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Monday · March 29 2004

"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?”

Archived: Political » March 2004
What you had to say:
March 29 2004

Anyone who has to spackle on their make-up has something to hide.
I believe in separation of church & state. Any President who uses his faith to garner votes, to me at least, is suspect.

March 29 2004

While I'm not sure it would work or that the democrats would be brazen enough to do it, I think you debunk W's faith in God. That is to say, I don't really think he believes it himself. His administration is characterized by cynicism and bravado. These are not hallmarks of the true believer, but the itinerant swindler.

An example: He says he is strengthening environmental law while he guts it. He knows he is gutting it. It's not like he really believes he is doing good, he is just cynical enough to believe that it doesn't matter that he is lying.

And while those types will convince those truly desperate for an easy answer, most people, even if they are very religious, look a little bit harder. Don't worry about the 10,000 votes in the audience. Those votes aren't worth fighting for. Fight for the vote of the person who believes in God but does not necessarily believe everyone that says they are righteous. I guess they call them the NASCAR dad in this election.

March 29 2004

This is tangent to this discussion, but do the 10,000 people matter if they're not in one of the projected swing states? That's what the news tells me. If you live in Ohio, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and, I think, Oregon, your vote is critical to win the electoral votes. How annoying to be a Democrat in Georgia or a Repulican in Massachusetts?

© 2004 Jason Keglovitz