If there is any shared value between our secular and religiously tolerant political system and the movement known as “Christianity,” it is this: redemption is always possible. Even up to the gates of Hell, Goethe tells us, Dr.Faustus could be redeemed. Which will, in a moment, take us to retired Bush the Younger. We have an immediate and desperate problem: the sadistic serial murderers known as ISIL have literally scared the Beejesus out of Americans.
And, because the GOP echo machine and the talk show hosts and the “news” outlets (Washington Times, NY Post, Daily Signal, Breitbart, Red State, Breitbart, WorldNetDaily, NewsMax, Breitbart, etc. ) truck in painting Obama as the penultimate Other, he and his Administration are utterly powerless to stop it. Listen:
(CNSNews.com) – We hear a lot about the United States’ Judeo-Christian heritage, but according to President Obama, “Islam has been woven into the fabric of our country since its founding.”
And thence proceeds to deconstruct the President’s speech line by line, without the need to repeat the well-conditioned meme (as stated by Rudy Giuliani only yesterday) that Obama hates this country.
Brava, CNS! You have, once again, decimated whatever it was that President Obama had to say. There is nothing unique nor even particularly noteworthy in this. It is simply a fact, as the sun rising and the sun setting is a fact.
Except, what the President had to say this time was that we cannot afford to turn our revulsion at savages and barbarians whose very existence is an affront to civilization into a confrontation between Christianity and Islam, with over a billion on each side.
No gilding of the lily is needed.
Here’s your Naked Lunch: If such a dual Holy War were to happen, a repressive theocracy on the part of whoever won would just about be guaranteed, and whatever you might think of civilization, you would think less of it thereafter.
If, that is, you managed to survive.
This is a parlous and dangerous time. And because of the eternal meme of literally demonizing anyone who defeats a Republican for the presidency, the CNS writer also, reflexively and inadvertently, advanced the cause of religious bigotry and world fundamentalist war.
I really don’t care what your politics or religious stance is/are, this is a bad thing for all of us and for the United States of America.
Which brings us to redemption.
Some might recall that Bush the Younger sort of left the White House with a large mess to clean up. And not a lot to do, other than his new hobby of painting.
But suddenly a moment appears: a moment that offers some of that redemption of which I, earlier, wrote.
President Obama, if you would draft George W. Bush into traveling to remind us that America is not now and has never been at war with Islam, the way that George W. Bush drafted ex-presidents Bill Clinton and Bush the Elder to spearhead tsunami relief efforts, there is no one more qualified to spread the message that you CANNOT.
And Mr. Bush, if you would merely reiterate the stance that you’ve always held, AS an evangelical Christian, some of that redemption that you seek is available in all future history books.
Yes, it will take the courage of subjecting yourself to some very nasty stuff from your own side. And, perhaps for a time, a tar painting with the Murdoch brush, but as an AMERICAN, you undoubtedly see the utter necessity of NOT allowing this country to head down The Lynch Mob Trail to Anti-Jihad Crusade.
There is nothing to gain by it and everything to lose.
And no one ever said that redemption was easy. But, Mr. Bush, this is an opportunity that rarely comes along, and as someone said, “Blessed are the peacemakers…” (And, this would quietly aid your brother as well, Mr. Bush.)
Here, at last, the last two tenants of the White House have a grand and urgent common interest. I realize that it would take statesmanship to do this, but I am convinced that both men are capable of it, and of rising to this grave occasion.
This is a unique opportunity for (metaphorically) the little Dutch boy to put his finger in the dike.
Because aprés this hateful and mindless bigotry, le deluge.