1 September 2004

Excellent religion coverage

David Kirkpatrick of the New York Times does excellent religion and
culture coverage for the paper, and his stories from the convention
have been well-done and possess an insight into the interaction of
evangelical Christianity and Republiucan politics.  According to yesterday’s edition of the interview show Fresh Air,
he used to be the publishing industry reporter for the Times, and
noticing the trend in “Christian” publishing, he became interested in
their larger culture.

A couple of gems from the story in today’s paper.  In discussing a film that lauds Bush’s faith in office, Kirkpatrick noted:

A recurring theme of the film is that Mr. Bush’s opponents dislike him
mainly because of his forthright faith. “The notion that our leaders
should have God in their life has suddenly become threatening,” a
narrator says.

I oppose Bush.  I don’t oppose him because of the forthrightness
of his faith, but because of what I perceive as his assumption that all
of us share that faith, that we should accept his faith as the sole
justification for public policy, of the hubris that masks as
faith.  I’m ready to discuss faith in the public sphere with
anyone, but I don’t appreciate my president telling me what my faith
demands of me, what it doesn’t demand of me, and how all one needs to
justify an opinion or policy is an appeal to faith.

Mr. Reed also addressed the crowd, recalling Mr. Bush’s response to a
question about his favorite philosopher during the 2000 Republican
primary. “The President said, ‘Jesus Christ,’ ” Mr. Reed recalled. And
amid rousing applause, he repeated Mr. Bush’s distinctively evangelical
follow-up: “The president said, as only he can say, ‘If I have to
explain it to you, then you don’t understand it.’ ”

But he has to explain it to those of us who are not of the same brand
of faith.  How can a Jew, a Catholic, or a Muslim understand
that?  I have to explain evangelical culture and faith to my
family (i.e., BF) and friends all the time, because they don’t
understand it, not having the lived experience of it.  And we need
to expect our public leaders, if they plan to make these appeals to
their faith, to be able to explain that faith adequately in public.

To their credit, evangelicals have focused on the violence against
Christians in Sudan, human slavery and trafficking, and the Middle East
Israel-Palestine conflict.  And there should be more focus on each
of these issues.  I only wish that these Christians would focus on
these issues when they don’t directly affect their interests.  How
about when Muslims are persecuted and killed for their beliefs, as in
India of late?  And is there an interest in Israel beyond the
hoped-for peace in the Holy Land that will purportedly bring about
Christ’s return?  If there is, it’s not clear, and it’s not clear
how their beliefs on these political issues spring from broad faith
rather than narrow group-interest.

Posted in Rayleejun on 1 September 2004 at 11:53 am by Nate

Political hyposcrisy on the other side

Yes, the Democrats have problems, and they are hypocritical at times.

But I’m tired, I have to say, of the Republican message last night that
focused on being left alone to do as you wish, not stifling
opportunity, being the party of freedom, and so forth.

This may be in the economic realm, at least if you’re a
Rockefeller-type Republican.  But the contemporary Republican
party certainly does not believe in freedom, living one’s own life, and
so forth in the social realm.  We’ve heard enough about the gay
rights and abortion plank in the platform to know that they don’t
believe people should make their own moral and ethical decisions and
that they don’t believe in true equality (having ruled out both
marriage and any sort of legal alternative to marriage for gay people
AND deciding that good people may not differ on the difficult question
of fetal life).  But now we see that many of them would dictate
what religion we must believe in, how we must believe in that religion,
and what the consequences of that religion must be.  Read this.

Posted in Politicks on 1 September 2004 at 11:41 am by Nate

Can this actually be true?

that the softball game that W appeared in front of was staged?  If that’s true, that’s f—ing cynical.

Posted in Politicks on 1 September 2004 at 12:28 am by Nate

Where did they get this visual?

Did you see the visual during Laura Bush’s speech?

Her dress completely clashes with the background.  Not only has
the Velvet Mafia gone passive on Laura, it seems to have actually
turned against her.  How else to explain the cacoscopy of turquoise
and the red geometric shapes that look like a bad shower curtain behind
her?

I know I’ve been gone during some prime blogging during this
convention.  Like Dick Cheney, I’ve “had other priorities.” 
But I’ll be back tomorrow!

Posted in Politicks on 1 September 2004 at 12:15 am by Nate