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ISSUE 118 VOL 9 PUBLISHED 11/19/2004

Bush fails to practice faith as preached

By Carolyn Brostrom
Staff Writer

Friday, November 19, 2004

Never before in American history has the separation of church and state been so disregarded. Both the Bush administration and many American citizens have forgotten that this great country was founded on the ideal of religious freedom.

Bush constantly utilizes "God language" and religious undertones to promote his political agenda and woo voters.

And while American public policy has never been particularly exemplary of Jesus' teachings, Bush's "Christian" agenda is, without question, the least Christian in years.

Logic would seem to follow that Christianity should have something to do with the teachings of Jesus of Nazareth.

After all, Christians do celebrate the birth and resurrection of Jesus, and also proclaim him to be their savior.

So, how does it follow that Bush's policies (not to mention a good portion of evangelical Christianity in America) have little, if anything, to do with how Jesus wanted people to live?

Let's begin with peace. Jesus was an advocate for non-violence and gave brilliant examples of how to expose injustice to an oppressor (turn the other cheek) and blessed peacemakers. Bush, on the other hand, seems to look for excuses to use violence - the question of what we're fighting for in Iraq plagues many, including veterans of the war.

Now, on to equality. Jesus was concerned with helping the poor, clothing the naked and feeding the hungry. He condemned the rich, saying it would be more difficult for a wealthy person to enter heaven than for a camel to go through the eye of a needle.

Sadly, most Americans do not have to go far before we come across a person in dire need of charity.

Bush's proposed tax cuts reveal where his allegiances lie, and his only concern with the poor seems to be in securing their vote.

The Bush administration seems obsessed with rejecting the heart and soul of Christianity and embracing sin. Instead of promoting peace, love, charity and equality, Bush works for greed (tax cuts for the wealthy, favors to corporations), revenge and death (Iraq), division (gay marriage) and lies (Where should I begin?). Whoops! Those are all serious sins.

By capitalizing on his "religious" image to secure votes, Bush takes the name of the Lord in vain (Oops! That's a commandment).

The air, land, water, wildlife and ozone layer are all in serious danger under the care of Bush (Caring for the earth is the point of Genesis). How does it compute that this man calls himself a Christian?

Jesus would call upon the leader of the free world to use their extraordinary privilege to help the oppressed, do everything in their power to end all forms of violence and spread goodwill among the people.

Instead, Bush has chosen to alienate our allies, widen the gap between the rich and poor through tax breaks, prop up corporations and the wealthy, seek revenge on daddy's sworn enemy and show utter disrespect for human lives - both American and Iraqi.

Not only is Bush disrespecting the boundary between church and state, he is making an absolute mockery of Christianity.

Perhaps even more depressing than the extreme anti-Christian policies of the current administration is the fact that they are able to get away with them. Christians are called to seriously consider what Jesus would have them do in many modern-day situations.

It is painstakingly obvious that Bush is working completely against many of the most important Christian ideals.

Christians are called to take action and speak out against such acts, particularly since God is often used to further these causes.

The American people and churches especially, must speak out against both the administration's use of religious language for partisan purposes and its anti-Christian policies.

Groups such as the Interfaith Alliance must become more outspoken, and movements to check the power of the administration must grow.

If Dietrich Bonhoeffer could sacrifice his life to resist Hitler, certainly contemporary Americans can challenge the backwards, ignorant policies of Dubya.

Staff writer Carolyn Brostrom is a senior from St. Paul, Minn. She majors in religion.

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