Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Bush, the religious extremist

The Washington Times has an exclusive interview with George W. Bush in tomorrow's paper (already available this evening on the internet). Bush has totally destroyed any credibility he might have had with people like myself who don't believe in God.

"I think people attack me because they are fearful that I will then say that you're not equally as patriotic if you're not a religious person," Mr. Bush said. "I've never said that. I've never acted like that. I think that's just the way it is.

So you're not a patriotic American if you're not religious?

"I fully understand that the job of the president is and must always be protecting the great right of people to worship or not worship as they see fit," Mr. Bush said. "That's what distinguishes us from the Taliban. The greatest freedom we have or one of the greatest freedoms is the right to worship the way you see fit.

"On the other hand, I don't see how you can be president at least from my perspective, how you can be president, without a relationship with the Lord," he said.

Bush is saying that only Christians should be president?

These Bushisms really disgust me. Bush is trying to lead the country towards a religious theocracy and away from the country of religious freedom that our Founding Fathers envisioned. We think we live in a modern age, yet the leaders of our nation in the 18th century were the rational thinkers while today we have a leader beholden to primitive supersitions.

I agree with Andrew Sullivan's take:

To restrict the presidency to a particular religious faith is anathema to this country's traditions and to the task of toleration. The president surely needs to retract the statement.

Bush certainly owes a lot of patriotic Americans a very huge apology. But somehow I don't think we will be getting one.

You may wish read Right Hand Thief; he has written some worthwhile thoughts about the issue.

11 comments:

oyster said...

Many thanks for the mention. I'm flattered you found my post worthwhile.

R said...

"So you're not a patriotic American if you're not religious?"

No, that's not what he said at all.

sheepdog said...

In full here:
http://sheepdog.blog-city.com/read/1004771.htm

My buddy Cinomed made a comment earlier today about this blog, libertarian girl, that got a little buzz few weeks ago. Checked it out, bookmarked it, and checked a couple of times. Seemed like everyone was commenting about her looks rather then her substance (which most women find insulting).

To be honest I didn't have much of a feel for who she was or what her stance was that she can call herself a libertarian. However considering what I know of her views now I’d say her post today was anything but libertarian. Her post is dissected below with my comments; you read, you decide.

LG: The Washington Times has an exclusive interview with George W. Bush in tomorrow's paper (already available this evening on the internet). Bush has totally destroyed any credibility he might have had with people like myself who don't believe in God.

Bush: "I think people attack me because they are fearful that I will then say that you're not equally as patriotic if you're not a religious person," Mr. Bush said. "I've never said that. I've never acted like that. I think that's just the way it is.

LG: So you're not a patriotic American if you're not religious?

SD: Didn’t read it that way at all but then again I did read the article, not just your snippet. Lets put that answer in context with the question (which is not supplied verbatim):

Mr. Bush told editors and reporters of The Washington Times yesterday in an interview in the Oval Office that many in the public misunderstand the role of faith in his life and his view of the proper relationship between religion and the government.

SD: I think you’re confused. He’s saying that people think his views about patriotism are influences by religion. He goes on to say he’s not. Perhaps it’s your self-consciousness about your secular beliefs that’s making you read into this more then it is. You have the right to voice how you feel according to the first amendment, however you don’t feel Bush does. Not so libertarian in my opinion.

I fully understand that the job of the president is and must always be protecting the great right of people to worship or not worship as they see fit," Mr. Bush said. "That's what distinguishes us from the Taliban. The greatest freedom we have or one of the greatest freedoms is the right to worship the way you see fit.

"On the other hand, I don't see how you can be president at least from my perspective, how you can be president, without a relationship with the Lord," he said.

Bush is saying that only Christians should be president?

LG: These Bushisms really disgust me. Bush is trying to lead the country towards a religious theocracy and away from the country of religious freedom that our Founding Fathers envisioned. We think we live in a modern age, yet the leaders of our nation in the 18th century were the rational thinkers while today we have a leader beholden to primitive supersitions.

SD: You’re disgusted by a president that respects your right to not participate in religion? In the 18th century as you said in most parts of the world (that share your secular beliefs) to not participate in religion was to be at the very least a social outcast while at worst it meant death.

And as for our founding fathers I think you need a history refresher. Nearly ever signer was Christian or a Dietist, though all supported freedom of religion (just as Bush does). While they protected the great right of people to not worship (just as Bush does), references referring to God or the Creator can be found in Declaration of Independence, Articles of Confederation, early State constitutions across our Union. So I think its pretty safe to say they were very religious yet made no theocracy, just as they envisioned religion (just as Bush does). Clearly they felt everyone, even a sitting President, has the right to worship or not worship as they see fit (just as Bush does). You don’t and that’s fine, but its oppressing the rights gifted to us by our betters, which is also not so libertarian.

LG: I agree with Andrew Sullivan's take:

To restrict the presidency to a particular religious faith is anathema to this country's traditions and to the task of toleration. The president surely needs to retract the statement.

Bush certainly owes a lot of patriotic Americans a very huge apology. But somehow I don't think we will be getting one.

You may wish read Right Hand Thief; he has written some worthwhile thoughts about the issue.

SD: No one was said anything about restricting the presidency to a particular religious faith. I think its very hypocritical of you to assume Bush meant someone shouldn’t be allowed president because of their religious orientation when you’re saying he shouldn’t be president for his religious orientation. Furthermore thinking anyone owes you an apology for their religious beliefs or lack there of is both self-centered and asinine.

Summary: In closing let me as you’re about as far from liberation as they come, by defined by Wikipedia:

“Libertarianism is a political philosophy which advocates individual rights and a limited government. In common with many other modern political ideologies, libertarians believe that individuals should be free to do anything they want, so long as they do not infringe upon the rights of others.”

Here is my case.

You work for the government. Most likely federal in a social department or as a file clerk helping the federalism your supposed libertarianism is against.

You deal in emotion and assumptions rather then fact and historical data.

You’re against freedom of speech and religion under the guise of “progressive” secularism with such derogatory remarks as "primitive supersitions". Probably against RKBA and the Department of Homeland security as well.

You support the national ID card. Might as well brand a barcode on our wrists and mark Christians with a "G" on thier foreheads.

You read Andrew Sullivan. Might as well date Markos Zúniga (if he was straight) or Al Frankton (if he could quit stalking Limbaugh).

You read hard left socialist blogs like the Right Hand Thief, who’s probably reading Democratic Underground sporting a tinfoil beret right now.

You think Michael Newdow and the ACLU are heroes. You probably also believe there’s such a thing as “separation of church and state”.

Worst of all you think we need to tax, of all things, breast implants. Yes, heaven forbid a taxpayer use her own money how she feels without government involvement. How many liberations you know are for more taxation?

With that I leave you with this: You have no more right to infringe on any American’s rights (even the President) then they have to infringe on yours. I have no problem with people who want to exercise their rights as they see fit as long as it’s not to the cost of another’s. Just my two cents Libertarianal Girl.

Sheepdog

Staunch Moderate said...

Everybody keeps saying that Bush is trying to "lead the country towards a religious theocracy". How? He's not creating any laws. He hasn't made any edicts. He's just saying that he uses his religion daily as president and he doesn't see how anyone who's president couldn't. It's not like he's trying to amend Article VI of the Constitution and install religious tests for office.

In the four years he's been president, Bush may have ruffled a few feathers, but our secular government is still in tact. And I'm pretty sure the next four years will be the same. But if I'm wrong, and Bush suddenly destroys democracy in favor of a dictatorial theocracy -- well, then I'll owe you a Coke.

Mexigogue said...

A theocracy? That leap is farther than Christopher Reeve got thrown. He's have to dismantle the Constutution. Constitutional amendments like like a 2/3 majority vote if I remember correctly (I refuse to check my facts when I'm rolling). He wouldn't even get such a majority within his own party for some nonsense like that.

If you want to start a theocracy, you have to capture the hearts and minds by first funding the madrasahs. We have too many public schools for that to be effective over here.

Nice picture by the way. But why don't you show your other hand? Is it a hook?

Zachary said...

Don't forget that his father once said, "No, I don't know that Atheists should be considered as citizens, nor should they be considered patriots. This is one nation under God."

But I guess that apple falls far from the tree. Yeah, I'm laughing too.

Jeremy Pierce said...

I don't think you understand Bush at all. Not even close. I was considering linking to you until I read this awful post.

Bush quite clearly said that he doesn't think something, and then you accuse him of thinking it. I don't get that. He said that people are afraid he might say that he thinks you need to be religious to be patriotic. He then denies that. So obviously "that's the way it is" does not mean that you need to be religious to be patriotic. It's sort of unclear what it does mean, but he's not going to contradict himself one sentence away from his first statement. My guess is that he believes that some people are just going to be like that. That's just the way it is, and he can't do anything about it. That's not going to change the fact that he's not the way they seem him. You seem to be illustrating his point rather than contradicting it.

Bush says "from my perspective". He doesn't know how someone could do it without a relationship with the Lord. That doesn't mean that someone else wouldn't be able to from a different perspective. His perspective is that we are all dependent on God, God orders the world, and it's best to recognize that and seek to do what's right by asking God to help us make good choices. He thinks being a good president requires doing that. From a different perspective, that wouldn't be the case. He's offering his personal take on life, one most Christians agree with. That doesn't mean an atheist would be an incompetent president. It just means an atheist wouldn't be able to be president in the way that he thinks is best. I'm not sure why this should be offensive to an atheist. It's what religious people think about every profession and choice you might make in life. If you seek God in it, then you're going to be doing it in a way more in accord with what God wants. That's just how religion works.

That sort of thing is not worth an apology, because it's nuts to say there's anything wrong with it. Andrew Sullivan is paranoid about Bush on religion, and it's led him to lots of irrational things. There's no way Bush is interested in theocracy. He's pluralistic in his mindset, welcoming Muslims to the table, calling Islam a good religion, and saying Muslims worship the same God as Christians. For someone who is clearly an evangelical, that's a huge step. Most evangelicals are made at him for that, and even they aren't theocratic extremists. The real theocrats want to implement the Hebrew Torah as U.S. law. In contrast, Bush doesn't think abortion should be restricted in any way unless the American public is behind doing so.

Jeremy Pierce said...

Just to be clear: I was considering a permanent link to you. You will receive a link to me for your breast implant tax proposal when I do my roundup of the Carnival of the Vanities. I'm intrigued by your blog, but I'm going to have to see a lot more that I like to counterbalance the sense I get from this post, before I'm willing to link from my blogroll.

Charles said...

Geez, guys, it's a blog with comments, not a chance for your own personal speeches or fisking what LG says. Get to the point and get going. Did I miss something about blogging where now a threat to NOT blogroll someone is supposed to change their behavior and beliefs? I keep trying to keep mine short, but everyone wants to make speeches, dissect sentences, spout their own blogs and try to tell LG she is all wrong. Get a grip and try to lighten up and enjoy! You guys must be real party killers in real life - or is this your main socialization? Wow, I hope not.

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