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WASHINGTON CLERIC SLAMS BUSH CHRISTIANITY

by Rosalinda Monday, Mar. 10, 2003 at 8:02 PM

Washington Cleric Slams Bush “Christianity” as “Triumphalism” singling out for attack the code hymn/references, phrases, and End/time constructs used by the President, for example in his State of the Union speech.

Washington Post op-ed, March 2, 2003

Fritz Ritsch, pastor of

Bethesda Presbyterian Church, in a Washington suburb, notes that

the President will not meet with representatives of mainstream

Christian denominations, while he uses the "bully pulpit," acting

like "theologian in chief."

Ritsch's column, titled, "Of God, and Man, in the Oval

Office," gives a detailed and theological critique of Bush's

rhetoric, and that of the so-called religious drive for war and empire.

While Ritsch does not take up explicitly, the matter of

the role of Bush's lead speech-writer, Michael J. Gerson, the

Elmer Gantry-type who wrote the President's Oct. 7, 2002,

Cincinnati speech on Iraq, Ritsch does specify and denounce

specific words and phrases, which are the typical

"secret-meaning" fundamentalist clap-trap Gerson specializes in.

Ritsch writes, ``Contrary to popular opinion, the religion

that this group [Bush's religious supporters] espouses is

Triumphalism, not Christianity. Theirs is a zealous form of

nationalism, baptized with Christian language. The German

theologian, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, who was martyred by the Nazis,

foresaw the rise of a similar view in his country, which he

labeled, `joyous secularism.' .... f, as I believe, this

worldview is really American triumphalism, Christianity has taken

a backseat to joyous secularism [i.e. Nazism]''

Bush, Ritsch says, ``asserts a worldview that most Christian

denominations reject outright as heresy: the myth of redemptive

violence, which posits a war between good and evil ... God

[versus] ... Satan.... Christians have held this view to be

heretical since at least the third century.... In contrast [to

the ``fundamentalists''], the Judeo-Christian worldview is that

of redemption...."

Ritsch points to ways that the ignorant Bush misuses

received religion. For example, ``The President used the words of

a hymn `There's Power in the Blood,' to strengthen the religious

rhetoric of his State of the Union speech.

He spoke of the

`power, wonder-working power'

of `the goodness and idealism and

faith of the American people.'

The original words of the hymn

refer to the `wonder-working power' of `the precious blood of the

lamb' -- Jesus Christ. The unspoken but apparently deliberate

parallel between Americans and Jesus is disturbing, to say the least.''

[source: New York Times, by Thomas Friedman, March 2]

"DON'T BELIEVE THE POLLS," says New York Times columnist

Thomas Friedman column. "I've been to nearly 20 states recently,

and I've found that 95% of the country wants to see Iraq dealt

with without a war. But President Bush is a man on a mission...."

Friedman's report is notable, because he himself supports going

to war, but he thinks Bush has screwed up the preparations

diplomatically and otherwise.

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TITLE AUTHOR DATE
full text karlof1 Tuesday, Mar. 11, 2003 at 12:49 AM
And your point? JC Tuesday, Mar. 11, 2003 at 6:19 AM
wouldn't it be sweet if alsdkf Tuesday, Mar. 11, 2003 at 1:12 PM
What the hell POIO Tuesday, Mar. 11, 2003 at 1:24 PM

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