One of my biggest problems with the Bush administration is its insistence, particularly by Bush himself, in engaging in a near-constant mixing of religion and politics. I’ve pointed out previously how Bush’s Evangelical tendencies are obviously shaping his thinking and policy decisions. My clear support for separation of Church and State has gotten me a reputation with some folks for being anti-religious, but you don’t have to be an atheist, or even a non-Christian, to see the danger that lurks in the Bush administration’s religiously fueled thinking.
The much-touted Religious Right is now a declining political factor in American life. The New York Times’ Bill Keller recently observed, “Bombastic evangelical power brokers like Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson have aged into irrelevance, and now exist mainly as ludicrous foils.” The real theological problem in America today is no longer the Religious Right but the nationalist religion of the Bush administrationone that confuses the identity of the nation with the church, and God’s purposes with the mission of American empire.
America’s foreign policy is more than pre-emptive, it is theologically presumptuous; not only unilateral, but dangerously messianic; not just arrogant, but bordering on the idolatrous and blasphemous. George Bush’s personal faith has prompted a profound self-confidence in his “mission” to fight the “axis of evil,” his “call” to be commander-in-chief in the war against terrorism, and his definition of America’s “responsibility” to “defend theׅhopes of all mankind.” This is a dangerous mix of bad foreign policy and bad theology.
Granted, this article does argue that the answer to this problem isn’t more secularism (while I obviously think more secularism would be the best solution), but rather good theology. Still, I’d be happy to settle for more good theology as expressed in this article over the bad theology being promoted by Bush and his cronies at the moment. I’ve always said that if more Christians practiced what is in the Bible I’d have a lot less of a problem with the religion as a whole. It’s a long, but very good read and one that Christian supporters of Bush would do well to take the time to consider seriously.
Who says atheists and Christians can’t ever agree on anything?