Monday, October 23, 2006

Bush’s God problem

How does the democratic process work when the commander in chief claims to have a direct line to God. Former German Chancellor Schröder explains in his memoirs how the President’s religious beliefs get in the way of working out real world solutions to real world problems. This from the London Times:
In extracts from his memoirs to be published in Der Spiegel magazine, Herr Schröder explains what went wrong and why it will be difficult for the President to make peace.

“Again and again in our private talks it became clear how
God-fearing this President was and how ruled he was by what he saw as a Higher Power,” says Herr Schröder in the memoirs, Decisions: My Life In Politics.

“The problem begins when political decisions seem to result from a conversation with God. If you legitimise political decisions in this way, then you cannot respond to criticism or suggestions by changing policies or introducing nuances.”

The former Chancellor, an agnostic, seems to consider President Bush to be a Christian fundamentalist, and as such less likely to make the compromises needed to end the conflict in Iraq.

“We rightly criticise that in most Islamic states there is no clear separation between religion and the rule of law,” he says. “But we fail to recognise that, in the US, the Christian fundamentalists and their interpretation of the Bible have similar tendencies.

“If both sides claim to be in possession of the only valid truth, then there is no room for manoeuvre.”

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