10.10.2005

Speaking of the theology of glory...

In his Oct. 6 address on the "war on terror," President Bush was careful to separate the "evil but not insane" actions of terrorists from Islam, while suggesting that terrorist acts were fomented by radical religious leaders. According to a transcript on the White House website, he then said:
The time has come for all responsible Islamic leaders to join in denouncing an ideology that exploits Islam for political ends, and defiles a noble faith.
Perhaps the president should perceive the plank in our own eye. It might be time, as well, for responsible Chrisian leaders to denounce the hijacking of our faith for equally political ends. Bush 43 would do well to heed the advice of our 16th president, Abraham Lincoln, who said that rather that claim that God is on our side, as Bush does, we should "pray that we are on God's side."

Such reasonable-sounding pronouncements really draw upon questionable theology. Take this example from the president's August speech on Iraq:
I understand freedom is not America's gift to the world; freedom is an Almighty God's gift to each man and woman in this world.
Talk of "freedom" is comfortable -- to Americans -- and vaguely biblical. But what part of the freedom we are peddling in Iraq -- "constitutional democracy" tilted to US interests, a market economic philosophy, and a remaking of the shape of the Middle East -- would be familiar, or even conceivable, to the biblical writers of either testament?


No comments: