Sunday, February 16, 2003


The current rift between American and European approaches to the Iraqi question can to a large degree be explained by different views of religion and God, according to a Newsweek article. I don't think that the U.S. has a Divine mandate for Iraqi invasion; it's a political question, not necessarily a 'religious' one, per se. But the European hostility is eye-opening. What does Europe think of America's reliance upon religion?
“It’s ludicrous and counterproductive,” says Herman Philipse, a philosophy professor at the Netherlands’ Leiden University. And since 9-11 this American religiosity seems especially inappropriate to many in Europe. “How do you go around denouncing Muslim fundamentalism when in every one of Bush’s speeches he talks about God?” asks Pierre Assouline, editor of the popular French literary magazine Lire.

And it's not just the Continentals. The Brits are uneasy about America's openly religious attitude. Playwright Harold Pinter called Bush a 'hired Christian thug'. And Tony Blair is being grilled over whether or not he has actually (gasp!) prayed with President Bush:
In two television interviews over the past month, Blair has been asked if he prayed with the president. An American politician would be proud to say yes. Blair’s response to Jeremy Paxman on the BBC was a terse, “No, we don’t pray together, Jeremy, no.”

Well, one wouldn't want to admit to praying or anything.

It is a sign of the decadence of Europe that they have so completely dismissed religion. It's an attitude of, 'we've moved beyond that; we're all humanists now, and humanism will set us free.' Professing to be wise, they have become fools.

The mixing of politics and religion should be approached delicately. God does have His hand in the nations; rulers are ministers of God for good (Romans 13:4). Especially when it comes to military policy, one should use religious justification very sparingly. That said, a solid religious faith ought to inform our rulers. I want a President who prays and acknowledges God, whether I always agree with his politics or not.

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