Wednesday, September 13, 2006


Until today, I didn't have the stomach to read the full text of the speech Bush gave the other night. I just read it over, and I have to say I am more than a little creeped out.

The 9/11 speech was standard republican pablum; lots of fear-mongering (the terrorists will follow us and kill your children), a lot of obfuscation and a few outright lies. (They're even recycling old lies now with the return of the Iraq/September 11 connection.) But this is what I've come to expect from the bush administration -- honestly, I'd be surprised if Bush gave a speech that didn't include at least a few outright falsehoods, and a lot of energetic bullshitting. Lies are not the problem. There's something even creepier worming its way into Bush's speeches.

It's the religiosity. George has always placed way too much emphasis on religion and it's always irritated me. I don't care how or if people worship, but I don't want to hear about it. In my secular view, religion has no place in government. But the USA is a religious country; speeches by politicians of all stripes usually mention god at some point or other. But lately Bush is taking this to the next level, connecting religion and the "war on terror". His speeches are taking on an almost messianic tone, with the "war on terror" being positioned as a "clash of civilizations", a battle between good and evil. A crusade, as it were. Bush even said in an interview yesterday that he "senses a Third Awakening in the country's religious devotion" that has coincided with the struggle against terrorism.

Whoa. "Third Awakening"? In evangelical christianity, which is the flavour Bush practices, "Third Awakening" believes in all kinds of crazy-ass shit -- armageddon, the final battle between good and evil in Jerusalem, the rapture, the apocalypse, the end of the world and the second coming of christ. The struggle between good and evil, when juxtaposed with the "war on terror", is a clash of civilizations between christians and muslims. So it sounds like Bush wants to launch a crusade and conquer islam.

This is not a good development, in part because there are places like Iran that Bush considers "evil" that also believe all this apocalyptic end-of-the-world religious tripe, from an islamic perspective. But it's also just creepy. Bible studies in the white house were bad enough, but calls for a "clash of civilizations" -- just plain creepy. [shudder]