Dr. Gerry Lower
As a result of Richard Clarke's recent exposure of Bush World from the inside out, George W. Bush's public approval for his "war on terrorism" has slipped in two months from 70% to 57%. Yet, his overall approval remains a solid 49% (Blow for Bush, Brian Braiker, MSNBC, March 27, 2004). The same people who voted for Bush because of his feigned "morality" and religiosity are still supporting Bush, not so much in defense of Bush's deceitful and unsuccessful policies but in defense of their own religiosity. It is hard for self-righteous people to admit error.
It would appear then that about half the American electorate (mostly religious conservative Republicans) are going to remain loyal to the Bush administration's demands for loyalty, despite its celebration of self-rightousness and belligerence on the world stage. They will remain loyal to the Bush administration despite its lies and coercions in taking the American people into an unprovoked war in Iraq, a war that has proven to have very little if anything to do with the "war on terrorism."
A lot of otherwise decent people in America are being mislead by allowing their fear of terrorism, their ignorance of history, their loyalty to Old Testament supernatural religion and their loyalty to capitalism and markekplace "freedom" (license) to rule their day. In maintaining their proud loyalty to Bush World, they remain necessarily unable to see what is going on through honest human eyes. A lot of otherwise decent people restrict themselves to believing only what is claimed to be true by the Bush administration, which has already proven to the outside world its unique talents for political distortion, religious coercion and political violence.
From viewpoints well outside of Bush World, the situation is a good deal more grim than Bush loyalists are able to contemplate or comprehend. On March 25, for example, the British press ran two commentaries, one entitled "Be afraid, be very afraid" and one entitled "It could be the death of us all." Both commentaries address concerns to which Bush loyalists must remain either aloof or blind and ignorant.
The former analysis by Jackie Ashley (www.guardian.co.uk) concludes that Bush and Blair have "squandered their efforts in the wrong country" and "obstructed attempts to deal with al-Qaida" terrorism, resulting in a "climate of fear" throughout the western world. Ashley also points out that both Bush and Blair talk about terrorism not in honest empirical terms but in "tellingly biblical language," both seeing religion-based terrorism as being designed "to bring about armageddon." By seeing the world so, they make the world so.
The latter analysis by Ron Ferguson (www.theherald.co.uk) suggests that already "the apocalyptic horses are pawing the ground." Ferguson concludes that Bush's "doctrine of the legitimacy of preemptive strikes" (in order to effect regime change in Iraq) has "certainly loosened the fatal lightning of somebody's terrible swift sword." He accurately points out that the one thing uniting Osama bin Laden, George W. Bush and Ariel Sharon is "an obsession with religion" and religious prophecy.
These three men do, indeed, symbolize the three major branches of western religion, i.e., Judaism, Old Testament Romanism (masquerading as "Christianity" for 1700 years) and Islamism, all three with roots in Abraham's monotheistic supernatural religion, all three notable for their fundamentalist disdain for human scientific knowledge, all three notable for their fundamentalist preference for the values of vengeance and self-righteousness in the millennial maintenance of religious political violence.
While religious Bush loyalists in America see themselves as defending the values of Democracy and Christianity, those outside of Bush World see Bush loyalists as defending the values of Old Testament Roman religion and crony corporate capitalism. Bush loyalists are accurately seen (given their willingness to abide White House lies and fabrications) as being religiously blind and incorrible, above reason and honest human truth. They are seen as blindly setting the stage for armegeddon and the fulfillment of religious prophecy.
These are remarkably disparate views of precisely the same damned situation, the view from Bush World being based literally on blind faith in Bush's self-righteous Old Testament religiosity and the view from outside of Bush World being based on empirical observations and interpretations consistent with the historic role of Old Testament Roman religious attitudes in driving imperialism, colonialism and capitalism.
Even a cursory historical awareness of the scientific, natural philosophic and nascent Christian origins of Jefferson's Democracy would quickly convince honest observers that American Democracy has devolved 180 ˚ from the liberal values which birthed it, to currently occupy the despotic position of its former right wing monarchical oppressors.
Even a cursory evolutionary awareness of the factionating reforms of Old Testament Roman religion (from Lutheranism to Unitarianism) would quickly convince honest observers that American "Christendom" has devolved 180 ˚ from the Protestant values which birthed it, to currently occupy the despotic position of its former right wing papal oppressers.
Bush loyalists, in their spiritual quest to defend everything that is wrong with American Democracy, ought keep in mind that empiricism has never, in 2500 years, lost an argument to religious supernaturalism (which has been wrong about everything from the movements of the planets to the causes of disease to the origins of life on earth). In their self-righteous blindness and fear of human knowledge and truth, Bush loyalists guarantee the apocalyptic outcome which British observers see coming to the world.
Osama bin Laden, George W. Bush and Ariel Sharon (and the "obsession with religion" of their followers) are, at the same time, fulfilling both religious prophecy and cultural evolutionary necessity. The world and her people cannot much longer survive the violent machinations of vengeance-driven religion and greed-driven crony capitalism. Discrediting those views from the global political arena will only open the doors for a return to Deist sanity, the emergence of a global democracy and the realization of world peace.
Given the unholy religious triumverate currently in charge of western culture, it will make little difference whether the American people condone or condemn the blind fulfillment of religious prophecy. The final outcome will necessarily be the same, i.e., the "end of time" for religion-based political philosophy, the "second coming" of the dialectic values of human enlightenment, the beginning of time for a global democracy, the rapturous birth of humankind and the return of deity to earth, freckles, dimples and all.
Jefferson's Deist God, the personal God in the "head and heart" of every caring and thoughtful person, the God made manifest in "the will of the people," can hardly wait to come home.
Dr. Gerry Lower lives in the shadow of Mount Rushmore in the Black Hills of South Dakota. Feel free to explore his book, "Jefferson's Eyes" (a Deist view of Bush World), at www.jeffersonseyes.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.