Alex Blaze

Basic fundamentalist theology fail

Filed By Alex Blaze | December 11, 2008 4:30 PM | comments

Filed in: Living, Marriage Equality, Politics
Tags: creationism, fundamentalism, George W. Bush, religion, ronald reagan, theater, theology

Still-president Bush is letting it all hang out these last few months.

MCFADDEN: Is it literally true, the Bible?

BUSH: You know. Probably not ... No, I'm not a literalist, but I think you can learn a lot from it, but I do think that the New Testament, for example is ... has got ... You know, the important lesson is "God sent a son."

MCFADDEN: So, you can read the Bible...

BUSH: That God in the flesh, that mankind can understand there is a God who is full of grace and that nothing you can do to earn his love. His love is a gift and that in order to draw closer to God and in order to express your appreciation for that love is why you change your behavior.

MCFADDEN: So, you can read the Bible and not take it literally. I mean you can -- it's not inconsistent to love the Bible and believe in evolution, say.

BUSH: Yeah, I mean, I do. I mean, evolution is an interesting subject. I happen to believe that evolution doesn't fully explain the mystery of life and ...

What a charlatan. He was the leader, for 8 years, of the movement to justify every action one takes, every political stance, with a so-called "strict" interpretation of the Bible. The story of creation in Genesis is the center of this battle, which extends over social issues like women's freedom, queer equality, and advancing science, as well as unrelated issues like foreign and economic policy.

And anyone who dared call him on it five years ago was verbally tarred and feathered. This was a Man of God! His actions are based on his religion! How could he not do what he believes is right?

Of course, it was all a sham. Apparently siding with Israel when it comes to their power and land grabs in Palestine didn't have much to do with eschatology. Could it have been about a maintaining a foothold for the US in an oil-rich region? Could his opposition to stem-cell research not have anything to do with the Bible and more to do with keeping his base happy? Perhaps ending aid for women with children with marriage courses had less to do with increasing marriage and more to do with decreasing welfare?

These are all basic connections, but our media wasn't allowed to make them, because, you know, it was the president's religion. We don't question the authenticity with which people hold religious views in this country because it's just assumed that that's a discussion polite people can't enter. And to imply that people shouldn't govern based on their religious beliefs... well, what kind of Real American are you to say that? The fake kind?

I would rather have had him keep up the ruse until his death, if for nothing else other than consistency's sake. But the man is genuinely too lazy to fool people all the time if he isn't being constantly badgered to do it, which I'm guessing has died down now that no one cares about him anymore and the country is looking to move on.

This all means that he's ready, in five years, to be beatified by the conservative movement in much the same way Reagan was. Reagan was a professional actor, but Bush just walked into a role with no theater training. What a prodigy!

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Really, I don't know why this is surprising. He's a methodist. The methodist church doesn't ascribe to literalism. People don't have to be literalists to be part of the evangelical right.

It would be nice if people would have pressed him more on theological questions and helped expose the cracks in the "evangelical consensus". That they didn't is mostly evidence of the lack of theological literacy among journalists and among leftist thinkers.

It's not really surprising. But there are quite a few commentators, both left and right (pat buchanan!), who thought he was a literalist. I guess you're right, someone could have asked him sooner. I'm going to check it out and try to see if he ever lied about this before, and I wouldn't be surprised if he did either.

Veracity is not a virtue, at least not among the neo-cons that Bush pals around with.

After 9/11 and then Iraq, I gave up on counting the number of lies him or some member of his administration would tell when asked about breaking stories and issues.

If you think Nixon had a credibility gap, Bush's the frigging Grand Canyon.

You know, the first thing I thought was, "He's too stupid to even know the dogma that he pretends to rely on." I don't know that he doesn't believe it, as much as he can't coherently discuss or describe his faith.