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rodeodance Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-04-06 07:18 AM
Original message
On Bush's Religious ideology and its effects on Policy (4 articles)
Edited on Fri Aug-04-06 07:30 AM by rodeodance
A friend sent me this (entire 4 articles)--prob. some of which have been posted separately on DU?
Anyway, she did not send links but I am sure they can be found on the net. Together they bring the topic to focus.

Bush's fundamentalism seen as a decisive, negative factor in his policies
August 04, 2006

Former White House reporter Saul Friedman says that, for the first time in modern American history, a presidents religion is determining policies, and the press should do a better job reporting it.

By Saul Friedman

There is an alien influence, mostly unpublicized, running like an undercurrent beneath the Bush administration's Middle East policies. It may help explain George W. Bush's single-mindedness, his oblivious inability to face reality as his war in Iraq, his war against terror and his policies towards Arabs and Israeli have collapsed.

I say "alien," because I believe this to be the first time in modern American history that a president's religion, in this case his Christian fundamentalism, has become a decisive factor in his foreign and domestic policies. Its a factor that has been under-reported, to say the least, and that begs for press attention.

Bush, who says he reads the Bible daily, acknowledges his fundamentalist beliefs. Biblical and Middle East scholar Karen Armstrong writes in The Guardian, "Whatever Bush's personal beliefs, the ideology of the Christian right is both familiar and congenial to him. This strange amalgam of ideas can perhaps throw light on the behavior of a president who, it is said, believes God chose him to lead the world toward Rapture, who has little interest in social reform, and whose selective concern for life issues has now inspired him to veto important scientific research.

"It explains his unconditional support for Israel, his willingness to use 'Jewish End-Time warriors' to fulfill a vision of his own, arguably against Israel's best interest, and to see Syria and entirely responsible for the unfolding tragedy.".........

Saul Friedman, a 1963 Nieman fellow, is a former White House correspondent for Newsday and Knight Ridder newspapers and now writes a weekly column, Gray Matters, dealing with senior issues, for Newsday.

Bush's fondness for fundamentalism is courting disaster at home and abroad

Affinity with the Christian right has led to banning stem cell research and turning a blind eye to civilian deaths in Lebanon

Karen Armstrong
Monday July 31, 2006
The Guardian

From the very beginning, the conflict between religion and modern science was couched in extreme, even apocalyptic rhetoric. Thomas H Huxley, who popularised the Origin of Species, insisted that people had to choose between faith and science; there could be no compromise: "One or the other would have to succumb after a struggle of unknown duration." In response, conservative Christians launched a crusade against Darwinism. After the first world war, the Democratic politician William Jennings Bryan claimed that there was a direct link between evolutionary theory and German militarism: the notion that only the strong could or should survive had "laid the foundation for the bloodiest war in history. The same science that manufactured poisoned gases to suffocate soldiers is preaching that man has a brutal ancestry."

The struggle continues - nowhere more so than among the Christian right in the US, who still regard the evolutionary hypothesis as surrounded by a murderous nimbus of evil. In 1925, they tried to ban the teaching of evolution in public schools and developed creation science, based on a literal reading of the first chapter of Genesis. More recently, they have tried to introduce into the school curriculum the teaching of intelligent design (ID), which claims that the irreducible complexity of micro-organisms could not have evolved naturally but must be the result of a single creative act. The issue splits the nation down the middle: fundamentalists want to win a battle for God; liberals and secularists are fighting for truth and rationality.

The same passions are likely to be aroused by President Bush's decision last week to veto the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act, which would have loosened the restrictions on federal funding for stem cell research. "This bill would support the taking of innocent human life in the hope of finding medical benefits for others," Bush said. "It crosses a moral boundary that our decent society needs to respect."

His opponents point out that while the president zealously champions the rights of the unborn, he is less concerned about the plight of existing American children. The US infant mortality rate is only the 42nd best in the world; the average baby has a better chance of surviving in Havana or Beijing; infant mortality rates are unacceptably high among those who cannot afford adequate healthcare, especially in the African-American community. And, finally, at the same time as Bush decided to veto the stem cell bill, Israeli bombs were taking the lives of hundreds of innocent Lebanese civilians, many of them children, with the tacit approval of the US...........

Karen Armstrong is the author of The Battle for God: A History of Fundamentalism

Theocons and Theocrats

Kevin Phillips
posted April 13, 2006 (May 1, 2006 issue)

Is theocracy in the United States (1) a legitimate fear, as some liberals argue; (2) a joke, given the nation's rising secular population and moral laxity; (3) a worrisome bias of major GOP constituencies and pressure groups; or (4) all of the above? The last, I would argue.

The characteristics are not inconsistent. No large nation--no leading world power--could ever resemble theocracies like John Calvin's Geneva, Puritan Massachusetts or early Mormon Utah. These were all small polities produced by unusual migrations of true believers.

As a great power, a large heterogeneous nation like the United States goes about as far in a theocratic direction as it can when it meets the unfortunate criteria on display in George W. Bush's Washington: an elected leader who believes himself in some way to be speaking for God; a ruling party that represents religious true believers and seeks to mobilize the nation's churches; the conviction of many rank-and-file Republicans that government should be guided by religion and religious leaders; and White House implementation of domestic and international political agendas that seem to be driven by religious motivations and biblical worldviews.

As several chapters in American Theocracy make clear, this kind of religious excess has been a problem--indeed, a repeating Achilles' heel--of leading powers from late-stage Rome (historian Gibbon thus explained Roman decline and fall) to the militant Catholicism of Habsburg Spain and most recently the evangelical and moral imperialist Britain that saw 1914 as something of an Armageddon against the German Kaiser's Antichrist and wound up in 1917-18 crusading in the Middle East to liberate Jerusalem. But although this facet of historical decline constitutes a major caution regarding the future of the United States, this essay will concentrate on the domestic political aspects--the theocratic tendencies in the GOP and the notable "religification" of American politics across a spectrum from life and death to science and medicine to climate change and biblical creationism...............

The Faith of George W. Bush: Christian Supremacy, American Imperialism and Global Disaster

Yoginder Sikand The Faith of George W. Bush: Christian Supremacy, American Imperialism and Global Disaster -May 10, 2006

George Bushs personal commitment to and sympathy for Christian fundamentalism are well-known. Indeed, it is becoming increasingly clear that his foreign policies, as in Afghanistan, Iraq and now Iran, are powerfully shaped by the Christian fundamentalist agenda of global conquest for Christ and Capital. Christian fundamentalists believe that Christ alone is the way to salvation, and that the entire world must be brought to heel before him, by force if necessary. In the past, this pernicious doctrine was used to bless bloody Crusades and wars of imperial plunder. The doctrine serves exactly the same purpose today, although in a somewhat modified garb, as the bombing of Afghanistan, the destruction of Iraq and the possible American invasion of Iran clearly indicate. Although these acts are sought to be justified by America as a civilising mission or as part of its war on terror, the underlying white Christian supremacist vision behind American imperialism, a continuation of the logic of European colonialism, is unmistakable.

What, then, is the Christian fundamentalist vision that is driving Bush and his key advisors to world conquest, even if this could possibly mean destruction and chaos on a global and unprecedented scale? Stephen Mansfields recently published The Faith of George W. Bush , a hagiographic account of the American President, provides an interesting, yet deeply disturbing, account of Bushs personal commitment to Christian fundamentalism and its bearing on the policies of his administration. The books cover describes it, obviously exaggeratedly, as a national bestseller and quotes the Wall Street Journal as commending it as a story of spiritual awakening.

Mansfield would have us believe that Bush is almost a Christian saint or sorts, only a short step from being canonised. Referring to the enormous clout that Christian fundamentalism now enjoys in American decision-making circles, Mansfield writes with unconcealed glee that, More than any other presidency in recent years, George W. Bushs presidency is faith based. He has often said, Mansfield approvingly mentions, that faith saved his life, nurtured his family, established his political career and helped form the destiny of the nation. Bush, so Mansfield claims, incorporates his faith and belief in God into every detail of life <> The President relies upon his faith to direct his actions and goals. Mansfield does not conceal his delight at the growing influence of Christian fundamentalists in the corridors of power in Washington under Bushs seemingly benign patronage. In no previous administration, he says, has the White House hosted so many weekly Bible Studies and prayer meetings and never have religious leaders been more gratefully welcomed.

Bushs Christian commitment that Mansfield so fervently endorses is not the world-renouncing faith of a Christian hermit, overwhelmed with Christ-like love and passionate concern for the poor and the needy. Rather, it is a vengeful, hate-driven creed rooted in the notion of the triumphalist Church that desperately seeks to subjugate the entire world and expand the borders of Christendom till the ends of the earth. It is this vision of Christianity that informs the worldview of Bushs spiritual mentor, the American Christian fundamentalist and televangelist Billy Graham, at whose hands, Mansfield tells us, Bush experienced a re-conversion to Christ more than two decades ago. Mansfield approvingly tells us that Graham is driven by a visceral hatred of Islam, and quotes him as having declared that Islam is wicked, violent and not of the same God . It is entirely possible that Grahams deep-rooted Islamophobia has rubbed off on his disciple Bush as well. Grahams Christian fervour has certainly been instrumental in developing Bushs firm belief that Jesus is the only way to God, although Mansfield does admit that Bush has been hesitant to say this, adding that once when he did so to a Jewish reporter it ignited a powder keg of controversy. Mansfield also dwells at length on Bushs close bonding with other notorious American Christian fundamentalists, most notably Jerry Fawell and Pat Robertson, firm upholders of the doctrine that Christianity alone is the way to salvation and that all other religions are limited, false or even Satanic..........

edit: i cut the duplicates

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Ian David Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-04-06 07:33 AM
Response to Original message
1. See related thread: America's Roadmap to the Apocalypse
See related thread: Immanentizing The Eschaton: America's Roadmap to the Apocalypse
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rodeodance Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-04-06 08:00 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. thanks, I will check it out.
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Tellurian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-31-06 09:32 PM
Response to Original message
3. Query: How does this all square with the Apocalypse?
I am having a difficult time understanding why the Jews, who are the sacrificial lambs in all this, continue to go blindly into the annihilation of all the inhabitants of the Mid East? Why would Jews create the PNAC agreement in the first place...

Sorry for being so slow- but I'm having a hard time conceptualizing the logic of it all.
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roseBudd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-01-06 02:49 AM
Response to Reply #3
5. The jews go along because they benefit and because their faith tells them
the christians got it wrong and the jews are God's chosen people.
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Tellurian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-01-06 05:56 AM
Response to Reply #5
6. Thanks for the timely response..
Edited on Fri Sep-01-06 05:57 AM by Tellurian
side bar:

<I didn't think anyone would answer>...seeing this thread was three links away from former archivals.

Bush's fundamentalism seen as a decisive, negative factor in his policies

But the reality of Bush is he doesn't really believe in Christian Fundamentalism. He used their support to get elected, or rather his father suggested this was the way to go, if he wanted to make it into the WH. OK, I can accept the logic of using Evangelical support as a means to an end. Now, after reading the other two (archived) threads from whence this thread evolved. My next question is how will the Jews end up in the Concentration Camps scattered allover the US...Or, what will be the impetus to cause the forced incarceration of the Jews in Concentration camps?

There is a gap in there somewhere,I'm not understanding- sorry..
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ixion Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-01-06 06:01 AM
Response to Reply #3
8. also, it's a class thing, even though they won't admit it
they wealthy, no matter what country they hail from, are making out like bandits in all this hysteria.
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bobthedrummer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-31-06 10:33 PM
Response to Original message
4. Then there is BFEE's Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives
This was the first group that he "rewarded" after his administration was installed.

Jay F. Hein, a former Wisconsinite that had a lot of input into Tommy Thompson's Wisconsin Works W2 social welfare reform bill (which became the model for similar federal and international reforms) was quietly given the Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives directorship August 3rd.

Hein had been President of the Indianapolis based think tank Sagamore Institute for Policy Research.

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rodeodance Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-01-06 09:08 AM
Response to Reply #4
9. i recall Hein. umm.. so this is where he ended up.
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ixion Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-01-06 05:59 AM
Response to Original message
7. press report chimpenfurhers faux religion? Hell, they're encouraging it
enabling it.

It appears that the MSM AGREES with preznit chimpenfurher's religious Cult of Death.
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