Aug 23, 2007

the politics of prayer

A fan of the blog sends along this video, in which Democratic presidential hopefuls--Mike Gravel and John Edwards excepted--sound pretty much indistinguishable from their Republican rivals. I'll admit I was a little taken aback by Edwards' frank admission that "I don't think you can prevent bad things from happening through prayer."

What I wrote about Bush's public faith a year and a half ago is largely applicable here:
Bush's platitudes look rather pale next to Lincoln's bold, unabashedly Biblical theologizing. Lincoln speaks not just from another time, but from another planet, a place steeped in old-time religion. Lincoln's God isn't just a concept, but a fire-breathing person with a will in the world.

When it comes to Bush, "theocrat" is a lazy epithet, like calling Good Charlotte's music "punk rock." Sure, it sounds punk-esque, but it's soulless and watery, tailored for mass consumption, entirely too agreeable. It's what a shallow society wants--and deserves--in its pop and its politics.

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