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The nature of Bush's religion

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joxy

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A couple of thoughts from my safe vantage point well away from all the heat and fervour!

First, there's this word "evangelical". I've been surprised to find that in the US it has had its meaning transformed in order to become a convenient label for people who have the sort of ideas that have been extensively explained here. It started out with the simple purpose of expressing the duty, and privilege, all Christians have: to spread the "good news". So, every Christian is evangelical. Then it became more specialised, referring to people who "believe that each individual has a need for spiritual rebirth and personal commitment" and who "emphasize strict orthodoxy on cardinal doctrines <and> morals" (Encarta 2005). Again every Christian should qualify for the description. However Encarta goes on to tell us that "the term Evangelicalism has been a source of controversy", and that the "distinction between Evangelicalism and Fundamentalism has been disputed", while "liberal protestants often oppose the use of Evangelical to refer only to the strict traditionalists." This conservative catholic shares the latter opinion!
As a result BB can confidently write "not all Christians are evangelical, nor do I believe that the evangelicals represent mainline Christianity", which in the literal sense is a contradiction in terms, yet in the context of these debates makes perfect sense!
We seem happy enough using the term "fundamentalist" with regard to Islam; it would have been much better to use it, or an alternative such as "extremist", for these people, but I am afraid it is much too late for that. I shall never use the new meaning, and I will always find its use jarring as I do in that reference, but it's obviously here to stay!

Then there is the brief comment :"the truth will come out about George Bush — just as it did about Nixon". The truth comes out about everyone, BB, from Washington through Lincoln to F D Roosevelt and Kennedy; from Wellington through Disraeli to Churchill and Wilson. They were all human, and necessarily were all subject to error, from time to time.
 

Barliman Butterbur

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joxy said:
A couple of thoughts from my safe vantage point well away from all the heat and fervour!
Uh-huh!:D

And, thanks for that fascinating disquisition on various terms used within Christianity in Christian circles.:)

...there is the brief comment :"the truth will come out about George Bush — just as it did about Nixon". The truth comes out about everyone, BB... They were all human, and necessarily were all subject to error, from time to time.
Certainly so! And — there is error — and then there is egregious error...

Barley
 

Galdor

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e•van•gel•i•cal ( P ) Pronunciation Key (vn-jl-kl, vn-) also e•van•gel•ic (-jlk)
adj.
Of, relating to, or in accordance with the Christian gospel, especially one of the four gospel books of the New Testament.
Evangelical Of, relating to, or being a Protestant church that founds its teaching on the gospel.
Evangelical Of, relating to, or being a Christian church believing in the sole authority and inerrancy of the Bible, in salvation only through regeneration, and in a spiritually transformed personal life.
Evangelical
Of or relating to the Lutheran churches in Germany and Switzerland.
Of or relating to all Protestant churches in Germany.
Of or relating to the group in the Church of England that stresses personal conversion and salvation by faith.
Characterized by ardent or crusading enthusiasm; zealous: an evangelical liberal.
Emphasis added...

I hope this clears things up a little on the word "evangelical." While historically the word may have had other meanings such as Joxy pointed out, today the word today generally refers to such people as to whom hold the point in bold.


We seem happy enough using the term "fundamentalist" with regard to Islam; it would have been much better to use it, or an alternative such as "extremist", for these people, but I am afraid it is much too late for that.
No offence to you, or any Muslims who may be on this board, but have you ever actually studied the religion of Islam? If one does, you will find numerous references in Quaran and other holy writings that speak of killing the "infidel" or abstaining from any sort of fellowship with the "Christian." It is a much contested fact in and out of Islam whether such men as Bin Laden, are "extremist" or actually "fundamentalist." But that I presume is a discussion for another time, and perhaps ill-suited for this forum.
 

Barliman Butterbur

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Even Dubya's Relatives are voting for Kerry!

Jeanny House (Wisconsin): I'm voting for John Kerry because I'm a Christian. I know that my second cousin, George Bush, claims that he is the anointed leader of the American people and that God told him to run for office. I believe he may even believe that. I don't.

My Christian faith leads me to a concern for the poor and the marginalized, yet Bush's actions in office have repeatedly cut funding for health care, aid to failing schools, jobs programs, after school programs, Head Start, and many more services that provide real help and hope to those living in poverty. Under the Bush administration, over a million additional people have dropped below the poverty line. 1.2 million more have gone into "deep poverty," which is one-half the $18,810 for a family of four that defines "poverty."

My Christian faith leads me to a concern for the health and welfare of all of God's people, yet 45 million people in this country have no health insurance. The Bush administration, working hard to protect the interests of large, rich insurance companies, has done nothing to address the real health care crisis.

My Christian faith tells me the peacemakers are the blessed ones, yet George Bush wants to resurrect the Crusades, one of the most shameful experiences in Christian history. I fail to understand how lying to the people of the United States about any of the many justifications they have used for going to war in Iraq can be considered in any way, shape, or form a remotely Christian activity. Yes, Jesus once said, "I come not to bring peace, but a sword." He was talking about liberating his OWN people from within, not invading an oil-rich country out of purely selfish motives, then claiming it was for the liberation of others. The only true liberation comes when the oppressed claim it for themselves. This is something George Bush and his Imperialist cabal will never understand.

My Christian faith moves toward greater inclusiveness and acceptance, George Bush moves toward punishment, division, and exclusion. My Christian faith seeks to bring people into the circle of decision-making, George Bush seeks to keep them out. My Christian faith seeks to afford equal rights and responsibilities to all, George Bush seeks to reserve more rights for the privileged few.

My Christian faith is not looking for a new Messiah named George Bush.

I am, however, looking for a leader. I believe that leader's name is John Kerry.

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

This and much more at http://www.bushrelativesforkerry.com/pages/1/index.htm

Barley
 

HLGStrider

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I believe that such a man — a believing Christian (OR Buddhist OR Jew OR Muslim OR Hindu OR secular humanist) — would not trash the economy and take the military into harm's way without listening to his counselors. Does not Christianity promote doing good and not harm?
Yes. It does. But I don't believe Bush has trashed the economy. I think the economy was trashing itself when he got it and that he did his best to fix it with tax cuts. I also don't believe the economy is the government's job and believe that if the government took its hands totally off the economy the economy would eventually benefit, so when someone says "job loss" is their reason for not voting for a politician I think, "Isn't it ashame that we live in a society where job loss is perceived to be a governmental responsibility." So I doubt we find common ground.

What do you mean by ideological?
I mean pretaining to a system of beliefs, in this case political, though it can also refer beliefs on any other subject.

Having philosophical discussions about Iraq, or oursourced jobs or rising drug prices is inappropriate. It accomplishes nothing. What you call a "rant," I call a real concern.
Why is it inappropriate? If you mean in this thread, I agree. It is off topic and I was pointing that out to you a few posts ago.
Your concerns really accomplish nothing either. A debate might accomplish something in the way of each of us airing out his or her side and comparing them and testing them for logic, but stating concerns doesn't even do that. It's like saying, "I'm worried about my fish and I think he is sick because of bad water." Concern stated. Nothing accomplished. However a discusion that goes "Are you sure it is his water? What leads you to believe that? I think it is his food because of. .." might accomplish something.

In that case then, it appears that Bush needs much more guidance than Christianity can give him, but he has not taken any.
Meaning he has not taken any you agree with. My brother's history teacher used to talk with Rice, who you seem to think Bush listens to too much as opposed to other people, (he was an advisor to the Pentagon) and he was complaining that Bush didn't listen to Rice enough, actually. He liked Rice. Said she was extremely smart though the Pro. disagrees with Bush violently in a lot of ways (I'm not in his class so this is second hand).

How about "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you"? I am not being facetious: Bush is ignoring basic morality and decency, the kind that appears in all religions and ethical philosophies.
This applies to the company owners, but does it apply to Bush?

To stop outsourcing, Bush would have to make laws that would force the companies not to. The Bible doesn't say 'Force others to do onto others what you would do onto them."

And that is why the Bible can't clearly guide politics.

Elgee — with respect — anyone running America is legitimately open to inspection from every angle imaginable. The fate of the country and the world depend on it.
That doesn't mean the inspection is necessarily fair, and what you are suggesting isn't. Yes, we can inspect on every level and doubt and question on every level. We can make whatever accusations we want, but that doesn't mean we should.
 

Barliman Butterbur

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HLGStrider said:
Yes. It does. But I don't believe Bush has trashed the economy. I think the economy was trashing itself when he got it
and that he did his best to fix it with tax cuts. I also don't believe the economy is the government's job and believe that if the government took its hands totally off the economy the economy would eventually benefit...
If you really believe that, then there's no point in trying to talk to you. No discussion on that subject is possible.

...I doubt we find common ground.
I absolutely agree.

Why is it inappropriate? If you mean in this thread, I agree. It is off topic...Your concerns really accomplish nothing either. A debate might accomplish something in the way of each of us airing out his or her side and comparing them and testing them for logic, but stating concerns doesn't even do that. It's like saying, "I'm worried about my fish and I think he is sick because of bad water." Concern stated. Nothing accomplished. However a discusion that goes "Are you sure it is his water? What leads you to believe that? I think it is his food because of. .." might accomplish something.
We agree, pure discussion without action based on some conclusion does nothing. My action is to vote for Kerry and get us back on the right track.

Meaning he has not taken any you agree with.
Exactly so.

My brother's history teacher used to talk with Rice, who you seem to think Bush listens to too much as opposed to other people, (he was an advisor to the Pentagon) and he was complaining that Bush didn't listen to Rice enough, actually. He liked Rice. Said she was extremely smart though the Pro. disagrees with Bush violently in a lot of ways (I'm not in his class so this is second hand).
What I said was, that Rice predigests complex issues into one-sheet notes that Bush can understand. This was at Bush's request. As for Rice, she is very bright — and in my opinion, loves power too much. And she's a world-class dissembler.

To stop outsourcing, Bush would have to make laws that would force the companies not to. The Bible doesn't say 'Force others to do onto others what you would do onto them."
It also says "Thou shalt not kill," and I would assume that force would be used whenever necessary.

That doesn't mean the inspection is necessarily fair, and what you are suggesting isn't. Yes, we can inspect on every level and doubt and question on every level.
You're a bright girl Elgee. But when it comes to politics, we'll never agree. There's no point in continuing.

Barley
 

Barliman Butterbur

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Not all Evangelical Christians are for Bush

Republican Evangelical Christians who have witnessed the decline of the public education system, the environment and the economy turn to John Kerry realizing that George Bush is using his faith as a wedge.

Sterling Heights, Michigan (PRWEB) August 19, 2004 -- Members of the ‘Christian Right’ resist the Bush campaign to politicize their faith and turn to vote for Kerry. Recently the Bush campaign called on evangelical churches to turn their members into political activists – church members like Dan and Julie Rakowski. Both Dan and Julie have been members of a nationwide grassroots organization “Republicans for Kerry ‘04” since this spring. “In many ways, I am typical of the ‘Christian Right’ you often hear about,” Dan said. “I’m passionately pro-life, moderately against gay-marriage, and pro-Second Amendment.” During the past four years, Dan and his family have witnessed the decline of the public education system, the environment and the economy. Dan regards the Bush campaign’s attempt to draft congregations into political service during this campaign season as an attempt to use the faith of theologically conservative Christians as a wedge. “If he keeps talking about social issues like homosexuality and abortion,” Rakowski observed, “Bush hopes we will look the other way with respect to his missteps of Iraq War, economy and education.”

“The measure by which a Christian should judge a candidate is to see if the walk matches the talk,” suggested Carmen Smith, a Cuban immigrant, lifelong Republican, and Christian for 40 years, who lives in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Environment is a key issue for her decision to support John Kerry. “As a Christian Republican I value being a good steward of God’s earth, which means taking care of the precious and fragile resources such as air, water and soil. Our President needs to be responsible enough to make this a top priority.” Citing Bush’s “misuse of his authority in this area, over the last four years,” Smith concluded, “I have more trust in John Kerry to do this job right.”

Details at: http://www.prweb.com/releases/2004/8/prwebxml150608.php

Nor are all Republicans for Bush

We are ordinary Republicans from across the political spectrum -- moderate, conservative, and progressive -- who believe in the sanctity of our Constitution and Bill of Rights. This unites us in our desire to return our country and our party to the traditional values that have been abandoned by the present extremist administration and their exclusionary allies in Congress. We have taken the unusual step of supporting a Democrat, John Kerry, because we believe he more honestly represents these values so vital to the health and well-being of our democracy. On the important issues of foreign policy, fiscal responsibility, tax policy, energy, the environment, media consolidation, civil liberties and trust, history has shown us all too clearly that John Kerry will be a far better steward than the present administration. We believe that all Americans should heed George Washington's wisdom and put country before party.

Source: http://www.republicansforkerry04.org/

Barley
 

joxy

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Galdor said:
I hope this clears things up a little on the word "evangelical."
It confirms the information I quoted, from Encarta. What is the source of yours?
 

HLGStrider

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If you really believe that, then there's no point in trying to talk to you. No discussion on that subject is possible
Oh, a discussion could be very possible. We could discuss whether the economy rather gains or suffers from government intervention and in that we could have fun comparing stats. That was the main idea behind the old "Communism" thread though it dealt with one extreme side of government intervention as opposed to dealing with all the little details of protectionism, taxes, and controls, but in it we got into a few debates on the finer points.

If a economic libertarian and a communist can debate then we definitely could because I'm a bit sort of libertarian and I believe you are probably far from communist.

As for Rice, she is very bright — and in my opinion, loves power too much. And she's a world-class dissembler.
My brother's teacher, who knew her personally and professionally, didn't seem to think so. I forget what he was an advisor on. His name is Cox, I believe, but I doubt he was every "important" or he wouldn't be teaching at the Community college in my town. He would be at Harvard or someplace.

It also says "Thou shalt not kill," and I would assume that force would be used whenever necessary.
It also says that the government is granted the sword, yes, which implies the use of force, but it doesn't give any guidelines for how and when to use it, and I personally believe it must be in fairly extreme cases.

The main problem with using the Bible for political philosophy is that it assumes Christians are not in power. Rather it assumes they are being oppressed and persecuted. That is the historical context for all "how to deal with the government" situations. The exception, of course, is the Old Testament, but that deals with pre-grace, covenant law, and according to Christian beliefs much of that changed when the curtain was torn at Christ's death.

You're a bright girl Elgee. But when it comes to politics, we'll never agree. There's no point in continuing.
Bright and shiny. But you give up awfully easy. I don't see this as us trying to learn to agree, actually. I don't believe I'll ever be a strong enough persuader to "convert" anyone as set in their beliefs as you, if I can "convert" anyone. The point, therefore, is to pick at each other's beliefs, thereby making each of us hone them, and develop a more logical approach to them.
 

Barliman Butterbur

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HLGStrider said:
...you give up awfully easy...The point is to pick at each other's beliefs, thereby making each of us hone them, and develop a more logical approach to them.
Call it what you will. You seem to enjoy argument for its own sake. Far from "giving up," (you'd love that) I stop when I see I'm getting noplace, or it gets boring or fruitless, or when I feel like I'm wasting my time and energy — you can call it whatever you wish.

If you need to have the last word, by all means do so.

Barley
 

Eledhwen

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I think the discrepancies in the number of people claiming to be 'born again' is very interesting indeed! My husband researched this subject, among others, for over 17 years for a major British Christian charity, and it seems that you get different results depending on what you ask. You can ask people to agree or disagree with the statement "Jesus is Lord" and interpret it as meaning they are Christian; but they may just be familiar with the phrase and be agreeing that it is a phrase in parlance.

In England and Wales (my husband's research area - can't speak for Scotland I'm afraid!), it is much less 'cool' to say you are a Christian than it aparently is in the US, and the label 'religious nutter' might be given to anyone who does more than quietly sit in an Anglican church for an hour each Sunday. Christian Research has tried and tested definitions of words such as Evangelical, Charismatic, Orthodox, etc; otherwise it would be hard to count research responses.

On the subject of Bush-baby, he does seem to be a genuine believer (heard of an account of him evangelising by the person he spoke to about Jesus); but then again, the Spanish Inquisition claimed to be to (or they would have had to garotte themselves).

If you are interested in Christian research, look at www.barna.org and www.ship-of-fools.com (the second one is more general)
 
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HLGStrider

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You seem to enjoy argument for its own sake.
I prefer to use the term "debate" as arguement to me suggests heatedness, and in a debate, you are not necessarily trying to convert. The point in a debate is more the audience than the opponent.

Where do you expect to get? You have to be expecting to get somewhere to get disillusioned by getting no-place. I mean, I already told you I voted a page or two ago, so there is no way to undo that even if you changed my mind.
 

Barliman Butterbur

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Is Bush Giving Evangelicals a Bad Name?

All Ye Faithful
Is George Bush the Christians' Christian?
By Steven Waldman

A Democratic lawyer friend of mine now teases his Republican clients by asking whether they want "faith-based" advice or "reality-based" advice. This reflects a new part of the liberal critique of George Bush: that his faith has driven him to be disconnected from reality.

The president repeatedly says he makes decisions based on "instinct" and "gut" and by looking into the hearts of world leaders. He lets it be known that he doesn't read the newspapers. He seems to discourage dissenting viewpoints. He jokes about his poor command of the English language and his lousy grades in school. He is America's most famous evangelical Christian and he's proudly anti-intellectual.

This creates a real dilemma for religious believers—especially evangelical Christians. In the past few decades, evangelical Christianity has seen the blossoming of a movement geared toward disproving the idea that faith must necessarily cause closed-mindedness.

Full article at: http://slate.msn.com/id/2108726/

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Barley
 
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