Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Sincerely Religious Are Unfit for Office

Says the New York Times Sunday Magazine. David Limbaugh disagrees.

Why do you suppose President Bush gets so much flak for his faith and John Kerry is applauded for his professions of faith -- by the very same people? Could it be that the faith-allergic fear that President Bush is actually sincere about his faith?

As I recall, while President Bush made no secret during the debates of his reliance on God, it was not him, but John Kerry who was citing Scripture -- or trying to. And it was Kerry who said, "My faith affects everything that I do, in truth."

Yet mainstream media secularists continue to depict President Bush, not Senator Kerry, as some fire-breathing colonial Puritan whose rigid faith is both an enemy to reason -- even reality -- and to the nation itself.


There is a method, beyond Christian-bashing, to this pragmatic secular media madness. They don't just want to paint George Bush as an intolerant Christian bigot, but as a person whose worldview blinds him to facts, reason and reality. This explains why he attacked Iraq, irrespective of the "facts" about WMD.

Ron Suskind, in a marathon piece for the New York Times Magazine, profiles the president as a close-minded, simplistic dogmatist who believes he's on a mission from God. Bush's faith also impels him to demand blind obedience from his advisers, shutting out facts or advice he doesn't want to hear or that doesn't comport with his faith.


And Suskind tells of a conversation he had in 2002 with longtime Bush adviser Mark McKinnon. McKinnon reportedly told Suskind he wasn't worried about "intellectuals" who think Bush is "an idiot," because there are more people in fly-over country who do like him and "don't like you" -- meaning the elitist types.

From this, Suskind surmised, "In this instance the final 'you,' of course, meant the entire reality-based community." Can you see the sneering condescension in Suskind's suggestion that middle Americans do not belong to the "reality-based community"?


Then Suskind asks, "Can the unfinished American experiment in self-governance -- sputtering on the watery fuel of illusion and assertion -- deal with something as nuanced as the subtleties of one man's faith? What, after all, is the nature of the particular conversation the president feels he has with God -- a colloquy upon which the world now precariously turns?"


Suskind is wrong in every particular. The "American experiment in self-governance" didn't just "deal with," but was based on the Framers' Christian faith. Faith and reason are complementary, not incompatible. President Bush did base his decision to attack Iraq on the available evidence -- not his faith. And the president doesn't have a messianic complex, but relies on God for strength and guidance -- as do millions and millions of Christians nationwide, for all of whom Suskind demonstrates his contempt.


Even extreme church-state separatists, until recently, didn't make the absurd demand that our leaders divorce their faith from their governance. Nor are they requiring it of John Kerry.

What's clear is that secularists like Suskind don't believe that strong, committed Christians are well suited for governance. It's also clear they don't worry about John Kerry in this regard, which speaks volumes about their assessment of the sincerity of Kerry's professions of faith. Self-professing Christians may still hold office, provided they either aren't sincere about their faith or they keep it in the closet with the door closed and the lock secured.

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