Tempting Faith: How Bush Betrayed Evangelicals

In my head I’m a Republican, but in my heart I’m a Democrat. That is a horrible generalization, but here’s the rub:

I don’t believe in big government = Republican.
I believe we have a responsibility to care for people in society = Democrat (not that Republicans don’t care, but once you get past tax cuts and trying to ban abortion, Republicans tend to hope that trickle down economics will work for the poor, rather than taking proactive steps like a Democrat)

And though I’ve been a bit leary about Bush, I at least have always liked the idea of his faith-based initiatives. Funding the non-profit sector always seems like a much more efficient and accountable way to deal with social problems. Even if churches should be wary of hooking up with the state, there are plenty of Christian charities that could do for some extra funding.

As time goes by you wonder what ever became of those speeches and promises . . . And then you find out it was all fluff and puff and lies.

David Kuo, formerly of the faith-based initiative team under Bush, has published a book, Tempting Faith, about Bush’s betrayal of his Christian supporters. Worse than that, many high-ranking Republicans actually hold Christians in a sort of contempt. Read the Time Magazine article.

So now I’m transitioning from a moderate-liberal, disillusioned Republican to a philosophical Republican looking for moderate Republicans or Democrats.

And if you’re not riled up enough, here are some clips from the article:

“After two years in the White House, I had come to realize that regardless of where the President’s heart lay on the matter, the back-office Republican political machine was able to take Evangelicals for granted—indeed, often viewed them with undisguised contempt—and still get their votes. G.O.P. operatives trusted that Christian conservatives would see the President more as their Pastor in Chief than anything else.”

Or how about Chuck Colson:

“Chuck Colson used to oversee outreach to the religious community. “I arranged special briefings in the Roosevelt Room for religious leaders, ushered wide-eyed denominational leaders into the Oval Office for private sessions with the President,” Colson later wrote. “Of all the groups I dealt with, I found religious leaders the most naive about politics. Maybe that is because so many come from sheltered backgrounds, or perhaps it is the result of a mistaken perception of the demands of Christian charity … Or, most worrisome of all, they may simply like to be around power.'”

Ouch, I’m not feeling so good about myself right now.

I feel even worse about the Republican party right now. What a shameful bunch of punks.

But really, can we expect anything better from the Democrats? I swung towards the Republicans during the Clinton era because I was so fed up with stream of lies flowing from Democrats. Power, even if it’s not absolute, corrupts.

I’ll tell ya, this is why I don’t blog about politics too often. It’s too dang depressing.

2 thoughts on “Tempting Faith: How Bush Betrayed Evangelicals

  1. makeesha

    I hear ya, I actually do not like politics and find it very hard to be involved in any context. I have found that most young christians I know are the same as you (and me) – republicans in many "head" issues and democrats in many "heart" issues. I’m trying to learn more about third parties this go around. I was talking with David about it yesterday in fact. I think that even though a third party might not have a chance in hell of winning, at least we can, in a way, take a stand against partisan politics. Maybe if enough people vote third party it will make Dems and Repubs see that change is needed…I dunno, like I said, I don’t really know anything abotu politics hehe

  2. Ed Post author

    That’s why Vermont has Bernie Sanders, an Independent. Who cares if he’s a socialist with a bad hair cut? At least he throws a kickin’ chicken barbeque.

    Glad to hear I’m not the only person going crazy out there.

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