July 31, 2006
Via Jonah, this is a fascinating interview with Bush's outgoing speechwriter Michael Gerson. I've long believed that evangelical Christianity is antithetical to the small government tradition of the Reaganites, but rarely has such a prominent member of the GOP admitted the tension so frankly. I'll have a lot more to say about this in the next issue of The American Prospect, but suffice to say I think Gerson, not Grover, represent the future of the Republican Party:
Until recently, the Republican Party and Christian conservatives have complained that government is the problem. Is that a view they will likely return to?
I think it's a temptation, but I don't think it's going to happen. One reason is because of what's changed in evangelical political involvement.
I think there are lots and lots of young people, in their 20s to 40s, who are very impatient with older models of social engagement like those used by the Religious Right. They understand the importance of the life issues and the family issues, but they know the concern for justice has to be broader and global. At least a good portion of the evangelical movement is looking for leaders who have a broader conception of social justice. President Bush has provided that in many ways. He ran his initial campaign on education and on faith-based answers to poverty and addiction. And then he's led the international efforts we've undertaken, both on the development and disease side, but also on the spread of human liberty.[...]
Where specifically do you think the Religious Right has gone off track?
Some of it is what I would call baptizing policy recommendations, as if there were a Christian view on tax policy or missile defense. These are questions of prudence and judgment on which reasonable people disagree.
Sometimes the agenda has been important but too limited. The goal is to have a Christian worldview that encompasses domestic and foreign policy, that speaks broadly without essentially trying to claim there's only one Christian view on a variety of issues.
I think there are informed and correct views on tax policy. I don't think there's necessarily a Christian view. But there is a Christian view on human dignity and on the responsibility of government to protect the weak and on making sure societies are not just organized for the benefit of the strong. Those are consistent teachings that have relevance in every time, and they motivate people across the spectrum. (Italics mine)
July 31, 2006 | Permalink
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I've been trying to watch my language, but. . .
Fuck you, Gerson! If you don't think there's a "Christian view on tax policy or missile defense," then why did you prostitute your upbringing, your education and your own soul to "baptize policy recommendations," you asshole.
Gerson's codewords, catch phrases and intimate knowledge of what perks up Evangelicals' ears are a very large part of why Bush and company have been able to sell their anti-Christian bill of goods.
Now that he's finished with his part in destroying all that America used to be and deceiving millions of people into thinking that policies completely antithetical to Christianity are actually in line with the words of Jesus, Gerson thinks he can quit and redeem himself by "criticizing" the Religious Right.
He helped to make the Religious Right what it is, and he can go *&#*$^@% &*$#@$%@!$#@!$#@ $#@$@#!$#!#!#@$!$#!
Okay, I'm done now.
Posted by: Stephen | Jul 31, 2006 1:26:50 PM
No, I'm not.
Gerson is wrong about there not being a Christian view on tax policy or missile defense.
Christians have a very clear command to take care of the poor and foreigners. This is spelled out from beginning to end. A Christian view of tax policy is that if Christians themselves refuse to help the poor, then it is entirely acceptable to use taxes to do it.*
Christians also have clear commands to be good stewards of the resources that God has given them. Spending billions of dollars on costly boondoggles that do nothing but line the pockets of the already rich is not good stewardship.
Does Gerson really think that offering tepid "criticism" after years of intentional distortion and deception is going to get him off the hook for his sins? From one Evangelical to another, he needs to repent, to take a very public trip down to the altar where he renounces what he has done, and then he needs to show a life that is heading in the opposite direction than it was before.
*Guess what happened before the US government started putting anti-poverty programs into place. C'mon, guess. Ok, I'll tell you: the Church started closing its orphanages, soup kitchens and other compassionate ministries. This coincided with the explosive economic growth of the middle class in the 1940's-50's. Before the Great Society. The Church turned its back on the poor before the government became the way for people who actually care about fellow human beings to take action.
Posted by: Stephen | Jul 31, 2006 1:38:00 PM
Guys like Gerson are the smiley-faces of Christianist fascism. Just look at this passage:
"a good portion of the evangelical movement is looking for leaders who have a broader conception of social justice. President Bush has provided that in many ways. He ran his initial campaign on education and on faith-based answers to poverty and addiction. And then he's led the international efforts we've undertaken, both on the development and disease side, but also on the spread of human liberty"
This is all bullshit. All of it. But it sure sounds good. And that's all it has to do for many, many listeners.
Posted by: Farinata X | Jul 31, 2006 2:07:18 PM
I surmise they took McLuhan seriously - waaaay too much.
"The medium is the message".
Welcome to Mass Brainwashing 101 - techniques and critiques. Control the media.
Posted by: opit | Aug 1, 2006 1:06:45 PM
I gotta pile on - Gersen's just wh*re who's changing his tune, now that a change looks good for his career.
Posted by: Barry | Aug 2, 2006 5:28:26 PM
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