Column: Press Ignores Role of Fundamentalism in Bush’s Policies
The media has grossly underreported the extent to which Bush’s Christian fundamentalism informs his policies on Israel, Iraq, stem cells and abortion, argues a former Newsday and Knight Ridder White House correspondent.
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There is an alien influence, mostly unpublicized, running like an undercurrent beneath the Bush administration’s Middle East policies. It may help explain George W. Bush’s single-mindedness, his oblivious inability to face reality as his war in Iraq, his war against terror and his policies towards Arabs and Israeli have collapsed.
I say “alien,” because I believe this to be the first time in modern American history that a president’s religion, in this case his Christian fundamentalism, has become a decisive factor in his foreign and domestic policies. It?s a factor that has been under-reported, to say the least, and that begs for press attention.
Bush, who says he reads the Bible daily, acknowledges his fundamentalist beliefs. Biblical and Middle East scholar Karen Armstrong writes in The Guardian, “Whatever Bush’s personal beliefs, the ideology of the Christian right is both familiar and congenial to him. This strange amalgam of ideas can perhaps throw light on the behavior of a president who, it is said, believes God chose him to lead the world toward Rapture, who has little interest in social reform, and whose selective concern for life issues has now inspired him to veto important scientific research.
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