The Commons is a weblog for concerned citizens of southeast Iowa and their friends around the world. It was created to encourage grassroots networking and to share information and ideas which have either been suppressed or drowned out in the mainstream media.

"But if the cause be not good, the king himself hath a heavy reckoning to make, when all those legs and arms and heads, chopped off in battle, shall join together at the latter day and cry all 'We died at such a place;' some swearing, some crying for a surgeon, some upon their wives left poor behind them, some upon the debts they owe, some upon their children rawly left. I am afeard there are few die well that die in a battle; for how can they charitably dispose of any thing, when blood is their argument? Now, if these men do not die well, it will be a black matter for the king that led them to it; whom to disobey were against all proportion of subjection." (Henry V, Act V, Scene 4)

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Bush's Codeword for Theocracy

Bush's Codeword for Theocracy

According to Steve Gilliard:

When Bush said Iraq was a comma, he was speaking in dog whistle to the fundies. It comes from a saying "Never put a period where God puts a comma". Which means things will get better. Which is, of course, insane.

(gakked from DLup's comment)

The quote was recently in the public eye during the United Church of Christ's "God is still speaking," ad campaign. Those were the same ads that some of the networks refused to air back in 2004. The UCC seems to be using it as somewhat of a foil against the biblical literalism of the fundie sects. In any case it's meant as a positive and inclusive message. (See this and this.)

However - comma.

For all it's positive vibes as a religious message, this comma thing gets very creepy and sinister fast when placed in the context of our foreign policy. When Bush talks about his comma and Condi Rice talks about "laying a foundation," they aren't talking about concrete, achievable goals, or protecting American lives. They're talking about a commitment to a quasi-spiritual vision, in which America is transformed into the Savior of Nations - the truth and the light, sent by God. Like Jesus, this Savior of Nations says "Do not suppose I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword." (Matthew 10:34)

When the UCC tells you that God is still speaking, it's an invitation to join them and discover together what he's saying. When Bush tells you that God is speaking through his administration's foreign policy, you have little freedom to disagree. Whether you believe as he does or not, your tax money is spent to implement his vision. Whether you will or not, more is being borrowed in your name. Whether you choose to accept or struggle against it, you pay the salary of torturers and torture apologists and for the lawyers and politicians who strive to insure that torturers are held blameless.

This is what theocracy is, beyond being required to mouth a prayer you don't believe in at school, or having the 10 commandments posted in a courthouse. It's a deep and profound loss of choice regarding that which is done in our name. It's a so-called democracy where the government kills our sons and daughters - ours and those of our neighbors halfway around the world - all for a Vision.


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