"The Faith-Based Presidency" at The Atlantic lays out what bothers me about President Bush and the conservative Christians who follow him: an unshakeable faith that everything you do and believe is correct because you believe it, regardless of evidence.
George W. Bush has made rationality an antonym of Republican. His is the first faith-based presidency. Above the entrance to the Bush West Wing should be St. Paul's definition of faith — “the evidence of things unseen.”
I was flipping channels before falling asleep and I paused to listen to a young evangelist preaching to a stadium of people. He blinked and smiled three times with every word and spoke of his inner peace and strong faith. I got angry and surfed to higher channels. I found Tammy Faye (Bakker) talking to Larry King. Tammy has inoperable lung cancer, but looked as happy as Mickey Mouse, because she has her faith in Jesus.
Am I jealous of these people because they've set reality aside for a warm fuzzy? The blinking evangelist is selling Jesus as chicken soup for the soul and Tammy Faye is dying. What do the 10,000 people in the audience think of this pitch? Do they have any skepticism or do any research beyond what they hear from their neighbor at the BBQ or the minister at church? They believe in George Bush like they believe in Jesus. No matter the contrary evidence, the belief is a brighter day is up ahead.
George Bush's vocabulary is consonant with the young preacher and their audiences are almost identical. Looking out into the crowd on television, I thought, “There's 10,000 Bush votes for free, based on faith. How do we overcome that?”