Dark Christianity
dark_christian
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May 2008
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Should government dictate culture?

LJ-SEC: (ORIGINALLY POSTED BY [info]sunfell)

Should government dictate culture, through laws or influence? Or should that job fall to the people? Apparently our president believes that the government should arbitrate culture, and believes that laws and constitutional amendments can be made to do just that.

Here's a quote from a rare on the record presidential interview with The Christian Times. In it, he makes some chilling points, and states even more chilling goals:

President George W. Bush, in a rare on-the-record session with religion editors and writers on Wednesday, said his job as president is to "change cultures."

In wide-ranging comments inside the Roosevelt Room, Bush spoke passionately about his resolve to establish a free Iraq, his desire to promote cultural change in the United States through his faith-based initiative, and his belief in the power of prayer. Appearing relaxed and self-assured, the President also reaffirmed his support for a Federal Marriage Amendment, urging the American people to become more involved.

Following is an edited transcript of the May 26, 2004, session.

*******
[President Bush]

At home, the job of a president is to help cultures change. The culture needs to be changed. I call it, so people can understand what I'm talking about, changing the culture from one that says, "If it feels good, do it, and if you've got a problem, blame somebody else," to a culture in which each of us understands we're responsible for the decisions we make in life. I call it the responsibility era. … I said that when I was governor of Texas. As a matter of fact, I've been saying that ever since I got into politics. This is one of the reasons I got into politics in the first place. Governments cannot change culture alone. I want you to know I understand that. But I can be a voice of cultural change.

Part of the responsibility era is the responsibility that comes with promoting—taking care of your bodies to the point where we can promote a culture of life. Father Richard [Neuhaus] helped me craft what is still the integral part of my position on abortion, which is: Every child welcomed to life and protected by law. That is the goal of this administration.

Part of government's role is to foster responsibility and hope by standing with those who have heard a call to love a neighbor, which is the second point of the faith-based initiative that I think is one of the most important domestic initiatives that I have pushed, if not the most. It recognizes the rightful relationship between hearts and souls and government. Again, my job is to try to distill things down so that average people can understand it. Here's the way I put it, "Government can hand out money, but it cannot put love in people's hearts or a sense of purpose in people's lives."

Or I like to tell people, "If you're a drunk, sometimes a psychologist can talk you out of it, but generally it requires a higher power. If you change your heart, you change your behavior." And government must recognize that those heart changers are an important part of changing society one soul at a time.

So the faith-based initiative recognizes that there is an army of compassion that needs to be nurtured, rallied, called forth, and funded, without causing the army to have to lose the reason it's an army in the first place.

I mean, one of the real challenges we've had, of course, is to say to the faith community, "Come in, the social service money is available for you and oh, by the way, you can keep the cross on the wall or the Star of David in your temple without fear of government retribution." I think we're getting there. I mean, this is a cultural change in government too, by the way. It's been a mighty struggle to convince people of the wisdom of the policy.

In Texas again, my line was, "Look, don't focus on the process, focus on the results." That's how we were able to get the prison ministry into that Sugarland Prison. "See if these people go back into jail or not, that's all I ask. And if they don't, if it works, let's keep it intact."

Finally, government has got a responsibility to support and nurture institutions … foster institutions that provide hope and stability. That's why I took the position I took on the sanctity of marriage. I believe it's a very important issue for America. I think it—marriage—has worked. It's the commitment between a man and a woman. That shared responsibility is the cornerstone—has been the cornerstone—will be the cornerstone for civilization and I think any erosion of that definition by itself will weaken civilization as we have known it, and as we hope to know it.

And I call for a constitutional amendment for two reasons: One, I understand how the process works and why there is some protection against the decisions by a few court judges in one state protecting the definition of marriage in other states. The legal scholars tell me it is not on a very firm foundation because of the Full Faith and Credit Clause of the Constitution. And therefore there needs to be an alternative available.

Secondly, I want the American people participating in the process. I don't want this decided by judges. It's too big an issue. And the constitutional process is a sure enough way to get people involved through the amendment process, how we amend the Constitution.

The role of government is to help foster cultural change as well as to protect institutions in our society that are an important part of the culture. And I believe this is an issue in the campaign—how you view the role of government and how individuals view their own role in society. And I look forward to the debate.


Another excerpt:

Explain your comment "I don't do nuance" in the context of the war.

Well, my job is to speak clearly and when you say something, mean it. And when you're trying to lead the world in a war that I view as really between the forces of good and the forces of evil, you got to speak clearly. There can't be any doubt. And when you say you're going to do something, you've got to do it. Otherwise, particularly given the position of the United States in the world today, there will be confusion. And it is incumbent upon this powerful, rich nation to lead—not only lead in taking on the enemies of freedom, but lead in taking on those elements of life that prevent free people from emerging, like disease and hunger. And we are. We feed the world more than any other country. We're providing more money for HIV/AIDS in the world. We are a compassionate country.

What about your description of the war as a battle between good and evil and statements you made on Egyptian television following the prisoner abuse scandal, which some later called a mistake for appearing to be apologizing in a way that reinforces Pan-Arabism?

No question, that's why I said I am sorry for those people who were humiliated. That's all I said. I also said, "The great thing about our country is that people will now see that we'll deal with this in a transparent way based upon rule of law. And it will serve as a great contrast." But I never apologized to the Arab world.

Do you believe there is anything inherently evil in the way some practice Islam that stands in the way of the pursuit of democracy and freedom?

I think what we're dealing with are people—extreme, radical people—who've got a deep desire to spread an ideology that is anti-women, anti-free thought, anti- art and science, you know, that couch their language in religious terms. But that doesn't make them religious people. I think they conveniently use religion to kill. The religion I know is not one that encourages killing. I think that they want to drive us out of parts of the world so they're better able to have a base from which to operate. I think it's very much more like an … "ism" than a group with territorial ambition.

More like a what?

An "ism" like Communism that knows no boundaries, as opposed to a power that takes land for gold or land for oil or whatever it might be. I don't see their ambition as territorial. I see their ambition as seeking safe haven. And I know they want to create power vacuums into which they are able to flow.

To what final end? The expansion of Islam?

No, I think the expansion of their view of Islam, which would be I guess a fanatical version that—you know, you're trying to lure me down a road [where] … I'm incapable of winning the debate. But I'm smart enough to understand when I'm about to get nuanced out. No, I think they have a perverted view of what religion should be, and it is not based upon peace and love and compassion—quite the opposite. These are people that will kill at the drop of a hat, and they will kill anybody, which means there are no rules. And that is not, at least, my view of religion. And I don't think it's the view of any other scholar's view of religion either.


Read the interview carefully. In it, you will see, under the veneer of a 'peaceful, loving' country, the blueprint for its destruction.

Governments should govern. They should make sure that the safety and welfare of the citizens is cared for, and that is it. They shouldn't say who can marry whom, or what 'faith' is permitted in a 'faith-based' social services system, which is really nothing but a thinly disguised means to make certain sorts of Christianity the gatekeepers of welfare in this country. Leaders should not have binary (good vs evil) vision- they should have the intellectual firepower to understand subtle nuances and work with them.

Here's the chiller- Bush describes the Islamic terrorists as "extreme, radical people—who've got a deep desire to spread an ideology that is anti-women, anti-free thought, anti- art and science, you know, that couch their language in religious terms," yet cannot see that his 'initiatives' are creating the exact same conditions in our own country.

Extreme, radical people with an ideology? How about the ones in office?

Anti women? How about Bush's won war against Women? His first act in office was to re-impose a 'gag rule' that "bars U.S. funds to any family planning agency that even mentions abortion during counseling, even if it uses its own money to do so."

Anti free thought? How about Ashcroft's "Patriot Act"? Can't express yourself at a protest any more!

Anti art and science? Ashcroft covering the 'obscene' statuary in the Attorney General's lobby. The introduction of the sneaky "intelligent design" meme into the teaching of science.

Couching language in religious terms? Read nearly every speech he's given- they're loaded with religious code words and phrases from hymns and the Bible. Bush says that he reads Oswald Chambers every day. Today's question was, "Are you obsessed by something?" then goes on to say, "If we are obsessed by God, nothing else can get into our lives— not concerns, nor tribulation, nor worries. And now we understand why our Lord so emphasized the sin of worrying. How can we dare to be so absolutely unbelieving when God totally surrounds us? To be obsessed by God is to have an effective barricade against all the assaults of the enemy."

That explains his 'What? Me worry?' expression...And remember- we're the 'enemy'...

Now you see why I want my real freedom back. My vote is a single raindrop, a single teardrop, a single snowflake that will be part of the flood, the blizzard of outrage that will wash us clean of this slowly advancing nightmare, and perhaps put us on the road to restoring our tarnished honor. I want a government that will properly govern, not dictate.

Sunfell

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