Jewish World Review August 27, 2003 / 29 Menachem-Av, 5763
The elites' anti-religion obsession
In other words, all hell is breaking loose. Oh, but that's right, the anti-religion elites don't believe in hell. But lately they have been working themselves into a frothy, frantic frenzy. A few days ago I had the unfortunate experience of catching Larry King Live's rebroadcast of his interview with "comedian" Bill Maher. Pontificating on the state of American discourse, Maher teed off on George W. Bush ("a monumental liar") and organized religion. "The Bible (sneer). It's all about the Bible," he lamented, when asked about the Supreme Court's decision striking down Texas's sodomy statute. "It's all about that one book written so many years ago by G-d knows who, but it wasn't G-d."
And this guy calls President Bush stupid?
Bill Maher, who describes himself as part Jew, part Catholic, has been slamming religion for years, but his vitriol has reached new heights during the Bush presidency. Maher's caboose of thought goes like this: Bush is a moron because Bush is a true believer. The entertainment elites like Maher feel threatened by people of faith. How can they believe in G-d when they think that they are the Masters of Universe?
Maher has a comrade in arms in writer Guy Lawson, who wrote a piece in the August issue of GQ titled "George W's Personal Jesus," with an accompanying sacrilegious photo of Bush depicted as a Jesus-like figure with a flowing robe, long hair, beard and mustache and halo. (Of the photo, Lawson has said, "It was meant to provoke.") Lawson's beef with Bush seems to be that while we all know Bush is a devout Christian who married into the Methodist church, we don't really know what he believes. He keeps his views "closely held," but then speaks in a secret religious "code" to other Evangelical Christians! "A person steeped in the language of faith can recognize the voice of someone who shares his beliefs," notes Lawson, ominously. Pass out the special decoder rings!
Liberal Lauer lapped it up.
LAUER: ….Are you suggesting that before a major speech the speechwriters gather in some room and they put these words in to deliberately communicate with Evangelical voters?
LAWSON: I'm not suggesting it, I'm saying it. Absolutely. I mean, he talked about the wonder-working power of the American people. Any Evangelical Christian knows that that's a reference to a Him, the wonder-working power of the blood of Jesus.
Lawson is disturbed both by the fact that George W. Bush "is the most overtly and publicly religious leader of the United States in generations," and also "the most privately religious leader of the United States in generations." Wow. Powerful stuff.
Perhaps GQ should stick to publishing articles about subjects it understands like pectoral implants, and the latest in male exfoliation products.
Of course the point of the piece was to lump George Bush into the Bible thumping stereotype that the anti-religion elites are obsessed with. If Bush is an evangelical, reading the Bible behind closed doors every morning, no wonder he believes in all this good and evil stuff! "The Bible is a story of the struggle between good and evil, G-d and the devil," Lawson reveals. Someone alert the Pulitzer Committee.
People of faith feel like they are under siege in America these days. The Supreme Court and the lower federal courts seem to find an unconstitutional establishment of religion around every corner. Hollywood routinely portrays religion in the worst possible light. Meanwhile, Mel Gibson is crucified for making a movie about the crucifixion.
But this bitter elite posture is nothing new and people of faith Christians, Jews and others have long been not only ridiculed, but have actually been persecuted for their beliefs.
Americans of faith in the last century resisted fascism, socialism, communism, Nazism, and racism. They are hardly going to have their faith shaken by the likes of Bill Maher, Guy Lawson and their cynical cronies in the media.
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08/14/03: Dems whine, democracy shines