Thursday, October 21


The NY Times discusses "Bush's vision:"

In the last, frenetic two weeks of the campaign, there comes a moment at every rally, every town hall meeting, when President Bush starts talking about what he calls "the transformational power of liberty."
Yet Mr. Bush's vision seems to strike a chord with his crowds.
Mr. Bush talks about "the transformational power of liberty'' in the same tones he sometimes talks about the power of religion to transform the soul. He often links the two, repeating a line that "freedom is not America's gift to the world, freedom is the almighty God's gift to each man and woman in this world.''

Of course it "strikes a chord with his crowds." That's because they understand what he's really saying. Again, these are code words, written in the language of the faithful. "The transformational power of..." is a popular phrase among evangelicals, church pastors and other sermonizers. It usually ends with "Christ's blood," "faith," "love," or something similar. Bush inserts "liberty," but his audience knows what he's really talking about. We're talking Christian jihad here, folks, and take it from a faithful Christian, this is behind some of the fervent support such remarks generate.

And who said freedom was God's gift to every man and woman? For crying out loud, this is just more evidence that the man who some Christians think is almost God's surrogate in the White House is totally unfamiliar with the Bible. Bible references to slavery, freedom, liberty, etc. are almost exclusively dealing with sin. The unregenerated are "slaves to sin," the born-again are to declare "liberty" to the world (liberty from the control of sin). In fact, we're even instructed, if we're in the physical condition of slavery, to pray for our masters, to do a great job for them so they will be won to the Lord through our example.

My point is, Bush is once again playing to his religious-right base while he foments visions of sugarplums scattering across the earth bringing the luscious taste of democracy to the oppressed peoples of the world.

But his faith is not in God, it's in what he views as his own infallible position with God. This is a man of such dangerous though charismatic arrogance that he appears as a "wolf in sheep's clothing," to quote from the Book he must never peruse. Christians need to wake up and realize that he's leading them (not me!) into waters perilously close to blasphemy. The Bible is very clear that salvation comes from confession that one is sinful, prayer to be forgiven for those sins, an acceptance of Christ as the Son of the Living God, and an offering up of oneself to His control. Through such an experience, one is "transformed" or "born again" to a new heart and mind, a new life. Certainly "liberty" would not be considered "transformational" of men's hearts and minds in a Biblical view. This is why evangelicals have always opposed the liberal agenda; they don't believe people can "change" without the intercession of Christ, so what good is spending all that money? It's the very basis of their worldview. So don't believe for a minute that they swallow that "transformational power of liberty" crap -- they know freedom won't make for better nations or improved conditions for the people of the world; they know George is really offering to open up new mission fields for the conversion of the heathen, and THAT'S why they're applauding so enthusiastically. But don't think for a minute that I believe that that's what Bush is really offering; this is just more cynical Bush/Rove doublespeak to justify his plans for everlasting war and the new corporate profit opportunities that they generate.

Humility is supposed to be a Christian virtue. Furious George shows little evidence of personal acquaintance with the concept.


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