বুধবার, ১৮ জুলাই, ২০১২

The Religion of George W. Bush

Faith is an important part of George W. Bush's life and it shows. There is nothing wrong with a President expressing his faith, but there can be problems when the contents of the faith express ideas that are not in line with the faith one professes. Sojourner's Magazine has a wonderful story by editor-in-cheif, Jim Wallis about Dubya's faith. Wallis takes great pains to repsect Bush's sincerity, but explains in stunning detail how his theology which is based on "empire" is contrary to the Gopsel preached by Jesus. This paragraph sums up the aim the article nicely. Listen to this quote from Theologian Martin Marty and then from Time columnist Joe Klein: "The problem isn't with Bush's sincerity, but with his evident conviction that he's doing God's will." As Christianity Today put it, "Some worry that Bush is confusing genuine faith with national ideology." The president's faith, wrote Klein, "does not give him pause or force him to reflect. It is a source of comfort and strength but not of wisdom."

 Religion should give us comfort and strength in dark times and Bush has exemplified that. But it should also give us the light of wisdom. We should be asking if such an action, like pre-emptive strikes, are in line with the Christian faith. Bush and many though not all of his evangelical followers are lacking in wisdom. Wisdom sometimes asks us to do things that are against coventional wisdom.

 The picture that is emerging about the dominant religion among many in the GOP is one that doesn't accept ambiguity, or critical thought. They see the world in black and white when there is a whole bunch of grey. They view God as a rather authoritarian God that blesses the good and damns the wicked instead of the God revealed in Christ who died for all of us sinners. The Religious Right has done a good job at articulating their social vision or lack thereof. Those of us, evangelical and mainline Christians, those of other faiths, must start articulating our social vision based on social justice.

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