Not Eudora   By Harry Welty
Published Oct 28, 2004

Divided by God


If the attacks of 9/11 weren’t enough to focus my mind on the leadership of George W Bush, the possibility of losing two young friends in Iraq certainly has been. This is the first war that I've personally known soldiers who were about to ship out.


A thousand young Americans have already been lost in this war. Many of these deaths, and those of thousands of Iraqis, have been the result of wishful or even nonexistent war-planning by the Bush Administration. Whether this war will end in Democracy or disaster I can not predict.


The war’s affects are also being felt back home. America has never been less safe. In the wake of 9/11 the nation was remarkably united. But now, three years later, we are almost as divided as we were during the Vietnam Era. Ironically, George Bush promised the American people he would be a “uniter not a divider” when he campaigned in 2000. Yet once he was elected George Bush aggressively pursued one of the most divisive, political agendas in memory.


While Americans are busy fighting amongst themselves the young people of the Middle East, who once viewed America as a shining star, now listen to a man who has called for jihad against the United States. Incredibly, the President has not only turned his attention away from Osama bin Ladin, the mastermind of 9/11, but he has managed to create a rival for bin Ladin in Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.


What has George Bush been thinking?


I suspect that George W Bush has been preoccupied from his first day as President with avoiding his father’s fate and becoming a one-term President. To that end he imitated the more popular Ronald Reagan. In doing so he glued himself to the religious wing of the Republican Party far more than Reagan ever did. He also tried to avoid a slow economy like the one that dogged his Father. To this end he passed deficit inducing tax breaks, especially for the rich. After the war commenced he continued to borrow massively to keep the economy stimulated. He did not trust Americans, at least not rich Americans, to sacrifice their tax cuts so that we could wage a costly war. His calculation failed and our economy is still struggling. Worse, the debt Bush has incurred will soon threaten the federal entitlements of the retiring baby boomers.


Today George W Bush faces the American public with a massive debt, a poorly run war and a sputtering economy. The only case he has been able to make for reelection, in the dangerous times he helped create, comes twisted from a famous FDR quote. The only thing to recommend Bush is fear itself.


It is not surprising that a troubled President would turn to God in such a time of trial. It is, however, surprising that a President would turn to God not for solace but as a means to win reelection. I can think of no other American President who has so baldly invoked God’s name to win an election as has George W Bush.


The American Founders would be horrified. The US Constitution scrupulously makes no mention of any deity. The First Amendment even forbids the nation from designating a state religion. In 1790 America was as close in time to the English Civil War of the 1640’s as we today are to the American Civil War of the 1860’s. The Founders were determined not to let religion divide their new nation as it once had divided England . That bloody religious war led to Oliver Cromwell who in turn killed off one-third of the Irish Catholic population.


The evangelical leaders who are pressing for Bush’s reelection are not doing so in a vacuum. The Republican National Committee has paid a David Barton to speak at 300 RNC sponsored meetings of Evangelical ministers. Mr. Barton has told these ministers that they have a right to tell their congregations, from the pulpit, to vote for President Bush.


Mr. Barton is a “Christian Reconstructionist.” He believes that the Founding Father’s never wanted a separation of Church and State! What Mr. Barton wants, what he has been paid by the Republican Party to preach, is the Christian equivalent of what Osama bin Ladin has been telling his audience in the Islamic World: That God and Nation are one. This political heresy is as divisive in the Islamic world today as it is in the free world.


I will not vote for any Presidential candidate who uses God to divide America .


Welty is a small time politician who lets it all hang out at: www.snowbizz.com