“Bush Playing American Christians For Suckers”

Posted by 2 on October 13, 2006
Culture, Current Flux

This quote is from Keith Olbermann on the October 12 broadcast of MSNBC’s Countdown. In a report that featured excerpts from the soon to be released book, Tempting Faith, by the former number-two man in Bush’s office of “faith-based initiatives,” David Kuo, Olbermann reveals what should have been obvious all along: Bush pays lip service to Christian leaders solely to get them to send their sheep off to pull the “R” lever at the polling booths. Watch the video clip here.

It is going to be interesting to see how our Christian leaders react to the book. I wager that they will attack the messenger as a malcontent out to make a few bucks. They won’t deal with the evidence he presents and they most certainly will not admit that they have been playing the sucker. (Or perhaps in some cases, playing their donors and supporters for the sucker.)

Apart from being the patsy of the GOP political machine, an even greater concern is that Christian leaders line up at the federal feeding trough looking for a few scraps of mammon to be thrown their way through these “faith-based initiatives”. For many leading faith-based political activists, “Jesus is King” has become just a PR gimmick. It may be that the truth of the matter is that, in some cases, “Cash is King.” And we have it on good authority that no one can serve two masters.

With the Republican pederasty and homosexual scandal becoming bigger every day and now this exposé of the Bush adminstration’s true feelings about American Christians, look for the Democrats to take both Houses of Congress in a landslide (assuming there will not be massive vote fraud). Not that it really matters which of the two statist parties are in control. It may, though, force Christians to begin to concentrate on principle over politics. But then again, it may not.

70 Comments to “Bush Playing American Christians For Suckers”

  • Sal,

    I can vote an almost straight Republican ticket in November because the party’s candidates for statewide and local races in Oklahoma are largely sincere conservatives, most of whom have authentic Christian confessions.

    I’m voting for an independent candidate for U.S. House of Representatives, an outstanding Christian businessman named Bill Wortman, because the present officeholder, Rep. John Sullivan, is a Bush sychophant.

    Unfortunately, it really won’t matter for whom I vote — most of the statewide Republican candidates in Oklahoma are going to lose, and likely lose big, because they have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on incompetent out-of-state campaign consultants, and cannot compete on the airwaves with better-financed Democrats who have run better campaigns. Thus, this “reddest of red states” will be stuck with a pro-abortion, liberal Democrat governor for another four years. Yuck.

    Thanks be to God I am a postmillennialist — if my eschatology followed the news headlines, rather than the teaching of Scripture, I would be a devotee of Tim LaHaye and Hal Lindsey! The good news is that God is in control, even if the Democrats are in “power.”

    Tom

  • Although I shouldn’t, I just can’t hold it in; I absolutely love secret things – The love of all things secret is my motto! Secret societies, secret handshakes, secret rituals, secret initiation ceremonies, secret esoteric knowledge, secret documents, secret languages, secrets within secrets that are only encrypted and decrypted by secret agents, secret symbolism, secret power – Boy Oh Boy what we would be without veiled and clandestine forces, always there for us, listening and watching, conspiring and conjuring, keeping the crooked in line, preserving liberty, honesty, justice, truth and transparency?

  • Folks, I am truly shocked by the vitriolic, disrespectful, and malicious nature of this conversation. (I guess I just don’t do enough blogging on Christian sites!)

    Three comments (not from my own pen):

    “For out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him. But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken. For by your words you wil be acquitted and by your words you will be condemned.” (Matt 12:34-37)

    “For the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure, then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial, and sincere.” (James 3:17)

    “You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your feedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love. The entire law is summed up in a single command: Love your neighbor as yourself. If you keep on biting and devouring each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.” (Gal 5:13-15).

    (I don’t think I’ve used those as prooftexts; they appear to be general themes throughout the New Testament.)

    Now, I don’t think Jesus or Paul ever stepped back from speaking the truth, so I’m not advocating a milquetoast, “let’s-just-love-everybody” approach. However, I am concerned about what the tenor of this conversation is saying about our hearts. If this is how we love one another, what would our unabashed hatred look like?

  • “Folks, I am truly shocked by the vitriolic, disrespectful, and malicious nature of this conversation. (I guess I just don’t do enough blogging on Christian sites!)”

    Jana, it would help all of us who have been participants in this conversation if you would point out concrete and explicit examples of the “vitriolic, disrespectful, and malicious nature” of our comments, rather than engage in such sweeping (and therefore useless) generalizations.

    By the way, is calling our posts “vitriolic, disrespectful and malicious” an example of your own Christian compassion, grace, and love in action? (I merely called Kathy “ignorant,” and I’ll stand by that assertion — she’s demonstrated her ignorance over and over again in this thread). And, if so, why are the comments which have been posted prior to your own so offensive to you — is it not loving to bring correction to our errant brothers and sisters, even as you have attempted to do with your post?

    “Now, I don’t think Jesus or Paul ever stepped back from speaking the truth, so I’m not advocating a milquetoast, ‘let’s-just-love-everybody’ approach. However, I am concerned about what the tenor of this conversation is saying about our hearts. If this is how we love one another, what would our unabashed hatred look like?”

    Actually, a more Biblical approach would be for you to demonstrate how anything that has been posted here has fallen short of the Scriptural injunctions you cite, and then provide examples from the Bible how you think we should make our arguments in a more compassionate, gracious, and loving manner.

    I agree with you that the types of ad hominem attacks employed by Kathy, because she has neither Scripture nor logic on her side, are contemptuous; but truthfully calling someone “ignorant” is hardly “vitriolic,” “disrespectful,” or “malicious.” Ignorance is not the same as stupidity. It can be corrected. Kathy is obviously a very bright woman; she simply needs to spend more time in Scripture and less time listening to Rush Limbaugh.

    Faithfully exegete Biblical texts and show me and the rest of us where we have sinned. I’ll be more than happy to confess my errors and repent of them. “Iron sharpens iron,” as you know.

  • Kathy says, “I recognize the threat, now that could be because I am a chemist, have worked in liason with counterterrorism,…”

    Kathy, do or did you personally or any company or university you work for have a contract for services with Homeland Security under which you acted as this liason?

  • Kathy,

    I enjoyed reading your comments, wrong as they are. Your writing is highly entertaining.

    And therefore, I suspect you will persuade masses of woefully unreflective evangelicals that their status quo obeisance to the Reps is a good idea, and that the fang-laden red-hooded Reps just need a few more terms in office to finally beat the big bad wolf.

    Behind the curtain, however, chummy humanist Dems and Reps happily yank away at your strings. A good tug and you flap your gums to say that what is on the stage is what is real. But you can’t point to any substantive differences in the two.

    They have the same basic values and goals, just slightly differing packaging in order to try and net the most guppies to feed their ravenous deity complexes (complecies?).

    Perhaps at some point you will question your complicity in their advance, and ponder whether under Rep leadership the nation has progressed towards or away from righteousness.

    Of course, if “righteousness” means “not terrorist” (as conveniently defined the Reps) then you would have to answer that it has progressed towards.

    Bush did, after all, in one of his more true-aspirations-revealing statements, declare his mission to be to “rid the world of evil.” Pesky definitions. I find aspirations to world domination by fallibles to be evil, but why quibble?

    Again, though, I really do enjoy reading your comments. I’m not immune to my culture’s puerile enjoyment of escapist entertainment.

    M.A.B.

  • Keith – hyperbole is over the top – and yet you agree?

    OK that’s a willingness to be deluded – I can’t help you there.

    Your judgmentalism is bizarre, Kathy. Actually, your comment is more a slap in the face towards you than towards me.

    I am easily accept someone’s thesis even if they support it with hyperboles. I agree with Mr. Butler in that churches and ministries should not take violate separation of church and state under the guise of ‘faith-based initiatives’. Nevertheless, Mr. Butler’s labeling of Christian leaders as patsies of the GOP political machine is silly. That is certainly a sweeping generalization.

    Perhaps you should read my words more carefully in the future.

  • Keith – The context of the article should make it clear that I am writing about Christian political leaders such as the ones mentioned in the Olbermann report. You seem to think that I am making reference to all Christian leaders including pastors and teachers.

    With the field thus narrowed, how could you agree with the general thrust of the piece and yet think that referring to such leaders as patsies or suckers is “silly”? If they are not suckers, what are they?

  • M.A.B. – Indeed, but I am trying to be charitable. I will admit, though, that as time passes, it becomes harder and harder to be charitable.

  • Kathy (#34) –

    The BBC and The Independent report that British government scientists “backed the methods” of the estimated 600,000 plus casualties figure given in the Lancet. This information was obtained through a BBC freedom of information request.

    So the British government’s own people acknowledge the soundness of the study, but Kool Aid-drinking Republicans don’t. This shows that when you are grips of a theory you immunize yourself from all unwanted facts.

    But even if forced to admit their error, I don’t think that the war party faithful care. So what if over half a million Iraqis have died due to the U.S. invasion? We had to strike back for 9-11 or remove the WMD’s or rescue the Iraqis from tyranny or whatever the latest lie to justify the war is.

    For most, this is just a number. It is abstract and without any impact on their lives. But to the families who have lost mothers, fathers, sons and daughters, this is more than just a number. Every one of those half a million represent once living human beings who was loved and who is missed.

    The hypocrisy of Republican Christians is unbearable. Please don’t pretend to care about aborted infants if you don’t care for those who have been killed with your tacit approval for nothing more than a pack of lies.

  • Kathy gives 50,000 as the number. But no one seems to notice that that is the same order of magnitude as the # of deaths imputed to Saddam Hussein according to the evidence I assembled here.

    So, depending on who you ask, the Republicans are guilty of between 1 and 10 “Saddam units” of murder.

    But in his case, it was spread out over 30 years!

  • MRB, that’s quite an accusation to call Republican Christians hypocrites who must only be pretending to care about aborted babies if they believe the “pack of lies.” First, not everyone is as well-informed as you. And even if they were, I’m not sure they would reach all of your conclusions. Regardless, I don’t think you can equate radical Islamic groups to unborn babies. Many innocents have surely died in Iraq, but how many compared to the whole number of deaths?
    I have read several of your articles on other topics over the last couple months, and appreciate much of what you have to say. However, I still can not understand your all-out hatred of anything Republican. I understand how the party is abused by payers of lipservice and that we’ve had bad leaders, but that doesn’t make me evil, hypocritical, or even necessarily hoodwinked. I think that Christians like you, with your gifts, could help make more of a difference by strengthening the Christian policital force by uniting with the existing group, and leading the way where others have failed. Christian influence is waning because our voices are scattered. We need leaders more than critics.

  • It would seem more that Christ’s influence among the American church has waned. We’ve become addicted to winning friends and influencing people instead of relentlessly applying the law of God to our culture (in this case politics). The reason our influence has waned is because we’ve forsaken that which was to be our light before the nations. Further, those who attempt to analyze our culture in terms of that light are now considered mere critics and not leaders.

    As I read back through some of the major and minor critics in my Bible, I do not see any of them yoking with their apostate leaders in the name of influence or vocal unity. They just kept preaching, and preaching, and preaching, and preaching.

    We need more of this, not less.

  • GV,
    Warranted criticism is healthy and good, but name calling doesn’t do much for anybody.
    I don’t care about winning friends or yoking with apostates, but I think Christians should influence people and the culture (a Christ-ordained and Christ-centered mission).
    Also, Biblical characters honored those in authority despite ungodly character (while trying to influence them for the good), and God used this to carry out his plans. They critiqued, but honored God-given authority. They did all of this without dragging their brothers’ names through the mud.
    We do need more preaching – the kind that edifies (good criticism edifies). We need good people like you who center on and submit to Christ, and then you and I stand together – a chord not easily broken. This yields the influence that we’ve been talking about.

  • Scott,

    Positive criticism is a wonderful thing, but negative criticism has its place. If we are going to be biblical, we must make room for negative criticism. There are times (I would suggest our own) when the people of God need to be told that they are stupid and wicked (Jeremiah 4:22; Gal. 3:1). There are times (again, our own) when the false shepherds that the covenant people have raised up for themselves need to be exposed as stupid (Jer. 10:21). Sometimes they must be exposed for what they really are, say, broods of vipers (Matt. 3:7). There is even room for wishing that those who lead the people astray would emasculate themselves (Gal. 5:12).

    We live in a very “nice” day and positive criticism is all the rage, but we as the covenant people do not need positive criticism and neither do our shepherds. We need to hear the truth, which at this stage in the game, ain’t gonna be pretty (biblical and appropriate, but not pretty).

    Lastly, we are indeed to honer the God ordained authorities, but we must’nt give undue honor to those who dshonor Christ (in or out of the church). It is at times appropriate to expose them as beasts, wolves, snakes. It is also appropriate to pray that God would “kick in the teeth” or our enemies (Pslam 3:7). The church has many enemies today (within and without). They are certainly for our sanctification, but they need to be exposed for what they are, enemies of Christ. Surely, we must love them (i.e., fulfill the law toward them), but we must also expose them lest (as in our day) the sheep yoke themselves to their Savior’s enemies.

  • I am distinguishing between warranted and unwarranted and useful and useless.
    The Bible says that nobody has authority except that was given by God. We can honor them and still call them wrong.

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