The sad truth is that many misled evangelical Christians back Bush because they believe that things are going as planned when the world is in turmoil and disarray. War is good if it brings the Second Coming closer to fruition. God is in control, they will say, because their belief is that out of this kind of chaos a one world Christian order will emerge, led by Jesus Christ himself. They thing to themselves: the end times are near. We can feel good about ourselves. We are one of ‘the Chosen’.
This is insanity. The worst kind of prophecy is the one that is self-fulfilling. To think that mankind can create the circumstances by which the Second Coming will take place is utter hubris. It is a complete and utter misinterpretation and misapplication of scripture. In the Bible, Jesus says, “There will always be wars and rumors of wars.”
Yet a reliance on words and symbols from ancient texts is folly when current circumstances and simple morality lead to contrary actions. The United States holds no special place in ‘God’s great plan’. Jesus also said, “you will know my true follower by the fruits of their labor.” You cannot, in your intentions, bring about heaven, if instead you bring about hell.
The problem is uncertainty. Politicians gather power through preying upon people’s uncertainty. Uncertainty breeds illogical religious beliefs; illogical in that the fear itself drives people to accept any other explanation other than the unacceptable reality.
For example: rather than face death as a final end to one’s life, there are those who must invent a reality beyond death so that three things are accomplished 1) a certainty about what happens after one is unable to perceive things (i.e. die) 2) a type of control over the future – most religious beliefs are based on a need to control one’s surroundings 3) a feeling of superiority over those who are not believed to be ‘going to Heaven’ – this translates, politically, to the familiar ‘we’re right – you’re wrong’ argument. In other words, the chosen are justified in anything they do because, ultimately, they are going to heaven. Whereas, others, who are not going to heaven, are simply not justified. This sets up a permanent underclass of the ‘unsaved’ that become, in the eyes of the ‘saved’ pitied, at best, and contemptable, at worst.
Again, these beliefs are simply rubbish and devoid of ethical considerations. In this worldview: we are all created equal – equally sinful. There is no pursuit of happiness; only a pursuit of godliness (however that is defined). Liberty is only a term that defines one’s state when completely free of sin and thus utterly enmeshed in religious cultism. Up is down. Black is white. Good is evil. Evil is good. And might is right.
In reality, Bush, like many political leaders, is only using religion as a path to power. Religion causes people to act in ways they would normally not and follow people they would normally not follow. He actually may personally believe in what he’s saying when he makes religious statements. I personally could not care less about about a leader’s personal religious beliefs – unless they affect his decisions.
Religion has no place in politics because religion deals with the unseen, with issues regarding God, the esoteric, the spiritual. At best, it should fuel self-reflection and individual improvement as well as give guidance as to how to deal with others – including those who are different from us.
Politics, on the other hand, deals with the here and now. At best, it should result in compromises achieved and a more peaceful world.
However, Bush, like many others have done, are using religion to justify actions he and his administration have intended to make all along and along very narrow, unilateral lines. The Bible does not say – “give tax cuts to the wealthy for then you shall prosper.” In fact, Jesus said, “render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s.” It is this lack of separation between religious life and political life that will be Bush’s undoing. Once you start telling people what to believe religiously, you have stepped on the wrong ground.