Right wing theocracy and saber rattling
Commentary by Pat Murphy
If the Republican majority in Washington approves
President Bush’s proposal to fund "faith-based" welfare
programs hosted by religious organizations, Idaho’s Rev. Matt Hale no
doubt will be eligible for federal handouts.
If Rev. Hale does apply for funds for his World Church of
the Creator, Bush and his handlers who dreamed up this goofy scheme to
mollify right wing Christians better have a good reason to deny Hale the
The only obstacle for the Rev. Hale, as far as we know, is
that he’s a hatemongering racist whose appearance on Boise public access
TV last week to teach children to be "as racist as possible" has
stirred a storm.
But, as Boise Councilman Mike Wetherell explained with a
sigh, because the public access TV is publicly funded, the likes of Hale
can’t be denied a forum to tout their abominations.
This is the quicksand into which Bush would take the
country — the first steps of transforming the United States into a
theocracy in the name of charity, and steering the needy into the arms of
proselytizing religious groups.
Because Bush pandered to right wing conservative
Christians during his campaign, the likes of Pat Robertson and Jerry
Falwell and others in the celebrity Christian televangelism crowd assumed
only Bible-thumping Christian faith-based charities of their stripe would
Now it’s dawned on them — horrors! — that because
public funds would be involved, all religions would be eligible — Jews,
Muslims, Buddhists, Shintoists, Church of Scientology, the Moonies, and
heaven knows what others, notwithstanding their fringe roles in U.S.
So, Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell and the other
Christian right-wingers that Bush embraced suddenly aren’t so thrilled
that the United States might recognize non-Christian religious groups as
Now they’re opposing the "faith-based"
program, which prompted Bush to put it on hold while "details"
The man occupying the Oval office, as he’ll concede, is
not an intellect. He’s likeable, well-meaning, easily manipulated, of
measurable mediocrity, who partied well into his 30s rather than indulging
in serious thought, whose magic name of Bush got him through, and who now
relies on others to do the thinking.
If the Bush White House’s "faith-based"
brainstorm is the worst to come out of the next four years, Americans will
be lucky. But already, another ill-conceived notion — a full-scale
nuclear missile defense system of questionable justification — is fueling
talk of another Cold War and East-West tensions.
Recruiting religion as a government tool and rattling the
saber — this is music to the ears of Bush right-wingers who invoke the
name of God and military muscle in the same breath as symbols of true