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Monday, March 3, 2003

Theologian in chief.

"The most striking characteristic of the younger Bush's use of religion is its relentless triumphalism," writes Fritz Ritsch in a perceptive essay about George W. Bush's religious rhetoric. "[S]ecular Americans are as likely as religious Americans to believe that we are the rightful beneficiaries of some kind of manifest destiny.

But some on the religious right have built a theology around this hope. Many of them believe that America will be at its best if its government submits to their understanding of God's work on Earth. What they have longed for is a Davidic ruler — a political leader like the Bible's David, who will unite their secular vision of the nation with their spiritual aspirations. All indications are that they believe they have found their David in Bush — and that the president believes it, too.

Whoa. "Bush's religious supporters are his greatest cheerleaders," Ritsch says. "Rather than his spiritual guides, they are his faithful disciples. He is the leader of the America they think God has ordained. Contrary to popular opinion, the religion that this group espouses is Triumphalism, not Christianity. Theirs is a zealous form of nationalism, baptized with Christian language."

Copyright © 2003 by Philocrites | Posted 3 March 2003 at 7:47 AM

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