Friday, May 02, 2003

Bush the Blasphemous and his Messianistic Nationalism

"Ours is the cause of human dignity: freedom guided by conscience, and guarded by peace. This ideal of America is the hope of all mankind. That hope drew millions to this harbor. That hope still lights our way. And the light shines in the darkness. And the darkness will not overcome it." -Speech on September 11, 2002

""There is power – wonder-working power – in the goodness and idealism and faith of the American people." -State of the Union Address, 2003

"There is power, power, wonder working power in the precious blood of the Lamb." -Evangelical Hymn from the turn of the Century

So what are we to make of this conflation of America with the person of Jesus Christ? Theological illiteracy, as in the comment of the putative Christian Tony Blair: "I wonder what Jesus would have made of it?" The cynical abuse of religious language for the purpose of national aedification? Idolatry of the state?

The Romans prided themselves on warring down the proud and sparing the conquered. We have assumed a similar role in our recent "liberation" of Iraq. Augustine declared this attitude "the inflated ambition of a proud spirit." All our rhetoric about Liberation arrogates to ourselves the qualities of the Prince of Peace