Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Bush's less-than-subtle wink to the footsoldiers of the end days, promising judicial candidates who "strictly and faithfully interpret the Constitution," makes me wonder if his kind of faith permits interpretation. Indeed, I wonder if the guy has ever interpreted anything. Every object of contemplation that he happens upon seems to mirror his preconceived convictions. He'd be the kid in my literature class who avoids analyzing a poem by way of platitude and loquacious pseudo-philosophical flatulence. And everything in a convoluted passive voice, everything acted upon by invisible outside forces.


With uncanny timing, Noah Feldman's article in this Sunday's NYT magazine does suggest an actual honest-to-god (pun intended) political solution to the redstate/bluestate impasse: cut off govermental money for religion but permit the legislative exercise of religious convictions. Unfortunately, although it sounds good and all, I don't really buy the idea that you can put dollars in one room and ideology in the other. Wouldn't allowing a school board to vote in "intelligent design" mean, by way of federal monies, a de facto financing of ideology? And don't we have a right to protect those unfortunate kids in Denton who want the straight dope? It seems a recipe for a sort of ideological Yugoslavia, with belief-system refugees flooding to the places where it's still, mostly, safe to think some things sometimes.


1 comment:

Henry Gould said...

I thought that was one of the most misguided essays I've ever read. The bit about atheists just accepting their sense of exclusion because it doesn't really matter - completely disengenuous, slippery argument. Public property and public institutions are "secular" because in a democracy EVERYBODY owns them, EVERYBODY is included.

So in Feldman's plan, we will have all kinds of religious monuments on public property, simply because their promoters are willing to pay for it? This makes wonderful sense...