Bush, Religion, and Astronauts in Hell

George W. Bush can’t seem to shut the fuck up about God. Maybe I’ve just been listening to the radio (I’ve been trying to figure out just how we went from “We have a problem with Iraq” to “We’ve got troops in Iraq” without ever hearing “We’ve declared war on Iraq”), but it seems like every other word out of the guy’s mouth is “God” or “faith” or “providence”. He pushes bills and politicians who that make no bones about being entirely about Christianity. He prays in public as if God can’t hear unless he’s at a podium.

So when he gave that inspiring, religious speech when we lost the shuttle, why didn’t he state what his religion- a religion that he seems intent on injecting into our government in any way he can- really believes. Presumably there was a Jewish man and a Hindu woman on that shuttle- and who knows exactly how many atheists. According to standard Christian dogma (which George W Bush certainly caters to, and presumably believes) those astronauts are now burning in Hell.

If George wants to talk about religion. Why doesn’t he talk about that? If he wants to tell us about God in his speeches, why doesn’t he come out and say what he really thinks? I don’t have any real beef with Christianity, and I don’t really care what diety the president worships, but if that president is going to keep running off at the mouth about that diety, I think he ought to give us the whole story.

Or maybe he can just SHUT THE FUCK UP ABOUT GOD because he is a PRESIDENT, NOT A PREACHER. As an atheist, I am sick of how George Bush is so damn set on weasling Christianity into anything he can as if it were Clinton’s schlong into an intern. It’s sickening. Really. really. sickening.

You just need to learn to get the fuck over it. Everything will OK then.

I thought the religious thing was wierd too about the shuttle for the same reasons. He can’t help himself though. He’s a moron.

I’m an atheist and I admit that when a politican invokes god I don’t really get all that upset. I don’t get upset when I see nativity scenes or christmas trees on public property, prayers before graduation ceremonies don’t bother me, and I get downright pissy when schools can’t play Christmas songs around the holidays for fear of offending someone.

As an atheist, I recognize that people have different religious beliefs then I do. In this country we’ve got a long history of presidents showing off their religion. Remember when G. Washington added “so help me god” to his inaguration? Uh, ok so you don’t remember but you get what I’m saying.

Marc

What “Standard Christian dogma”? Would you mind telling us just what it is?

I wasn’t aware there was a “Standard Christian Dogma,” but if you’ve written it, please do provide a link!

I admit I feel left out. Being a member of the world’s largest Christian denomination, OUR dogma says that, in fact, Jews and Hindus can go to heaven. Why isn’t our dogma “standard”?

Whatever happened to religious tolerance?

I assure you, he has received his reward in full.

Perhaps it is an attempt to appease the Religious Right. He seems to have pissed them off after they helped him win the election.

The same way we ended up with troops in Korea, Vietnam, Iraq the first time, Grenada, Panama, Tripoli, Mexico, etc. without declaring war. Really, when you think about it, declaring war before sending in troops has really been the exception in American history.

Really?

Source: http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2003/02/20030201-2.html

Home in Hell, eh?

You knwo, Even Sven, for a supposed liberal you’re very intolerant. I’m a stone atheist, yet Bush’s religious sensibilities don’t offend me any more than a Muslim’s or a Hindu’s would. It’s just words, after all.

Who said liberals have to be tolerant?

After some research, I’ve discovered George Bush is a member of the United Methodist Church.

According to their website:

Presumably meaning that God judges us by our specific belief in Jesus as savior (the site specifically mentions that only the bible is needed for salvation- not good works or other standards). This pretty much means that Hindus and Jews are out.

Meaning that that those who don’t get judged well (namely, unrepentent sinners and those who don’t accept Jesus)get “endless condemnation”, meaning something thats bad and forever. It might not be Hell, but I doubt it’s anyplace I’d call “home”.

By standard Christian dogma, I guess I mean the bible. Theres a lot about how the only way to be saved is acceptance of Jesus as savior. Most Christian denominations that I know of believe that if you do not believe that Jesus was the son of God and died for our sins (sometimes with an exception for those that have never, ever, ever heard an inkling about Jesus), you do not to go to heaven. The bible is a bit more vague about what happens to those that don’t go to heaven. Only a few denominations believe that the dead sinners simply cease to exist (Seventh Day Adventists come to mind). A few denominations are pretty sure that Hell is a physical place with fire and demons, and the majority of Christians skirt the issue by saying that Hell exists but it may be some kind of metaphysical place of eternal suffering caused by serperation from God, sans demons. Still, non-Christians go to Hell and Hell sucks.

It’s not that I hate Christianity. I don’t agree with it, but I don’t really mind it’s existance too much. But when it’s existance starts seeping into our laws- laws I have to follow- it does start to bug me. And frankly it does upset me to see such overwhelming Christianty in George W Bush’s speeches. I don’t mind him being a Christian. I wouldn’t mind it if he occasionally mentions it.

But it’s alienating when he talks about how much “faith will get us through”. I don’t have any faith. It won’t get me through anything. It bothers me when he makes Christianity-based predictions about whats happening to non-Christian heros. That is disrespectful. It’s disrespectful to the astronauts and it’s disrespectful for the millions of Americans who are not Christians but who are still members and lovers of this country. I do not need to hear my president tell me every other day that my beliefs are not valid, that I do not belong here, that I ought to turn to all that faith I don’t have.

If I were president, I would never dream of saying “We can rest assured that the Astronauts have ceased to exist, so let’s honor their memory on Earth” or “There is no afterlife, so we all ought to just take comfort in the human bonds of kindness”. That would be entirely unnessecery. That would be an insult to all the religious folks in this nation.

And if I did, I’d fully expect people to tell me to shut the fuck up.

How does Bush’s invoking God in his speeches translate into law? I mean, yeah, his religious views have led to his attempts to start the faith-based initiative (which has been a failure so far), but mere words in a memorial to dead heores shouldn’t offend you. They’re just words to a nonexistent deity and to me have as much meaning as reading a menu.

What you fail to understand is that most Americans share Bush’s faith and they take comfort in their belief in heaven–why should it bother you?

Even atheists can have faith. My faith is epitomized nicely in the affirmation from the musical “Rent”

In Molly Ivens’ book Shrub, she relates a story about how W. and his mom once got into an argument over whether Jews go to Hell. Junior insisted that they did, while Babs maintained that they did not, necessarily. They decided to resolve the dispute by calling the reverend Billy Graham. Graham agreed with Georgie that Jews do, in fact, go to hell. Barbara Bush, herself, was the source for the story. Scary.

Damn, you beat me to it by a few minutes! I was going to cite the exact same story.

Got a citation for that outside of Shrub?

To a certain extent, the words he speaks of his religion are merely describing his personal faith. However, I believe that as the leader of the United States, his words not are not only descriptive but also produce a collective vision of how things should be. As I perceive it, in his official role, the words he speaks of his religion carry the added weight of being a guide to the American future. To one who does not share his faith, it can be perceived that he is frequently urging Americans to adopt that faith. Maybe his words are ultimately meaningless, but it seems disrespectful to create a vision of a nation where those who are not of the Christian religion might perhaps share in a little less of the president’s vision for America.

Here are a couple;

Slate MSN:

and The Jewish World Review:

So there seem to be a lot of variations on this theme.

Jewish World review
Here’s another good write up from Slate.

Fred Barnes also wrote about in Weekly Standard, but that’s a pay site.