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The nature of Bush's religion

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joxy

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Barliman Butterbur said:
....he believes God commanded him to be president.
"Commanded" is rather a strong word; did he actually use it?
If it was more of a matter of him seeking guidance in prayer as to whether he was a fit person to seek the office, I would consider that a perfectly normal thing for any person of faith to do, something highly commendable. Prayer is not answered with commands, but people of faith are capable of sensing a response, and gain from their prayer a mature and responsible ability to examine themselves and determine their own capabilities.
 

Barliman Butterbur

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joxy said:
"Commanded" is rather a strong word; did he actually use it?
This is my current understanding, subject to correction. I'm trying to hunt that down. If I can't find anything to that effect, I'll let you know.

Meantime, here's something for you to chew on:

"When the president lets God tell him what to do, it violates the spirit of democracy. In a democracy, it is the people, not God, who make the decisions. The president is supposed to represent the will of the people. Yes, he must seek the best advice he can get and use his own best judgment. That means relying on facts, intelligent analysis, and rational thought-not divine inspiration. Once the president lets God's voice replace the human mind, we are back in the Middle Ages, back in the very situation our revolution was supposed to get us out of.

"If Bush lets God make foreign policy decisions, is he violating not just the spirit but the letter of the law? The Constitution gives him the right to make foreign policy. It does not say what should or should not go through his mind in the process. It certainly does not forbid him from consulting God. But it does protect us from having any religious belief determine our laws and policies. Did Bush violate the First Amendment's separation of church and state? The answer is not totally clear." [Emphasis mine]

Details at: http://www.commondreams.org/views03/0630-04.htm

What I emphasized puts its finger on what I consider to be one of this president's most dangerous policies: subverting secular laws and policies meant for the benefit of everyone to favor a particular religion at the expense of everyone else.

EDIT: Joxy, thanks for keeping me on my toes! The word "command" was not used. Here is the exact quote:

"Bush said to James Robinson: 'I feel like God wants me to run for President. I can't explain it, but I sense my country is going to need me. Something is going to happen... I know it won't be easy on me or my family, but God wants me to do it.'"

Full details at: http://www.guardian.co.uk/religion/Story/0,2763,1076027,00.html

And again (quoting Richard Land in the PBS Front Line Series "The Jesus Factor"):

"I will tell you this: The day he was inaugurated for his second term as governor in 1999, there were several of us who met with him at the governor's mansion. Among the things he said to us was — and this goes back to my Lincoln analogy — he said, "I believe that God wants me to be president."

Source: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/jesus/interviews/land.html

As far as I'm concerned if I "felt like" God wanted me to do something, I'd sure take it as a command. And if I felt like that, there would be a lot of people in white coats coming for me, and classifying me as suffering from a disorder known as delusions of grandeur — not the sort of person I'd want in the White House with the power to launch a pre-emptive war!

Barley
 
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joxy

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Barliman Butterbur said:
The president is supposed to represent the will of the people.
Is that correct? Does it have a foundation in law?
Here, members of parliament, once elected, need not, and often should not, represent the will of "the people".

The remarks garnered from Mr Bush call for some consideration, some weighing up. He certainly says some odd things.
 

Barliman Butterbur

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joxy said:
Is that correct? Does it [that the American president represent the will of the people] have a foundation in law?
Here, members of parliament, once elected, need not, and often should not, represent the will of "the people".

The remarks garnered from Mr Bush call for some consideration, some weighing up. He certainly says some odd things.
"Presidency of the United States of America
Encyclopædia Britannica Article

Duties of the office

The Constitution succinctly defines presidential functions, powers, and responsibilities. The president's chief duty is to make sure that the laws are faithfully executed, and this duty is performed through an elaborate system of executive agencies that includes cabinet-level departments."

The excerpt above is taken from a full article in the Encyclopedia Brittanica: http://www.britannica.com/eb/article?tocId=231541

The ultimate point: any American president is elected by and is beholden to the will of the people as expressed by their elected representatives in the congress, etc. He is responsible to their wishes in that sense, not primarily to what he thinks any religion's God wants him to do. That is to place himself above the law. And the argument that he is responsible to "a higher law" just doesn't wash. That is opening the door to lawlessness, and a terrifying "anything goes" policy. We want a president answerable to and if necessary removable by, the people — not a Roman Emperor with divine or otherwise godlike powers to make any decision at all and run roughshod over the laws of the land, twisting them and changing them to suit his personal agendas and the agendas of his cronies. I think you get what I'm driving at: that's pretty much what we have now, and the whole world is suffering because of it.

Barley
 

joxy

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I think there is a possibility that my scepticism over the idea of Bush seeing himself in the role of one of the horsemen of the Apocalypse has been apparent here, though I have certainly expressed my opinion that Revelations is a less agreeable work of poetry than Genesis. I was surprised to find in The Daily Telegraph, a newspaper much to be preferred for accuracy and common sense, in my opinion of course, to the more frequently quoted Guardian, an article which goes some way towards establishing that Bush is indeed looking to play a prominent role in Armageddon. The article shares my feelings about the value of St John the Divine's writings, but makes a very interesting point that they are actually regardly highly in Islam, and that Islam shares their prophetic visions. I have e-mailed an opticially recognised scan of the article to BB, and would repeat it for anyone else interested.
 

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I actually didn't get into this discussion because I wanted to defend the faith of our president. I just feel there is a great misunderstanding of evangelicals, of which I am one and most of my friends are (I think Baptist is one of the many denominations lumped into Evangelical, but I could be wrong. I'm very lousy with labels generally). I think that the press missunderstands them greatly and sort of views them from a skeptical distance. I have noticed this in the religion section of my local paper. I think it was the A.P. that recently laid off their religion-correspondant and decided not to cover such issues seperately anymore.

Just for the record, and I'm very sorry to diverge from Elgee on this one, I do not "insist on a literal interpretation of the Book of Revelation and of the entire gospels";
I'm simply curious why that would be a bad thing to do. For one thing, I don't take Revelation "literarly" because it is obviously written in very vague terms. All prophecies are. Read Isiaih.

A lot of my friends say Revelations is their favorite book of the Bible. I think this is because it is the book of the Bible that is the hardest to understand and no one knows for sure what they are talking about and it is a lot of fun to speculate. . .which is one of the reasons that when most people say they believe the second coming will occur as predicted their prophet of choice is not St. John by Jerry B. Jenkins or Tim LaHaye.

So I am curious about what Joxy means that he doesn't take it literally? Does he not think the world will eventually end or that there will be a second coming?

Now, as for people assuming Iraq is part of the war of the Apocolypse, I think you will find that this sort of thinking has been going around for ages. Everytime there is an earth quake or a war people automatically think to "For nation will rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of sorrows." (Matthew 24:7-8)

If you read on it talks about people being persecuted for their faith and such.

Now how many times have all the things listed happened? Famines have been a part of history. Earthquakes, undoubtably. Pestilence, of course.

And every time they do, Christians look at the sky and say, "Gosh, is this it?" We do our best to predict it despite Christ's "But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only." (Matt. 24:36).

The last four years have been eventful. My grandmother, who has expected the end of the world since 1977 or so (Cold war, Nuclear Holocost sort of thing at first, I'm sure), is forever pointing out how what is happening meets the criteria. She was doing this in Clinton's presidency because there is a prophecy somewhere (I don't know the verse or the exact phrasing) that says "Things that were once hidden will be shouted from the rooftop."

Her logic was that the president's affair was something that once would've been hidden and when she thought about how we now have satalite TV that comes from dishes on the roof top. . .Must be the end times.

We have grandma on tape telling us that it was useless video taping family gatherings for prosterity because the world could end and if it did there would be no prosterity. This was in 1987.

When 9-11 came it seemed to fit a TON of Biblical prophecies. There is one somewhere that says something about ships out at sea watching towers burning. When Billy Graham gave the prayer at a memorial it was broadcast all over the world, which according to my grandmother fulfilled that every nation and tongue would hear the good news before the end. I think all Americans were expecting another catastrophe and for awhile it looked as if we were going to have one after another after another. There were thousands of internet scares (Klugerman virus, anyone?), some numbskull teenager trying to put a smiley face on the map with mail box bombs, and anthrax. My grandma thought the world was going to end right then and there.

She doesn't now. I sort of range panic by how much my grandmother is reacting to something because she tends to get wound up. Not just politically or religiously. If you want to name anything she can get excited and worried about it (Like my mom possibly having an Ulcer or some ingredient in something or other causing cancer. . .she just needs something to fret about). I truthfully haven't heard her mention aN end times prophecy in two years.
However, a lot of your points (Barli) on Armegeddon, I haven't really heard before or can't really see how they are derived from Revelations. The bit about the Jews converting or burning, for instance? I was always under the impression that it was a Christian theological point that the forces of evil are forever trying to wipe out the Jews but they will not succeed and the Jews will be provided for on the last days because they are held in God's hand. I may have just gotten this from my grandmother who keeps trying to find out whether my family has Jewish blood or not because she thinks Judaism is "cool" for lack of a better word. I have inherited quite a bit from her.

My own take, as an evangelical, is that Christ will return and the world will end and bad things will happen before he does, but bad things have always happened, and it is useless to speculate.

That seems to be the way most Evangelicals live.

Also, seeing that the laws are executed does not mean following the will of the people. It can mean exactly the opposite at times.
 

Barliman Butterbur

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HLGStrider said:
However, a lot of your points (Barli) on Armegeddon, I haven't really heard before or can't really see how they are derived from Revelations. The bit about the Jews converting or burning, for instance? I was always under the impression that it was a Christian theological point that the forces of evil are forever trying to wipe out the Jews but they will not succeed and the Jews will be provided for on the last days because they are held in God's hand. I may have just gotten this from my grandmother who keeps trying to find out whether my family has Jewish blood or not because she thinks Judaism is "cool" for lack of a better word. I have inherited quite a bit from her.
Truth to tell, LG, I haven't heard of them either until recently.

What I want to point up is simply this: we act on what we believe, whether our beliefs are true or false or right or wrong. When we believe with all our hearts something that is in fact objectively not the case, then that can be a cause for disaster.

I think your grandma has created a lot of needless heartache and unhappiness and fear for herself over the years trying to jam reality into her belief system — it's a shame. But it's no different from anyone believing anything that is in fact not the case, and experiencing needless suffering as a result.

What concerns me is when many people share a belief that is in fact, at least to me, nothing more than a fable — a dangerous one if one believes in it enough to act on it. What concerns me is when many people in power believe in fallacies — secular or religious — and try to force reality to fit the fantasy and in so doing take the whole world down a destructive path. That's my take on neoconservatism and that's my take on the tenets of evangelical Christianity. That these two beliefs got linked together in the destructive synergy that is in play at the moment scares the hell out of me.

Barley
 

Ciryaher

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What I want to point up is simply this: we act on what we believe, whether our beliefs are true or false or right or wrong. When we believe with all our hearts something that is in fact objectively not the case, then that can be a cause for disaster.
So if someone actually believes something--anything--that cannot be proven "objectively", they are a liability? I guess that's why you like Kerry, because he doesn't know where he stands, from where I'm looking.

I don't question Bush's faith. In fact, all things aside, that's what I like most about him, long before anything else. His faith is something I respect, and the fact that he doesn't cast it aside for popularity or sweep it under a rug or throw it to the wind is refreshing to me in modern-day politics. It's ironic that our previous President's "christianity" is not questioned, despite the fact that he committed adultery, and yet we get a President who actually holds to his beliefs, and he is criticized. It's no wonder I'm rapidly losing faith in this nation.

And since someone mentioned the "evangelical" beliefs regarding Islam...there is a strong group of Christians (and I am one of them) that Muslims would consider to be "Zionists" (and I acquired that knowledge from my Egyptian friend, Osama). These "Zionists" believe in the utter invincibility of the nation of Israel following its prophesized reformation following WW2 and that all nations will eventually turn against Israel only to be defeated because the Jews are God's People and they cannot fall. It's strange to think that there are Christians that hold the Jews in such high regard, but it's very much true. I think that I am relatively rare in that I also hold the Muslims in high regard as well...but that's a subject for a different topic.
 

joxy

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HLGStrider said:
I'm simply curious why that would be a bad thing to do. For one thing, I don't take Revelation "literarly" because it is obviously written in very vague terms.
In response to a quotation: "They also insist on a literal interpretation of the Book of Revelation and of the entire gospels." your concise reply was "I do", and that was why I offered my note of regret when expressing the opposite opinion. I made no reference to anything being "bad".
To express my opinion as concisely as possible: I do believe in "the second coming", but not in the apparatus described by St John the Divine as being the method by which it will be brought about.
 

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joxy said:
In response to a quotation: "They also insist on a literal interpretation of the Book of Revelation and of the entire gospels." your concise reply was "I do", and that was why I offered my note of regret when expressing the opposite opinion. I made no reference to anything being "bad".
To express my opinion as concisely as possible: I do believe in "the second coming", but not in the apparatus described by St John the Divine as being the method by which it will be brought about.
Thank you, Jox. That makes sense.

However, the people who were quoted seemed to say it was a bad thing, and I would like some good reasons why (If we can leave out the bits about Jews burning and such which, truthfully, must be a very fringe amount of Evangelicals because I have always noted Evangelicals being closer to the views Cir was refering to as Zionistic.).

If one believes Evangelicalism is a bad thing then one believes a large amount of the Christian community is engaged in a religion that will have bad results and I would like some proof. Most of my acquaintances are Evangelicals, as I have said, and I see no harm in them. . .and little in me;).

I think your grandma has created a lot of needless heartache and unhappiness and fear for herself over the years trying to jam reality into her belief system — it's a shame. But it's no different from anyone believing anything that is in fact not the case, and experiencing needless suffering as a result.
Then you would be wrong. My grandmother is the worrying sort but also the sort who lives her life despite the worry. She may be convinced the world will end soon, but she still added on a porch, an upper story, and a garage to her house in that time. (She used to design houses professionally and whenever she gets bored she puts in an addition). A lot of Christians I know believe the second coming is going to be soon. It doesn't really determine how they live their lives from day to day. They never sit down to wait and they never worry about it because to them it is a good thing. It's a lot like waiting for true love.

You know how that is, I'm sure, being older than me and married and all.

Love comes when it comes. You live your life and hope for it and want it, but you don't quit college or your job to go searching for it. You just wait and then one day the one you love walks into your life and you embrace her.

That's a lot like what it is like for evangelicals. God gave us a beautiful world and the ability to lead wonderful lives. We know that someday he will return to take us to a better world. Just like a single man with a good life who knows he will be happier when he meets the woman he will someday love but doesn't sit down and mope because she hasn't come yet but goes on with the life he has until then, and is possibly very happy in it.

Christians aren't called the Bride of Christ for nothing. We're waiting for our lover to arrive and until then we are keeping busy.

Grandma is the ultimate example of this. She waits frantically and jumps on every possible sign that it is coming. However, she is a bit like a girl who gets carried away day dreaming about it. . .like how I am about getting married.

I know that I will someday meet a man and have my mutual love affair-marriage I have always dreamed of. Most of the girls I know have this hope/belief/dream. However, most of them are quite content to go to college until then and aren't really looking for true love at this point. I, on the other hand, am eying every man I see in between the ages of 19 and 30 with keen interest and pulling petals off daisies to see if they love me or love me not.

Am I causing myself harm? Well, I could be wasting my time, but I like my dreams, and I will keep them.

It's very similar.

Now, my grandma does get herself worked up at times. You can't stop a person from being a worrier. I don't think that her beliefs about the second coming have caused her heart ache or fear. Her beliefs involving cancer have. Her beliefs involving my mother's "ulcers" which turned out to be heart burn did. The second coming, no, that just keeps her dreaming about one day meeting her groom.

Which is exactly what I mean when I say that a lot of people don't understand Evangelicals. I think what a lot of the press thinks about when they hear about a group waiting for their Saviour to return is one of those mass suicide groups. I truly believe it will happen. I don't know when. All I know is that I am going to keep my heart prepared and take what wonderful things God has given me in this life and live them to the fullest. . .because another thing Evangelicals (and all Christians) believe is that they will be called before the throne after the Second coming to account for what they have done with their life. . .and if they spent their entire life watching the sky with a telescope they won't have done much.

What concerns me is when many people share a belief that is in fact, at least to me, nothing more than a fable — a dangerous one if one believes in it enough to act on it.
Show me how my belief is dangerous. I just outlined it above. That is the belief of the mainstream Evangelical, and I believe that of the president.

Fable is a strong word, even when dampened by "at least to me." It's like saying "It is scary when people believe something that is a lie, at least to me."

At least to me has no meaning. It is either a fable or it is not. It is either a lie or it is not.

What concerns me is when many people in power believe in fallacies — secular or religious — and try to force reality to fit the fantasy and in so doing take the whole world down a destructive path.
Again, strong, unfounded words. You can't prove that it is a fallacy. I sincerely doubt you can prove the path is destructive, anymore than I think you will be able to prove that Bush went to war because of these beliefs (And also for Oil and also for revenge because Sadaam tried to kill his father and also because he hates Arabs and also because. . .).

That's my take on neoconservatism and that's my take on the tenets of evangelical Christianity. That these two beliefs got linked together in the destructive synergy that is in play at the moment scares the hell out of me.
Most people are scared of things they don't understand, and it is very obvious you don't understand Evangelical Christianity. I would hazard to say you don't understand the non-Evangelical brand either, just from other discussions with you. Coming from the inside of it, I haven't heard any plans for us to destroy the world just yet but maybe I haven't been let in on them by the grand Poohbah yet.
 

Valandil

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I don't see the point to this thread at all. Evangelical Christianity is widely diverse. I (and my church) believe some of what is indicated, but not all. There is even much disagreement (and allowance for such disagreement) within my church on the finer points. We CERTAINLY reach different conclusions on appropriate actions and behavior, two terms mentioned early by BB.

To take one set of very extreme subset of views on these matters and attribute them to President Bush simply because he claims to be an Evangelical Christian is GROSSLY oversimplistic.

You've only scratched the surface of a very complicated set of beliefs. You'd need to do a lot more research to fully understand it, including a great deal of study from the Bible.

We Christians learn to live by faith... and we learn to let God work, not to try to step in and take over His Work for Him. We who believe that Christ will return one day (it's certainly a Biblical teaching) come to understand that you can't pin a date on it... that it may be tomorrow or it may not be for another thousand years or more. We learn to 'live in such a way as though Christ could return each day, but to plan as though we'll live out our lives without seeing His return.'. :)
 

Barliman Butterbur

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Valandil said:
I don't see the point to this thread at all. Evangelical Christianity is widely diverse. I (and my church) believe some of what is indicated, but not all. There is even much disagreement (and allowance for such disagreement) within my church on the finer points. We CERTAINLY reach different conclusions on appropriate actions and behavior, two terms mentioned early by BB.

To take one set of very extreme subset of views on these matters and attribute them to President Bush simply because he claims to be an Evangelical Christian is GROSSLY oversimplistic.

You've only scratched the surface of a very complicated set of beliefs. You'd need to do a lot more research to fully understand it, including a great deal of study from the Bible.

...
Thanks for your post, Valandil! I think another voice was sorely needed here.

I was watching C-SPAN last night, listening to Al Gore give a blistering speech at the Georgetown University School of Law about the Bush administration's dishonesty and incompetence ("We have a rarity in American history," he said, "An administration that is at the same time both dishonest and incompetant"), and the catastrophes in for us all if Bush is re-elected (because of the promise of more of the same). But the thing that Gore said that struck me most in the light of these threads about evangelical Christianity is, that Bush is a religious poseur, wearing the mask of a Christian evangelical in order to persuade real evangelical Christians to go down his path and follow his policies. Why? Because Karl Rove and the gang understand that there are enough of them to push Bush over the top and get him re-elected.

This idea outrages some of those who have posted to these threads, because they believe that Bush really is who he claims to be: a true Christian. Considering what he has done: gone into Iraq with NO plan whatsoever for war's end, resulting in needless death and destruction everywhere; tilting the entire economy to favor the well-heeled and big business, it is clear to me at least that he is not a true man of God no matter what he says.

I would hate to think that evangelical Christianity is peopled solely (or at all!) by the likes of Bush, Ashcroft, and DeLay.

Here are excerpts from Associated Press and Reuters reports:

===============================

Oct 18, 9:27 PM EDT

Gore: Bush Deceived Public on Iraq

By SAM HANANEL
Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Al Gore on Monday accused President Bush of intentionally deceiving the public about the reasons for invading Iraq and said he is so ideologically driven that he refuses to admit - or even learn from - his mistakes.

"It is beyond incompetence - it is recklessness that risks the safety and security of the American people," the former vice president said during a speech at Georgetown University.

Gore, the Democratic presidential nominee in 2000 and loser of that bitterly contested election, complained that Bush's refusal to budge from "a rigid, right-wing ideology" has led him to forbid any dissent and ignore warnings that may conflict with his assumptions about Iraq, tax cuts and other policy issues.

"He is arrogantly out of touch with reality," Gore said. "He refuses to ever admit mistakes. Which means that so long as he is our president, we are doomed to repeat them."...

Gore touched on many topics, but saved his sharpest critique for Bush's Iraq policies. He said evidence from the 9/11 commission and other reports shows the invasion of Iraq was Bush's first choice rather than his last.

Worst of all, Gore said, was that Bush and his Cabinet purposely created the false impression that Saddam Hussein was linked to the al-Qaida terrorist network and that the Iraqi leader was somehow to blame for the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks - a notion that 70 percent of the public once believed, according to polls.

"This was not an unfortunate misreading of the available evidence, causing a mistaken linkage between Iraq and al-Qaida," Gore said. "This was something else - a willful choice to make a specific linkage whether evidence existed or not."...

===============================

Bush Governs from "Love of Power"

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Bush governs from a "love of power" and right-wing ideology rather than religious beliefs, and he has yet to hold anyone in his administration accountable for mistakes, former Vice President Al Gore said on Monday...

"I'm convinced that most of the president's frequent departures from fact-based analysis have much more to do with right-wing political and economic ideology than with the Bible," Gore said in a speech at Georgetown University.

"It is love of power for its own sake that is the original sin of this presidency," he said.

He painted the Bush administration and its "right-wing" supporters as pursuing policies for the wealthy and powerful at the expense of the rest of the country.

"The essential cruelty of Bush's game is that he takes an astonishingly selfish and greedy collection of economic and political proposals and then cloaks them with a phony moral authority, thus misleading many Americans ... who have a deep and genuine desire to do good in the world," Gore said.

"And in the process, he convinces them to lend unquestioning support for proposals that actually hurt their families and their communities," he said.

"Truly, President Bush has stolen the symbolism and body language of religion and used it to disguise the most radical effort in American history to take what rightfully belongs to the American people and give as much of it as possible to the already wealthy and privileged," he said...

===============================

Gore also brought out that there are more and more Republicans speaking out in dismay and outrage about where Bush and his minions have taken the Republican party.

He also brought out how the GOP uses intimidation against those it sees as its enemies, and engages in total denial and dismissal when confronted with facts that fly in the face of its neoconservative and power-lusting ideology.

A real Republican is one who is fiscally and morally responsible. The GOP has been co-opted by a bunch of immoral thugs, and has bamboozled millions of good honest Americans to go along with them.

However it goes, eventually the undeniable truth will out. I just hope not too late.

Barley
 
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Valandil

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Thank you Barliman... I appreciate your answer! :)

Oh yes - I'm not totally thrilled by every Republican who makes a claim to Christianity... and have long thought that the party is widely taking Evangelical Christianity 'for a ride'. Just looking at the Supreme Court appointments under Reagan and Bush Sr. (the main reason Christians were widely recruited by the Republicans beginning in 1980) - they're a mixed bag - NOT a group that will stand up for the 3,800 innocent Americans killed every day by abortion (800 more innocent Americans EVERY day than al Queida killed in a SINGLE day!). There's also the cynicism exhibited by former Governor Ryan here in Illinois toward the Christian segment of the Republican party - and the outright opposition to some issues held dear by Christians among other party leaders (both in Illinois and across our country).

But *sigh* what can we do? At least they give lip-service to abortion. Let me tell you, if the Republicans and Democrats switched sides on the abortion issue, I'd cross-over immediately! In fact, that's how things were in the 1960's, I believe - and many prominent Democrats who are now pro-choice were initially pro-life (including Sen Kennedy and Jesse Jackson, I believe). However, they seem to have done what was politically expedient themselves. (EDIT: and in 1998, I voted for (Glenn?) Poshard, a pro-life Democrat, for governor here in Illinois. He was widely abandoned by his party over the issue, although he had spent his political life supporting those of the party with whom he disagreed - and Ryan, also ostensibly pro-life, was narrowly elected. I chose Poshard over Ryan because I thought his pro-life convictions ran deeper (and indeed - after his election Ryan reversed himself) and because I 'smelled a rat' - and sure enough, all kinds of scandals surfaced shortly after his election and Ryan was an ineffective one-termer, likely to soon face criminal charges).

Iraq - hard to say, and a very complicated issue.

George Bush Jr - I don't know him personally, so also hard to say.

Al Gore - hardly an impartial commentator.
 

Barliman Butterbur

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Valandil said:
Thank you Barliman... I appreciate your answer! :)
You must understand: I am just as infuriated by Bush's tactic of masquerading as a man of God and taking evangelical Christianity "for a ride" as you put it, as I am at the things he has done (a needless war that has deprived thousands of families of their beloved children; alienating us from our allies and squandering our political capital; damaging the economy; running up the biggest debt in history). You cannot imagine my frustration at the success the right wing has had in convincing good people that they are the answer to the country's problems — the very ones that they created! That he has fooled so many good people just makes me beside myself.

Someone PM'd me the other day asking why I put up so many "anti-Bush" posts. The reason is simply that I want to punch through the right-wing lies and ideological rhetoric with some truth. Of course this means nothing to those who believe what the Bush administration is putting out.

You mentioned that Al Gore is hardly impartial — neither am I, neither are you, and neither is anyone with a strong point of view. Does that mean that because Gore is espousing a strong view that it's all lies? Do we not examine what he says for the truth of it?

As for the abortion issue — that goes beyond politics. It is a moral issue that belongs to everyone.

I suppose I should make my own take on abortion known. I believe that if the mother's life is threatened by the pregnancy she should have that option, as well as should she have been made pregnant by a rapist. I think that to outlaw it altogether is knee-jerk doctrinaire, heartless and cruel. I also believe that if an ultrasound shows that she will give birth to a monster (this is the technical term for a grossly physically/mentally deformed fetus) whose life will be a psychological and financial misery for itself and its parents, abortion should be an option. We can go round and round about that; I'm not willing to debate it, that's just what I believe.

But my main point is: Bush is a liar and a powermonger: he is out for his rich pals at the expense of the rest of us, and one of these days — too late, methinks — even the most diehard of his supporters will finally see that he has endangered the country and the world with his disastrous policies and his appalling mindset. And if gets re-elected there will be four more years of his insanity.

Barley
 

joxy

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As I understand it these people who have hi-jacked the word "evangelical" are never going to vote Democrat anyway, so Mr Gore was hardly making a "blistering" point when he said that they will persuaded, by the wilder religious claims from or about Mr Bush, to push him over the top - they surely don't need any persuading beyond the fact that he is a Republican!

On the other hand, to Valandil, you say "To take one set of very extreme subset of views on these matters and attribute them to President Bush simply because he claims to be an Evangelical Christian is GROSSLY oversimplistic.", but the point that is being made here is that it is apparently well-known that Bush does have extraordinary extreme views, along the lines that he is due any day now for an active role in Armageddon! If the point is correct, and substantial suppport has been given for it in the form of links to a selection of wild web sites, then there is surely something to worry about in terms of his current situation of leadership, and its possible continuation after the election.
 

Valandil

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joxy said:
... but the point that is being made here is that it is apparently well-known that Bush does have extraordinary extreme views, along the lines that he is due any day now for an active role in Armageddon! If the point is correct, and substantial suppport has been given for it in the form of links to a selection of wild web sites, then there is surely something to worry about in terms of his current situation of leadership, and its possible continuation after the election.
Those particular web sites seem to have an anti-Bush bias... and IMO would tend to highlight or exaggerate the most extreme and *dangerous* sounding things.

Kinda like saying, 'Every Muslim is a terrorist.' It's ludicrous.
 

Valandil

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Barliman Butterbur said:
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As for the abortion issue — that goes beyond politics. It is a moral issue that belongs to everyone.
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Yes - but politics sure has put its arms around the issue, hasn't it? ;) :p
 

joxy

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Well of course the sites show a bias; they show a lot more than bias; their only reason for existence is to express opposition for Bush, with or without genuine grounds for that opposition.
I was surprised at their content, and I'm far from convinced that it has any truth in it at all, but people here seem to believe it.

Regarding the far more important topic, of abortion, is the figure of 800 killlings every day really accurate?
If so, I am horrified, and I appeal to everyone here who expresses horror at equally vile, but less numerous, atrocities, to divert some of their thought to how this terrible situation came about, and then some of their energy to how it can be ended.
 
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Valandil

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joxy said:
...Regarding the far more important topic, of abortion, is the figure of 800 killlings every day really accurate?...
No... 3,800 each day - in America alone (I was saying that was 800 more than those killed by terrorists on September 11, 2001 - which was right about 3,000). One million, four hundred thousand every year for almost the past 32 years. You do the math.
 

joxy

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Thank you and my sincere apologies for taking the wrong figure.
That statistic has to be by far the most horrific that has ever been calculated and reported in the history of humanity.
It shames the very word "humanity".
After that - and while it continues - we deserve Armageddon!
 
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