As the government of the United States ostensibly wages an unbounded and ceaseless war with Islamic religious fundamentalists, our current President, George W. Bush, has proclaimed he senses a "third awakening of religious devotion" within America. This "third awakening" that Bush cloaks, but does not conceal, is the return of Christianity as a crusade. The sheer oddity of pronouncing a rebirth of a feverish religion, in a country founded on a secular government and not a spiritual one, is the tenable reality that we have become what we most fervently oppose, despise, and scorn -- a society ruled by theocracy and not democracy.
George W. Bush, a declared, "born-again Christian", after falling prey to drugs and alcohol for years, did not accurately find God, but George did find religion. What George found in religion was not greater guidance but compulsive coercion and mangling manipulation.
The true maliciousness of this is not religion, in and of itself, but what all religious fanaticism perpetrates. Religion divides; religion causes hatred, judgment of others, bigotry, wars, militant activists, extremists, death and destruction, and impedes progress, such as the recently vetoed bill for stem cell research. There have been more people killed, maimed, and murdered in the name of religion, than for any other reason or cause in man's history. These motives, above all others, are the core purpose for separation of church and state in our country.
The most overwhelming misnomer today is that supporters of Bush's faux-Christianity and "third awakening" are genuine Christians. They simply are not. The basic message of Christianity is one of peace and hope, faith and kindness, helping the meek, caring for the young, and securing the elderly. Christianity, as a principle, is fine. As a divisive and domineering creed, it becomes a distorted disaster that fails miserably to pay homage to the human side of Jesus.
Jesus taught an inspirational message that was contemptible to the Jewish priests during his time that all people were worthy of hope, prosperity, fairness, kindness and equality. Whether Jesus was a great man or divine being is irrelevant. He spoke the most basic truths about acceptance of one's neighbor and common humility. That if you were graced by good fortune, health and prosperity, to share it with your fellow man.
Jesus was the first real liberal who stood up to the Jewish priests, over 2000 years ago, against their corrupt temples and pilfering of money from Jewish peasants. He exposed their contemptuous hate of the commoner. Christ proved these crooked clerics were stealing from the impoverished to subsidize their own intemperance for greed and power. What Jesus had uncovered was an incredibly deceptive plan and an abhorrently insatiable appetite for money and control under the facade of faith.
Jesus wisely advised, to all who would listen to his simple but matchless wisdom, that everyone has significance and worthiness. That every human being is inevitably unrestricted in access to liberty and happiness, not just those chosen by corrupt, mortal dictators based on the size of your tithing to their coffers. Jesus' ultimate death was, in fact, a direct result of his imminent threat to the rulers of the day and a cautionary tale for the rest of humanity to come.
Unfortunately for countless many, over the last two millennia a simple, powerful message of restraint and compassion has been distorted, filled with falsehoods, used as a weapon of fear, a reason to kill, maim and even torture by very depraved and egotistical men who exhibit no decency, no decorum, or the slightest glimmer of conscience.
Today, we have subjugators, such as George W. Bush, which have evolved into monstrous megalomaniacs that will stop at nothing to tyrannize every person that opposes his warped theocratic and imperialistic ideals of his perverse "awakening of religious devotion." Bush and his breed genuinely believe that people who dissent from their psychotic world vision should share the very same fate as Jesus.
That is the true irony of Bush's religious overtones and propagandized piety. The very man, Jesus, that Bush claims to have saved him from his wicked ways and set Bush on the path to righteousness, feels no pity or remorse for the unspeakable acts against humanity, crimes against this once great nation, and so many others suffering around the world that he has so willingly imparted on us all in Jesus' name.
The real "awakening" we are experiencing is the grimacing, grim truth that America is being pushed and bullied into a theocratic dictatorship, ruled by a narrow-band of hateful and dangerous men. A nation where the rule of law will no longer come from a constitution derived by the collective people, but from an apocryphal, ancient manuscript that forces faith to be fact and non-believers are consequently victimized, spurned, or eradicated.
It's an often-used adage and cliché, but perhaps we should all ask, not in the celestial sense, but in the pragmatic sense, "What would Jesus do?"