I agree only in the sense echoed in the following excerpt. People like our fearless leader believe... apparently, they simply believe in power more than god.
I am just back from a two-day visit to Regent University, founded by the evangelist Pat Robertson, a key figure in the religious right. "What you need to understand," a Robertson supporter told me, "is that Pat opposed the war in Iraq from the start." I responded that according to the Lancet, some 600,000 [unlikely its that high, but still...] Iraqis have died since the war began. If Robertson had publicly opposed the war, I told them, his influential voice might have spared those lives. "But," one of them answered back, "Pat is a Republican who would not openly oppose the president."Politics trumps religion -- every time.
And there, I submit, is why the religious right is in trouble. Since the emergence of a politically active version of conservative Protestantism in the 1980s, it has never been clear whether America's shift to the right took place because deeply religious people became political or because deeply conservative people became religious. I learned at Regent what I have long suspected: For some of the most visible leaders in the religious right, politics trumps religion every time.
That's what I see -- and it should make even secular people, like myself, convulse. (Aside from the fact that pseudo-universities like Pat Robertson's are cranking out these driveling idiots and turning them loose on society.)
Politicians have been kissing babies since the profession began, but the bunch that will come to you spouting the dogma of your faith -- and then allow such worldly considerations as getting elected to get in the way of those ideals -- has to be the lowest form of political animal. I guess the ends do justify the means.
The problem is, it worked... The latest revelations not withstanding, religious people STILL want to hear their leaders spew illogic and unsubstantiated drivel as a demonstration that they are worthy of office. Our leaders oblige: listen to the stump speeches of democrats and republicans alike -- many are laden with references to god or faith. Someone has yet to explain to me how belief in 'god' will solve a single government-related issue. If such beliefs inspire a plan of action, just tell me the plan and spare me the metaphysical mumbo-jumbo.
The country will remain on its insane trajectory until people realize that religious belief isn't a qualification to hold public office: its an impediment to sound decision making.