Wieseltier, Leon
August 2003
New Republic;8/18/2003-8/25/2003, Vol. 229 Issue 7/8, p38
The article discusses United States President George W. Bush's Christian faith from the author's perspective. For my sins, and to acquit myself of my duty to understand my country, I have been studying a Christian devotional. It is called "My Utmost for His Highest," and Bush is reported to read it avidly. The work is a series of small sermons, and it was written by Oswald Chambers, a Scottish divine who founded a religious college in London, England in 1910. Naturally I turned first to the illumination for September 11, 2001. I began to hear the president's tone in religion. Chambers's spirituality is infatuated with crisis. The possibility of believing in something wrongly disturbs me less than the impossibility of believing in anything rightly, which is what much of U.S. culture, high and low, now preaches. Bush's faith is emphatically not a religion of reason. Indeed, his style of piety has the consequence of making religion look stupid. The defense of the strictly heterosexual construction of marriage is looking more and more like a defense of the sanctifying power of the state, which is ludicrous.


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