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Old 07-31-2004, 07:08 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Canada
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Default Re: Anybody Watching the Convention?

Quote:
Originally Posted by HelenM
It would be inconsistent to believe that God cares about every aspect of one's life yet won't help one with one's job.
First, this is not inconsistent in the least. Caring about and helping are not the same thing. I've never been asked to care about someone moving a piano up some stairs.

Second, "help" is a strange under-description of what was being discussed here. The worry was not over the prospect of a god's "helping" a politician, which might include anything from easing other concerns to granting more restful sleep, but rather to the idea of the Creator of All Things Seen and Unseen passing on direct policy advice: "Ease the tax burden of the fabulously rich, while killing foreign aid that enables women to control the number of children they bear! It's a divine idea..."


Quote:
First, based on my observation, their faith is based on a commonly held conservative Christian understanding of Scripture. Please give me an example of how their faith is "illiterate even of Scripture".
It's tempting to say that you asked it and answered it right there. Bush's "Supply-side Jesus" is of dubious scriptural provenance. He's on record as saying that Jesus is his favourite philosopher. Now, be honest... on what textual basis do you think GWB said this?

I'm not suggesting he's wholly cynical in making such a claim. I think he's quite sincere that Jesus is his favourite philosopher. It's just that there's no good reason to think Bush has contemplated or understood, or even really read, the words and thoughts attributed to Jesus by scriptures. There's every reason to think that Bush's Jesus is the Jesus of marginally literate American social conservatives -- the Jesus who said, "Hooray for democracy; be kind to little children; U-S-A kicks ass!!; and if you're poor, you probably deserve to be".

Al Franken quotes a Newsweek story that recited a Republican PR vignette: how Bush and his close friend, Commerce Secretary Don Evans, spent two years of "intensive" study reading Acts and Luke. Franken, an ambushing sonofabitch, is of course wholly denied access to Bush. But he did manage subsequently to ask Evans if he knew what the book of Acts was about. The answer, of course, was that he did not. You, of course, will know that Acts verges in places on a blueprint for redistributive justice: "to every man according to his need", and all that.

There is a powerfully cynical overtone to such image-building, in the absence of real interest in Christianity. Again, though, I think that Bush at least sees himself as implementing God's will. It's just that, having no great interest in exploring the vexed questions of what God's will might be, this turns out to be a way of gifting his own bog-standard view of government, wealth and privilege with the aura of divine approval.
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