New York Review of Books - November 16, 2006
The right wing in America likes to think that the United States government was, at its inception, highly religious, specifically highly Christian, and even more specifically highly biblical. That was not true of that government or any later government—until 2000, when the fiction of the past became the reality of the present. George W. Bush was not only born-again, like Jimmy Carter. His religious conversion came late, and took place in the political setting of Billy Graham's ministry to the powerful. He was converted during a stroll with Graham on his father's Kennebunkport compound. It is true that Dwight Eisenhower was guided to baptism by Graham. But Eisenhower was a famous and formed man, the principal military figure of World War II, the leader of NATO, the president of Columbia University—his change in religious orientation was just an addition to many prior achievements. Bush's conversion at a comparatively young stage in his life was a wrenching away from mainly wasted years. He joined a Bible study culture in Texas that was unlike anything Eisenhower bought into. Bush was a saved alcoholic—and here, too, he had no predecessor in the White House. Ulysses Grant conquered the bottle, but not with the help of Jesus. . .
Wills's article details how the Bush administration has injected religion into science, justice, social services, health and war. IMHO, this administration is the most outwardly religious and inwardly, thoroughly corrupt administration that has ever controlled our nation's fate. However, there is hope that the public has had enough of Jesus being used as a cover for whatever illegal or unconstitutional activities their elected officials wish to undertake. Here in Kansas, there was good, bad and ugly in terms of the Religious Right. Many might call Phred "ugly," but I don't think he's a certified member of the RRR. I think he's a megalomaniac loony who's passed on his crazy gene to his kids. Anyhow, read a glimmer of hope in this:
In the Wichita Eagle's list of "Issues that Defined 2006"
Religious Right setbacks. Social conservatives lost key national and state elections. The Rev. Terry Fox also was pushed out of his pulpit and dropped his radio talk show. But don't count them out -- Sen. Sam Brownback, R-Kan., is running for president; Kline has a new job in Johnson County; Fox has a new church at a theme park; and the ideological pendulum on the State Board of Education will likely swing again.