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Monday, October 04, 2004

THE PASSION OF THE BUSH
As the New York Times Frank Rich reported on Sunday, an onslaught of culture and politics will be unleashed upon the masses this Tuesday. For starters, the filmmaker The Right loves to hate, Michael Moore, comes out swinging with the DVD release of his highly controversial anti-Bush polemic "Fahrenheit 9/11" as well as two new books. Bruce Springsteen and friends continue to rock and roll through the swing states on the "Vote For Change" tour, while in the other corner, toxic right-wing insane-o columnist Ann Coulter issues her latest screed, "How to Talk to a Liberal (If You Must)." But perhaps the most interesting release this Tuesday is the DVD, "George W. Bush: Faith in the White House." Reportedly, this documentary unabashedly trumpets and praises the president for seemingly handing over the reins of our country to his god. No doubt, this is a preaching-to-the-choir documentary that will serve to further cement support from hard-core bible thumpers already in the president's corner, and further repel liberals who are already appalled and frightened at the prospect of this man getting four more years to destroy the country.

Religion and politics is a touchy subject, one that divides people more than just about anything. But I don't think I'm the first to say that the two shouldn't mix. In fact, I believe there's a little notion often referred to as "separation of the church and state" which appears somewhere in the Constitution, a fact that may be news to some of the folks roaming the halls of the White House these days (I'm looking at you Ashcroft). While presidents throughout history have made sure to include strong religious conviction and faith as a component of their public persona, this president has made an unprecedented effort to portray himself as God's chosen warrior in the battle against evil. This is a man who believes that "God chose him" to be president. This is a man who has positioned his "war on terror" as a "crusade," not a popular word choice in the Muslim world. He opposes issues like stem-cell research, same-sex marriage and abortion because they "go against God." Hell, even the podiums at the recent Republican convention were not-so-subtly designed to resemble crosses. This president wears his faith on his sleeve, and that's the lone reason a lot of people in this country support him, regardless of how harmful his actual policies may be.

For me, the idea that the president is a believer in the "End Times" and the "Rapture" (check out the "Rapture Index"!), and is probably a lifetime member of the "Left Behind" book club scares the shit out of me. Essentially, he interprets much of the Bible literally, fully believing that the final, apocalyptic showdown between good and evil will take place in the Middle East, with good prevailing of course. Clearly, he's done all he can over the past four years to have this scenario play out. If given four more, I'm afraid the locusts can't be far behind.

Jesus save us, from George W. Bush.

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