Thursday, October 21, 2004
Wolf in Good Shepherd's clothing.
Hoo boy! Read Ayelish McGarvey's bold evisceration of the claim that George W. Bush is a model Christian. Why, McGarvey claims, there's hardly any evidence that Bush is a Christian at all:
Bush does not demonstrate a life of faith by his actions, and neither Methodists, evangelicals, nor fundamentalists can rightly call him brother. In fact, the available evidence raises serious questions about whether Bush is really a Christian at all.
Ironically for a man who once famously named Jesus as his favorite political philosopher during a campaign debate, it is remarkably difficult to pinpoint a single instance wherein Christian teaching has won out over partisan politics in the Bush White House. Though Bush easily weaves Christian language and themes into his political communication, empty religious jargon is no substitute for a bedrock faith. Even little children in Sunday school know that Jesus taught his disciples to live according to his commandments, not simply to talk about them a lot. In Bush’s case, faith without works is not just dead faith — it’s evangelical agitprop[.] . . .
Once and for all: George W. Bush is neither born again nor evangelical. As Alan Cooperman reported in The Washington Post last month, the president has been careful never to use either term to describe his faith. . . .
And though Bush is not an evangelical, he certainly talks like one. As has been often noted, Bush effortlessly speaks the language of the born again, and his remarks are loaded with subliminal messages to the nation’s 60 million white evangelicals. Ironically, the theology embedded in this language is not even the president’s own — it belongs to Michael Gerson, Bush’s crack speechwriter, himself a devout Christian and a graduate of Wheaton College, the “evangelical Harvard.” Far too often, though, the press confuses Gerson’s words with Bush’s beliefs.
("As God Is His Witness," Ayelish McGarvey, American Prospect Online 10.19.04)
For Christians who sense that perhaps Bush isn't the automatic choice for people of faith, here are a few other essays worth considering; those from religious magazines are indicated by tradition:
- "Analyzing the President's Theology," Bruce Lincoln, Christian Century [Mainline Protestant] 10.5.04
- "The Case for Kerry," Thomas Higgins, Commonweal [Roman Catholic] 10.8.04
- "Empty Pew: Why W. Doesn't Go to Church," Amy Sullivan, New Republic 10.11.04
- "None of the Above: Why I Won't Be Voting for President," Mark Noll [Evangelical], Christian Century [Mainline Protestant] 9.21.04
- "Of God, and Man, in the White House," Fritz Ritsch [Presbyterian], Washington Post 3.2.03
- "Our Magical President," Jeff Sharlet, The Revealer 10.17.04
- "A Prolife Case Against Bush," Sidney Callahan, Commonweal [Roman Catholic] 6.4.04
- "The Politics of Piety," Amy Sullivan, Sojourners [Evangelical] 11.04
- "Why I'm Sitting This One Out," Paul J. Griffiths, Commonweal [Roman Catholic] 10.8.04
I'll add others as I remember them — and be sure to visit Jesus Politics for even more.
Copyright © 2004 by Philocrites | Posted 21 October 2004 at 6:11 PM