George Bush's Ministry of Religiongreenspun.com : LUSENET : Gore 2004 : One Thread
In the many long years that I*ve witnessed and participated in American politics, no event has frightened me so much as President Bush's newly created Office of Faith-Based Initiatives. The President plans to address problems of drugs, crime, violence, homelessness and poverty by funneling tax money through this office to religious charities. He is, in effect, creating a Ministry of Religion. Not even the terrible years of McCarthyite witchhunts seemed so potentially threatening to democratic liberty as President Bush's fiscally endowed wedding of church and state.
On the surface the strategy seems plain enough. Creating a religious welfare state can readily be seen as a last ditch effort to capture popular sentiment for the Republican Party, for its conservative program, and for the corporate interests that the Party so prominently represents.
During the past half century, increasing demands for fairness in the laws and justice in their administration, for the security of livelihood and preservation of the environment have been steadily liberalizing popular thinking. Disheartening as they may have been to many liberals, not even the Reagan years could disguise this movement. Awarding funds to religious institutions, Bush himself is compelled to earmark them for programs that are high on the agenda of popular demands for the kind of human services that once were provided through state and federal agencies.
Regarded from this point of view, there is perhaps little to be feared from President Bush*s Ministry of Religion. What difference, really, one may ask, does it matter whether measures that contribute to the general well-being arrive under the imprimatur of a christian cross, a star of david, a crescent moon or a leaf from the bodhi tree? Why worry if a bit of religiosity attaches itself to benevolent functions of the state?
As it is, it makes a great deal of difference. There is much to worry about in the conjunction of state and religion that President Bush is initiating with his newly endowed Ministry.
Examined in depth, the consequences of this fateful association are potentially far more serious than merely momentary maneuvering by a political party concerned with its grip on power. From the earliest times, it appears, the wedding of church and state has served as a bulwark of tyranny.
In India of the Vedic conquerors, the holy Mahabharata had early on made it clear that, The brahmana [priest] and kshattriya [king] are connected with each other naturally, and each protects the other. "O my son," the high-priest Tansar advises the Persian king Ardasir [Artaxerxes/Order-bringing-warrior], dynastic founder of the Sassanid empire around 230 A.D., "know that religion and kingship are two brothers, and neither can dispense with the other."
Putting matters even more plainly,Tansar says elsewhere: "Religion is royalty, and royalty is the Religion."
Some 700 years later, Tansar's formula, succinct and serviceable, would be immortalized in the establishment of a Holy Roman Empire. "It is impossible for Christians to have the Church," the Patriarch of Constantinople writes to Prince Vasili Dimitrievich in the 15th century, "but not to have the emperor. For Empire and Church are in close union and it is impossible to divide them from each other."
It's altogether unlikely that the men who framed the U. S. Constitution were familiar with these particular writings. They are after all somewhat obscure, not easily available to public scrutiny. It is even less likely that the cobblers and farmers, the merchants and sailors who pressed for adoption of the Bill of Rights had ever heard of the sayings of Tansar, the Mahabharata or the Patriarch of Constantinople.
Nevertheless, an awareness of tyrannical reliance upon religious sanction was very much in the air. When Caesar is wrapped in the folds of God one hesitates to question the equity of what is being rendered.
Determined that the tyranny of kings was not to be their inheritance, from farmer to statesman, all were committed to the separation of church and state. They insisted upon its guarantee in the very first of the amendments that they attached to the Constitution. Prohibiting "government established religion," the First Amendment is inherent to the essence of the Constitution. It is vital to its survival as a covenant of liberty.
We can only guess at George W. Bush's motives in establishing his Office of Faith-Based Initiatives. Whatever the president has intended, and we are entitled to suspect the worst, tampering in any way with the exclusion of religious authority from government is a certain invitation to tyranny. A Ministry of Religion has no place in the governing institutions of a free people. With each day of its existence, freedom slips further away. Until one day, of religion there will be plenty, and of freedom none. Daz at email@example.com
-- Burt Alpert (firstname.lastname@example.org), February 17, 2001
That was a nice piece Burt. The Christian Coalition is not Christian anymore than the Mormons or Morons are Christians. They are a bunch of pseudo christians who dont give a damn that in the richest country on earth more than a million kids go hungry. George is just playing them to keep teir votes. The ugly bastard would sell his mother to get a tax write off for the rich. He wantds to pad his vote bank to get reelected. I'm going to contribute toi this forum and this group because I like what I see here. Keep more people coming, I like the fact we can be anonimous like in a polling booth so the nazis cannot bother us. Keep you ideas coming Burt!!!
-- Don'tlikewhat Happened (H.W.R.@myhome.us), February 28, 2001.
cant yus unnerstann that I is a compasional conservitive! I loves them poure chiuldrin and figger the churchies can help best and save my friends mony by using big gov mony. Any mo guff outa ya I'll send the FBI to get ya ...W
-- George W Bush (President@whitehouse.gov), March 05, 2001.
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Sometimes I really love this forum.
-- floren (email@example.com), March 23, 2001.
I am a Christian, and I am afraid that having federal funds will make the government want to dictate the Church's activities. I think Bush's plan really is to help more people, but frankly, I don't know that our charities need the tax money. That "certain invitation to tyranny" affects Christians as well.
Could any of you tell me: have federal funds been given to Christian (or any religious) charities before?
Would the President decide which faiths deserved funding?
-- Hannah (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 31, 2001.
THIS TOLD IT ALL:
THE BUSH PLOT FOR THE SHEEPLE
1. Grab control of government by any means, buy it or steal it (TASK ACCOMPLISHED ON DEC 13, 2000)
2. Immediately down talk the economy and engender a market crash and unemployment (TASK IN PROCESS AS PLANNED)
3. Use the engineered market fall as the excuse to give a trillion dollars from America's treasury to the very rich, disguised as a refund to all Americans (THIS STEP BEING URGENTLY PUSHED BY THE ILLEGAL "pRESIDENT" NOW)
4. By being actively privy to the Wall Street manipulations, Bush's super-rich supporters begin buying stock at rock bottom, thereby defrauding the people of savings and assets - W enriched himself this way when his dad let him know of the coming Gulf War action, criminal insider trading if ever there was one (THIS STEP IS IN PROCESS AND WILL GO ON FOR A WHILE)
5. Repeal inheritance tax to create a permanent pro-Bush aristocracy that will provide massive election funding to beat all opposition (BUSH IS PUSHING THIS STEP RIGHT NOW)
6. Set up Federal the funding of faith-based charities, a payoff to the Christian Right (fake Christians) to retain their votes against the people and eventually establish a state religion as an added instrument of control
7. When bread lines and riots finally explode, order police action and the suspension of civil rights by executive order to install the Fourth Reich in America; we will be worse off than Nazi Germany because there is no great free America across the ocean rescue us from fascism at the cost of our children's lives.
-- Real American (email@example.com), March 31, 2001.