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Originally published at customerservant.com. You can comment here or there.

It’s this kind of political harlotry, specifically the kind that the Republican Party is engaging in, that really bothers me.
Seems we could use a prophet.
On the other hand, I can’t help wondering whether the Deomcrats won’t engage in the same kind of harlotry once they’re back in power.
Maybe we should just get rid of all politicians, and their lawyer cronies.
Neither group is good for the country overall.

ROBYN BLUMNER

Article Published: 03/27/06, 2:55 am
In a rare public outing in which he took spontaneous questions, President Bush was asked in Ohio whether he had a biblical view of the war in Iraq and saw
it as an apocalyptic struggle for the Middle East. “The answer is, I haven’t really thought of it that way,” Bush responded. “First, I’ve heard of that,
by the way. I guess I’m more of a practical fellow.”

This is a difficult to believe from our born-again president, who initially used the word “crusade” to define America’s fight against Islamic terrorists
and who justified going to war in Iraq with nomenclature straight out of the “Left Behind” series by preacher Tim LaHaye.

Former Republican strategist Kevin Phillips writes in his new book, “American Theocracy,” that Bush’s call to remove Saddam Hussein included “jeering at
the United Nations,” proclaiming the evil of Saddam and pretending that democracy, not oil, was the motive. According to Phillips, that script followed
almost precisely what LaHaye had written in his “Left Behind” books.

Not to say that we are at war in Iraq solely or even primarily because the president thinks it will hasten the end times. Just that it did not escape the
administration’s notice that certain ideas resonate with the 60 million readers of “Left Behind,” of which an estimated 15 million to 20 million are U.S.
voters.

This rapture-and-Armageddon crowd, more than any other group, make up the president’s base. It is flatly disingenuous for Bush to claim that he never before
considered the biblical currency of America vs. Iraq.

Phillips, who was a Republican star when he wrote “The Emerging Republican Majority” in 1969 and predicted the ascendancy of the party, is now the town
crier, warning America about what is to come if the party remains in power.

According to Phillips, the dominating influence of fundamentalists and evangelicals on politics has “warped the Republican Party and its electoral coalition,
muted Democratic voices, and become a gathering threat to America’s future.”

When faith trumps reason, you get people in power such as James Watt, the former interior secretary under Ronald Reagan, who sought to exploit America’s
natural resources because, as he explained: “My responsibility is to follow the Scriptures which call upon us to occupy the land until Jesus returns.”

And for those who think this is only a phase and the pendulum is bound to swing back, think again. As demographer Phillip Longman of the New America Foundation
points out in Foreign Policy this month, fundamentalism’s growth is a long-term trend worldwide.

The reason is simple, Longman says. The kinds of people and societies that embrace “patriarchal religion” simply outreproduce “today’s enlightened but slow-breeding
societies.”

The 2004 presidential election illustrates the trend. Longman says fertility rates among the states that went for Bush were 12 percent higher than those
backed Sen. John Kerry.

Children born to parents who embrace patriarchy, tradition, nationalism and rigid religiosity are highly likely to adopt these views and vote for the party
that reflects the same values: Republican.

Kevin Phillips may be ringing the alarm that the Republamentalists are dragging this nation down. But pretty soon there won’t be enough of us left to do
much more than go along for the ride.

E-mail Robyn Blumner at


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