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George Bush's

George Bush's


If you believe, as I do, that the modern gay liberation movement was made possible by the triumph of science over religion, the news from Washington could hardly be worse. There are at least seven new Centers for Faith-Based and Community Initiatives: in the White House, the departments of Labor, Commerce, Education, Housing and Urban Development, Health and Human Services, and the Veterans Administration. German diplomats are often startled when early morning meetings with American officials begin with prayer sessions. The president argues for equal time in high school for "intelligent design" and evolution. Since the rise of science over religion began when Charles Darwin published On the Origin of Species, it makes perfect sense that evolution is still the central issue for religious reactionaries.

Now even NASA scientists are being forced to kowtow to ideology over evidence. When a 24-year-old former Bush campaign worker named George Deutsch was installed in NASA's public affairs office, he promptly tried to limit what climate scientist James Hansen could say in public about global warming. He also instructed Hansen to always use the word theory whenever he referred to the Big Bang as the origin of the universe.

Deutsch was fired after it was revealed that he had invented a college degree on his resume, but Hansen told reporters the young politico was only a "bit player" in a much larger scenario. "The problem is much broader and much deeper, and it goes across agencies," Hansen said. "On climate, the public has been misinformed and not informed.... That's the big issue here."

Unreasoning faith is at the heart of all of the Administration's problems, beginning with Bush's belief in the need for a "crusade" to bring democracy to Iraq. Bruce Bartlett is a Republican libertarian who has just published Impostor: How George W. Bush Bankrupted America and Betrayed the Reagan Legacy. This is how Bartlett explained the president's problem to Ron Suskind in The New York Times Magazine: "This instinct he's always talking about is this sort of weird, Messianic idea of what he thinks God has told him to do. This is why George W. Bush is so clear-eyed about Al Qaeda and the Islamic fundamentalist enemy. He believes you have to kill them all.... He truly believes he's on a mission from God. Absolute faith like that overwhelms a need for analysis. The whole thing about faith is to believe things for which there is no empirical evidence.''

Suskind got additional confirmation of this point of view when a senior White House aide accused the reporter of being part of "what we call the reality-based community.'' The aide explained that Suskind was one of those people who "believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality.''

"That's not the way the world really works anymore,'' the White House man continued. "We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality."

That literally surreal attitude explains almost every excess of this administration--from a president who gives himself the right to spy on American citizens to a vice president who can shoot a man in the face and not see any reason to talk about what he's done until four days later.

30 Years of Out100Out / Advocate Magazine - Jonathan Groff & Wayne Brady

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