Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Christ, you know it ain't easy...

I have seen several things written lately questioning GWBush's faith. I know, we're supposed to accept that as, well, an article of faith. But there is some pretty good evidence that his version of faith is misplaced. As a preface, let me state that I work in the recording industry, and for many years had, as clients, several large born-again right-wing church organizations that had recording studios and record labels. And one topic was discussed often; that of "accountability."

I remember discussing U2 with a man who ran one of these record labels, who was otherwise very open in his beliefs. I asked his opinion in the early '90s about U2's professed Christianity. His reply: "It's crap." when I pressed him on the answer, he stated that since they had no allegiance to any particular faith, especially to a specific church, they had no "accountability."

I asked if someone could just quietly, privately be a Christian, and was told "Yes." But I was also told that if one went public, one had to commit to a specific faith tradition, with a recognized hierarchy and leadership, so that one could be held "accountable."

I have read that the last two Presidents who regularly went to church, and adhered to a specific denomination, were, surprisingly, Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton. And this brings me to my point: GWBush neither attends church regularly, nor belongs to a specific congregation. Thus, he has no "accountability."

An article written by Ayelish McGarvey for The American Prospect questions the basic assumption about Bush's Christianity:

...Bush does not demonstrate a life of faith by his actions, and neither Methodists, evangelicals, nor fundamentalists can rightly call him brother. In fact, the available evidence raises serious questions about whether Bush is really a Christian at all.

Ironically for a man who once famously named Jesus as his favorite political philosopher during a campaign debate, it is remarkably difficult to pinpoint a single instance wherein Christian teaching has won out over partisan politics in the Bush White House. Though Bush easily weaves Christian language and themes into his political communication, empty religious jargon is no substitute for a bedrock faith. Even little children in Sunday school know that Jesus taught his disciples to live according to his commandments, not simply to talk about them a lot. In Bush’s case, faith without works is not just dead faith -- it’s evangelical agitprop.

Read the rest of the article, it makes an interesting case.