Everyone is quick to say that this is not a religious war. But it sure enough feels like one.
Our President calls on the "higher father" for guidance. Our enemy calls us godless infidels. The New York Times reports that Islamic terrorists are now being recruited at an unprecedented pace in major European countries. What seems to be going on is a search for certainty in a world turned upside-down.
"And you never ask questions
When God's on your side." - With God On Our Side, Bob Dylan
The opposing forces don't ask questions. They have a pipeline to the almighty. And Kerry is caught in the middle because he has had doubts, changed positions, and seems to have searched the world and his own soul for answers rather then having them handed down to him from above. This is called flip-flopping and is the ultimate blasphemy that can hurled at a politician.
As the world becomes more uncertain - we want someone who shows leadership, and in this case leadership means a lack of self-reflection, a lack of doubt.
Suppose that you were the builder of the new Queen Mary II ocean liner. Suppose that just before the ship was to depart, you learned that there were serious design flaws that might endanger the ship. Now suppose that you were a deeply religious owner, and you decided to trust in the greater power to see the ship safely on its voyage and the ship sank. How culpable is the owner?
The answer is - pretty damned culpable. Not because you are religious - but because you didn't examine your own doubts and act on them. (This is a very rough paraphrase from the book, The President of Good & Evil).
"About 94 percent of Americans believe in God" - Ibid.
What seems like arrogance - may actually be the opposite: humble obeisence to the almighty. And you just can't argue, at least not rationally, with blind faith.
Well, everyone says: this is just a perversion of religious thought. Christ was not in favor of killing. The Moslems are mis-reading the Koran.
I am not enough of an expert to say what is being misinterperted, but I do see a direct correlation between the certainty that religion gives one - and the actions that follow.
So - now the Kerry problem.
First: I have no idea what Kerry's private religious beliefs are. Right off the bat, if the country is so religious - which it appears to be, he is going to have to do more public praying.
Second: If we are in the middle of a religious war, he is going to have to do more public praying.
Third: He needs to begin using religious phrases more in his speeches. Has he even taken the opportunity to say, "God Bless America" in his speeches? I haven't heard it yet. He'd better get going with this stuff if he wants to win.
What about separation of church and state, you ask?
That is a fiction. The congress begins each day with a prayer. We trust in God is on our money. The idea of a separation of church and state wasn't that the state shouldn't be religious, but that there shouldn't be a particular state sponsored religion.
Fourth: Never, under any circumstances, say that you were wrong (as Kerry recently tried to do regarding some of his language about the Vietnam war atrocities) under any circumstances. Being wrong, must mean that you do not have that direct pipeline to the almighty, and that in turn means that you cannot be the chosen leader of the so-called free world.