muslims, or non-monotheists.

It is possible, though difficult, to integrate absolute mandates of faith with democratic mechanisms, and nobody is expecting a perfect synthesis. With Bush, though, there is no regard for the fact that a large minority of Americans do not believe that this war is a mandate from Heaven. Bush seems much more interested in using his country to serve Christianity than in using the lessons of Christianity to serve his country.

RFTR said...

Did you read the article? Because the statements quoted for each of those presidents implies the same sense of knowing that God's mandate is on their side.

That's just the point: Bush is not unique in that.

Anonymous said...

I have no problem with religion as a guide, but Lincoln did it best:

"My concern is not whether God is on our side; my great concern is to be on God's side." (date unknown)

Bush has no such concern. Mistake.

Sandals said...

The problem is that none of those presidents have launched a "Crusade" in the Middle East that many (and worryingly, Bush) see as a struggle between Good and Evil and possibly Christianity and Islam.

This article from the Christian Science Monitor on this issue seems pretty good. Of particular note is the following quote:

"[..] Abraham Lincoln, on the other hand, regularly used the language of Scripture, yet invoked the will of God not for one side or the other in war, but to call everyone to humility, repentance, and reconciliation."

Beth said...

I don't care whether it's unique. I don't like it. Abuse of prisoners isn't unique to Abu Ghraib, but that doesn't mean that I say, "Oh, then, this is okay...there's precedent"

Does that mean that we shouldn't have fought previous wars? No. It means that there was plenty of secular support for those wars, and the case for war should always rest on those arguments.

What I want is not to be yolked with someone else's faith; I have my own, thank you. I want the resources of my country to serve the interest of my country, not the interest of the president's notions of salvation.

Anonymous said...

Further "mistake" is neither an argument nor a refutation. It only serves to make me think you have neither, but I would be interested in hearing otherwise.