Thursday, September 01, 2005
Tammy [Pruett of Pocatello, Idaho] has four sons serving in Iraq right now with the Idaho National Guard: Eric, Evan, Greg and Jeff. Last year her husband, Leon, and another son, Aaron, returned from Iraq, where they helped train Iraqi firefighters in Mosul. Tammy says this — and I want you to hear this — "I know that if something happens to one of the boys, they would leave this world doing what they believe, what they think is right for our country." And I guess you couldn't ask for a better way of life than giving it for something that you believe in. America lives in freedom because of families like the Pruetts. — President Bush, 2005-08-24, as quoted on DrudgeReport.comWell, what can I say? How about this: unquestioning willingness to fight, die, and even kill based on blind faith that your cause is just and your enemy is evil, is exactly the justification that the terrorists use for their acts of barbaric inhumanity.
Am I equating the terrorists with George W. Bush and the Pruett family? No, far from it. Loyalty to your nation is an admirable trait, so long as it is tempered with skepticism towards your leaders. I am saying that unquestioning faith is the central threat to the very core of civilization. It matters less what the faith is in, than that it is blind and unyielding. Blind, unyielding faith in Pat Robertson's vision of God is no less threatening to America than blind, unyielding faith in Osama bin Laden's vision of Allah. Julius Caesar demanded blind, unyielding faith in his vision of the Roman Empire, including declaring himself a god. Osama bin Laden demands blind, unyielding faith in his vision of the pure Islamic global caliphate. George W. Bush demands blind, unyielding faith in his vision of Iraq, his vision of life and death and taxes, and his vision of morality and justice — and he thinks he gets it from the Pruett family.
[addendum, 2005-09-07: After the President highlighted her family, Tammy Pruett offered her condolences to military families who have lost loved ones, specifically including Cindy Sheehan. She also said that she did not want the Pruetts to be a "poster family" for the war: they support the war, but do not judge those who oppose it. She also said that if she were in Cindy Sheehan's shoes, having lost a son, she might be out there with the protesters.]
There are some realms of life in which blind faith is the right path. One of those is your choice of religion. It's silly to reason with someone about religious faith (not that I don't still try).
But George W. Bush doesn't trust your religious faith. He believes that the federal government must be remade in the image of only one religion. His religion says that abortion is wrong, so that must be the policy of the nation. His religion says that homosexuality is wrong, so it must be the policy of the nation that heterosexuality shall be the only true path. His religion says that Islam is wrong, so the United States must become a Christian nation. (The United States is not, and never has been, a Christian nation. The Founding Fathers intentionally did not enshrine Christianity in the U.S. Constitution even in the manner in which the Iraqi draft constitution enshrines Islam. Christianity, or even so-called Judeo-Christianity, is not the basis of our laws. To quote the very first treaty ever ratified by our young nation's new Senate, "[T]he government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded upon the Christian Religion." [Treaty of Tripoli, ratified by unanimous vote of the U.S. Senate, 1797-06-10])
Islam is not our enemy. Blind faith is our enemy.