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Planet of the Bushes
2005.01.16 (Sun) 23:00
A reader of ours, Steven, seems concerned about the direction Bush's America is taking — we share that concern wholeheartedly.
Steven brought up Bush's recent statements regarding the public perception of his "faith-based presidency." As reported in The Washington Times:
"I think people attack me because they are fearful that I will then say that you're not equally as patriotic if you're not a religious person," Mr. Bush said. "I've never said that. I've never acted like that. I think that's just the way it is."
As PZ over on Pharyngula suggests, Bush's statement is an outright contradiction. "I've never said that...that's just the way it is." Don't look now, Dubya, but you just said it. Is this president that much of a fucking moron that he doesn't see the illogic inherent in his statement?
That, by the way, was a rhetorical question.
Bush doesn't stop there:
"...I don't see how you can be president at least from my perspective, how you can be president, without a relationship with the Lord," he said.
This should come as no surprise, coming as it does from the son of the man who had the following exchange with Robert I. Sherman of the American Atheist Press (thanks to commenter Bozola on the Smirking Chimp):
Sherman: "Surely you recognize the equal citizenship and patriotism of Americans who are atheists?"
Bush: "No, I don't know that atheists should be considered as citizens, nor should they be considered patriots. This is one nation under God."
— Free Inquiry magazine, Fall 1988, Volume 8, Number 4, page 16.
Thanks a lot, George Senior — but we here at the Two Percent Company do consider ourselves patriots. Sure, this country has some problems, but it's still the cleverest political experiment that anyone on this planet has ever managed to put into action. If we weren't patriots, we would have left for good quite a while ago, when it became apparent how the Bush Administration and others were going to abuse the system set up to guarantee our rights and protections. It is the fact that we horrible, terrible atheists are patriots that makes us speak out at all; in defense of this country, the Constitution, and the rights of all our fellow citizens.
This common relegation of atheists as second-class citizens is enough to give us a persecution complex. What the Bushies don't seem to grasp — judging by the fact that they make these statements publicly and openly — is what government-sponsored classification of specific groups as second-class citizens leads to, historically speaking. We won't rush to judgment; but we will, of course, be keeping a careful eye on the ever so much less subtle rise of the Religious Right in our government.
Dubya and his pop aren't the only Bushes making inane statements lately, however. Laura Bush — whom we had respected somewhat as a librarian and presumably educated person — has an answer to those who are criticizing the Bushes' plans for Dubya's $40M inaugural bash (found via Pharyngula).
Inaugurations, Mrs. Bush said, are "an important part of our history."
"They're a ceremony of our history; they're a ritual of our government," she said in a round-table interview with reporters in the White House map room. "And I think it's really important to have the inauguration every time. I think it's also good for Washington's economy, for people to come in from around the country, for the hotels to be full, and the restaurants to be full, and the caterers to be busy. I think that's important."
She added: "I think there's a symbolic aspect of the inauguration that - and because of that, the symbol of the inauguration, you never want to - for any reason - cancel it or not have it."
Oh, certainly — because we all know that celebrating your re-election as President of the United States is much more important than doing your job as president. Who could possibly believe that troubled times — such as during a war, or immediately after a presidential assassination, or during a staggering economic depression — would be a good enough reason to not have a huge party? Well, perhaps George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Andrew Johnson, Woodrow Wilson, Warren G. Harding, Calvin Coolidge, Herbert Hoover, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and Harry Truman...but what did those guys know?
It's official: the Bushes — apparently all of them — live in a fucking fantasy world. A fantasy world where actually saying something doesn't mean you've actually said it (whether it's "atheists can't be patriots" or "no new taxes"). A fantasy world where hundreds of thousands of deaths and millions of homeless rate $15 million (no, wait, $35 million...or, wait! $350 million!), while a big party to celebrate keeping your job rates $40 million. A fantasy world where your faith in an imaginary superhero equates to your competence to deal with important, real world issues. A fantasy world where "atheist" means "evil."
Of course, the mainstream media isn't helping much, but it really surprised us when, while writing this Rant, we looked up the word "atheist" on the online American Heritage Dictionary:
1a. Disbelief in or denial of the existence of God or gods. b. The doctrine that there is no God or gods. 2. Godlessness; immorality.
So "atheism" means "immorality"? "Godlessness," sure — we're quite happy we have no gods; but "immorality"? How sad when a reference site makes unfounded, judgmental accusations. In a world where such things go unchallenged, no wonder George, his dad, and his wife can manage to avoid dealing with reality.
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[ Filed under: % Bush Watch % Government & Politics % Greatest Hits % Religion ]
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