Thursday, March 06, 2003

More on Bush and religion. It won't be online for a few weeks, if ever. But National Review's Richard Brookhiser offers a worthwhile discussion of George W. Bush's religious views in the April issue of the Atlantic Monthly. Bush's relationship with "Providence," as Brookhiser puts it -- even as he notes that Bush himself would probably regard that as "too indefinite a word, smacking of the gentlemanly theological evasions of the Anglo-American Enlightenment" -- is laid out in a short section of Brookhiser's long and exceedingly kind analysis of the president's leadership skills.

Similar to Howard Fineman and Martin Marty in the current Newsweek, Brookhiser finds Bush's religiosity to be both a source of strength and a potential danger, although Brookhiser himself does not use that word. He writes:

Practically, Bush's faith means that he does not tolerate, or even recognize, ambiguity: there is an all-knowing God who decrees certain behaviors, and leaders must obey.

If I say I find that frightening, does that make me a bigot?

By the way, Brookhiser offers the additional insight that Bush's beliefs help explain his close relationship with Tony Blair, a "devout Anglican." Maybe I should have known that, but I didn't.

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