August 29, 2006

Hey Les

You keep coming back, so here are a few questions. No, nothing to do with SBC policy or treatment of moderates.

  • Why do Southern Baptists seem so happy with Bush's presidency?

  • Why do they seem to applaud an ill-advised war even when so many Republicans are unhappy with the management of this war?

  • Why do conservative evangelicals still refuse to hold the President accountable for torture policies, horrible response to Katrina, and tax policies seemingly aimed at helping the already rich?

  • Why does it seem that the only accountability calls come when Bush vacillates on gays or stem cells?

  • And to reiterate, the Bush administration has worked exceptionally hard to be able to torture people. That seems like a fundamental moral question and I am unclear as to why conservative evangelicals seem to be sitting on their hands on this one. They can raise hell over Harriet Miers, but not over torture?
  • 7 comments:

    Les Puryear said...

    Streak,

    Okay, I'm game. Here's my take on it.

    Why do Southern Baptists seem so happy with Bush's presidency?

    I think most SBCers like Bush's presidency because they think that a godly man is at the helm. This may or may not be true, but I believe that is the perception. BTW, I lived in Texas when George W. was governor. Let me just say that I thought it odd that he would run for President. He was invisible as a governor.


    Why do they seem to applaud an ill-advised war even when so many Republicans are unhappy with the management of this war?

    Correct me if I'm wrong (I know you will :), but I believe most Democrats were in favor of the war as well when we started. I think everybody knows what this is really all about. George W. is trying to finish the job that his father started. He was looking for a reason and he found one. And the entire country bought into it at the time.

    Why do conservative evangelicals still refuse to hold the President accountable for torture policies, horrible response to Katrina, and tax policies seemingly aimed at helping the already rich?

    Short answer...see answer to first question.


    Why does it seem that the only accountability calls come when Bush vacillates on gays or stem cells?

    See the answer to first question.

    And to reiterate, the Bush administration has worked exceptionally hard to be able to torture people. That seems like a fundamental moral question and I am unclear as to why conservative evangelicals seem to be sitting on their hands on this one. They can raise hell over Harriet Miers, but not over torture?

    I don't think anyone is happy about torture. It's completely unacceptable. But remember the answer to the first question. They want to give him the benefit of the doubt.

    Well, that's my take on it. That was fun. Want to play some more?

    Regards,

    Les

    ninjanun said...

    So...in other words, we don't hold our "Christian" president accountable? He gets a free pass because he throws around scripture occassionally and says Jesus is his favorite philosopher?

    Don't get me wrong; I originally thought he was a good Christian man who was trying to do the right thing, too. I even voted for him in the first election for that reason; I thought he was a man of character. But when he started doing some very un-Christian-like things, I stopped supporting him. And the fact that the SBC and other conservative Christians don't hold him accountable is one of the reasons I no longer consider myself Southern Baptist or conservative.

    Streak said...

    Les,

    Thanks for playing. I agree with ninjanun about the accountability issue. That has certainly caused me to lose respect for conservative evangelicals. Having a "godly" man in the office might be nice, but even in 04 there was ample evidence of that not working out.

    And the benefit of the doubt is one thing, but the failure to hold him accountable on torture is hard to defend. Especially when conservative evangelicals (in a generalized sense) appear easily activated to protest over the ten commandments or Terry Schiavo.

    As for the war, I will concede that many Democrats supported the war, but would hardly say most. Perhaps in the Senate and House where many, I believe, hoped that Bush was angling for some kind of diplomatic end rather than just planning on rushing in where we would be greeted like liberators. :)

    I once blogged that I thought Bush was the worst thing to ever happen to conservative evangelicals because it cost them credibility as a prophetic voice. This week, watching all the Katrina retrospectives, I am further reminded of that.

    Monk-in-Training said...

    While I do belive that Mr. Bush has a form of godliness, I think his policies and actions (fruit if u will) are the least Christian in generations, if not since the founding of the Republic.

    Tax cutting and torture are not things that advance the Kingdom, and as much as I am opposed to abortion, it isn't the be-all end all of being pro-life.

    "Shame on you! you who make unjust laws and publish burdensome decrees, depriving the poor of justice, robbing the weakest of my people of their rights, despoiling the widow and plundering the orphan. What will you do when called to account, when ruin from afar confronts you? To whom will you flee for help?" -- Isaiah 10:1-3

    Bruce said...

    I think this tends to be the flaw with faith-based reasoning. Once you accept something on faith then you are prone to keep believing even as the evidence keeps mounting against your belief.

    If you can't change direction based on new information then you are stuck in a situation where you have to defend you actions based solely on attacking the opposition.

    Kevin said...

    I think a big part of the SBC's inability to revisit their stance on the war and give GWB a free pass is because they are unable to admit they're wrong. Their approach to biblical interpretation is based on their belief that the bible is, in every way, true and accurate. And that truth and accuracy never change.

    They then apply the same principle to the political arena, where they have enjoyed immense, worldly power, on the coattails of the "Christian President."

    At least, that's my impression.

    kgp

    ubub said...

    I truly appreciate Les' willingness to stay engaged in these discussion. There is too little dialogue happening in society as a whole so I applaud Les and those who give his comments serious consideration, however much we may disagree.

    That said, while I agree with Les that conservative Evangelicals probably support Bush because they perceive him to be a Godly man, I think the other commenters are likely right that there is little of substance to support that view.

    I am reminded of the old hymn, "They will know we are Christians by our Love." At risk of quoting the Black Eyed Peas, "Where is the Love?"

    BTW, I may have to change my commenter handle to "Giggling Liberal."