The Null Device

George W. Bush on religion

Now that he no longer needs the votes of the faith-based voters, outgoing president George W. Bush pretty much admits to not believing that religious stuff he earlier expounded:
Here's the précis: he does not believe in the literal truth of the Bible, did not invade Iraq because of his Christianity and does not believe his faith is incompatible with evolution. Bush will not even assert that the Almighty – who, he believes, is much the same one as is worshipped by other religions – chose him to become president.
Remember that Jesus Camp documentary, in which kids from the red states were indoctrinated in Taliban-style facilities to believe that Bush is the instrument of God's will? Well, I'll bet there will be a lot of disillusionment there.

There are 8 comments on "George W. Bush on religion":

Posted by: gusset Wed Dec 10 11:46:18 2008

"I'll bet there will be a lot of disillusionment there." I bet there won't. Since when have such people let facts get in their way.

How long do you think before there is an openly atheist president?

Posted by: Greg Wed Dec 10 12:47:38 2008

I've had a theory for years that no-one in power who professes to believe in God really does. I'm especially thinking of high-status Anglicans such as the Queen, Cabinet, and yes, the Archbishop. My reasoning:

* everyone with a clue realizes that religion is "santa for grownups" ; * anyone with power must have a clue ; * one of the functions of religion is to maintain the political status quo - the trick is to convince low-status people to believe in it.

I'm not trying to sound Marxist, it just seems obvious that this is going on.

Posted by: acb Wed Dec 10 15:02:09 2008

Greg: Dawkins says the same thing in The God Delusion; or rather, he says that, given correlations between secularism and intelligence/education, there must be a lot of crypto-atheists in the US Congress and such.

Posted by: acb Wed Dec 10 15:03:48 2008

And the latest novel by Christopher Brookmyre (a Scottish satirical crime novelist, who's also president of the Scottish humanist society) has a pull-quote from a senior American neocon, talking about atheism being a secret truth, reserved for those in the inner circle of power, with the masses being told a more useful line.

Posted by: Greg Thu Dec 11 09:02:49 2008

So what happens when the elite out themselves as atheists? Do the workers give up religion, realizing they've been had, or do they revolt against their heathen rulers, wearing their belief proudly as a badge of class?

Posted by: God's coat-tails Thu Dec 11 11:49:04 2008

When you're all-powerful, it's easy to imagine that it's destiny at work. The alternative is that you, out of six billion people, won the existential lottery.

Posted by: acb Thu Dec 11 13:42:57 2008

The peasants pick up the torches and burn down Castle Frankenstein, also stopping to throw books and records onto bonfires and kill anyone wearing glasses. Militant ignorance is a powerful force, and can be harnessed, which is why the elite hide their true nature. Hence the "culture war", in which people have been conned into attacking wholely symbolic elites (latte-drinkers, book-readers, atheists, rootless cosmopolitanists, people who are Not Like Us). As someone once said, when the finger points at the moon, the idiot looks at the finger.

Posted by: Mike Magee Tue Nov 24 21:37:33 2009

It's a pity more people aren't seeing this blog. (I just discovered it looking for the Dada engine.) Leo Strauss is the founder of the movement that designates itself as neoconservative. Strauss was a Jewish admirer of Plato, who decided, in the best biblical tradition, that he was not saying what he meant, but, by suitable allegorical interpretation, was saying almost the opposite. Strauss decided that the common people had to be fed bullshit, while the ruling class (called philosophers!) kept truth to themselves because it was too upsetting for the common herd. More likely, as ACB suggests, when they find out they'll have a mass burning of the ruling class of neocon philosophers. So, it is important for them to keep shovelling the political-military shit to keep us dimwits in fear and ignorance.

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