Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Faithless: The REPUBLICAN War on Faith

Republicans like to talk a lot about faith.  In their incessant pandering to the insatiable beast that is the religious right, the word "faith" tends to come up in Republican discourse with the depressing inevitability of an unwanted season.  And even our politicians have fallen into the trap of talking about this ill-defined word "faith".

Well, there's a reason for that.  In keeping with the typical Rovian strategy of taking one's greatest weaknesses and attempting to convert them into one's greatest strengths, these deplorable criminals must talk about their "faith" because they have singlehandedly created the most faithless administration in American history.

Indeed, they demand a conversation about Faith.  They demand the conversation so that they can frame the very word Faith in their own terms.  The right wing demands that when you hear the word "Faith", that you think only about its singular definition as "Belief that does not require Logic."  But that's only ONE definition of the word.  The other definition--the one that is political death to them if it is brought into the open--is this:

Loyalty to a person or thing; allegiance: keeping faith with one's supporters.

The truth is that they demand a universal faith in things that cannot be proven because they have utterly destroyed--through methodical, evil planning--the people's faith in the United States of America and its government.  They have attempted to renege on every decent contract between this government and its citizens--leaving them only with God to rely on for their well-being.

Examples of this are numerous, but the most poignant to me is occurring as we speak.

I cannot find this story on the Internet as yet, but I was listening to NPR on my way to work on a research project this morning when they were discussing the State Department's plan to force Americans being evacuated from Lebanon to reimburse the government for the costs of their evacuation.  Question and answer session followed, in which callers could tell the station whether or not they supported this plan.  I called the station in a rage, and was placed on the air during question and answer, where I stated the obvious:

"You know," I said, "A U.S. passport is a contract between an American citizen and the Secretary of State of the United States.  It is a guarantee that the United States will vouchsafe the safety and security of its citizens overseas.  And if the United States can spend $6 billion a month of the taxpayers' money in Iraq on a war which, if anything, violated a contract between this government and its people, then the State Department can surely spend a minimal amount of taxpayer money to honor its contract with American citizens.

The station host, taken a little aback, then asked me whether I thought that the State Department would therefore be more stringent in issuing its advisories to Americans overseas in order to save taxpayers money in the event of possible evacuations.  To which I responded:

You know what? That may be a concern, but only in an immoral administration.  Since this country's taxpayers can spend $6 billion a month on an unnecessary military action that only inflames tensions in the region, then we have seriously misplaced priorities if the State Department, already the victim of major budget cuts, considers reneging on its contractual obligations to its citizens overseas.

That's really the key.  This Republican administration has shown itself completely willing to dispense with its reputation and the trust of its citizens in order to save mere pennies, while they spend fortunes propping up their favorite corporate contributors.  They work nonstop, every day, to destroy our faith in the United States itself:

And this, fundamentally, is the fruit of Republican policy: American citizens in Lebanon will no longer be able to have faith in the United States of America--but they are perfectly free to pray to God for their continued safety in the wake of their government's abandonment.  We are, in other words, in the Dark Night of the American Soul.


And it's not the first time.

Bush committed one of his many impeachable offenses by questioning the Full Faith and Credit of the United States by telling Americans that Social Security monies were "just IOUs" in a safe.  In other words, Bush said, don't trust in the United States.  Don't put faith in that greenback in your wallet.  If you want to eat something besides cat food in your declining years, go pray to God.  But don't come knocking on my door, because your president and your government won't be home.

He showed the American people that their faith in United States Emergency Services could not be counted on in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.  When the earthquakes and the floods come, America, don't have faith in your government; it won't be there.  Instead, as you sit stranded on your sinking rooftop or under the broken freeway overpass, pray to God instead, because your faith in anything else is misplaced.

He has shown our soldiers, as Michael Moore pointed out, that they cannot rely on the good faith of their civilian leadership to send them to battle only when necessary to defend their country.  And he has demonstrated to our brave servicemen and servicewomen that they cannot have faith in their government to supply them with adequate vehicle and body armor: instead, as they drive down that IED-laden road, they must look solely to their God to keep them safe.

He has shown our children that they cannot have faith in the education system, because the government will not fund it.  Instead, they must insert prayers into the pledge of allegiance, and read the Ten Commandments in their classrooms, because God is all that stands between them and a future of ignorance and poverty.


These are the wages of Republican sin: the perversion of faith, and destruction of that confidence in the American system of governance on which we have come to depend.  

When Republicans talk of faith, they talk of faith in things that cannot be seen or touched--because everything they see and touch turns to rot and ruin.

It's time to remove the faithless bastards from office, and restore REAL faith--faith in America.


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