Friday, November 12, 2004

Arafat and US Presidential Politics

I've heard Republicans say that Jews will vote for Bush before they will vote for a Democrat because Bush is taking it hard to the terrorists. The flip-side of that, of course, is that Mr. Bush is in bed with the Radical Christian Clerics like Pat Robertson, Bob Jones and Jerry Falwell. Perhaps we should, like Josh Marshall, call these folks "Mullahs." Marshall points out Bob Jones' letter to Bush concerning what Jones feels Bush owes the American Radical Clerics due to this election. The list is scary, or course, but it is most interesting in that it conjures images from the days of the divine rights of Kings. (Do these folks have such a poor sense of history that they don't know those Kings used that notion of divinity to persecute protestant Christians?) Certainly Falwell's take on Bush's task in Iraq, excerpted below, is handled adeptly in The Washington Dispatch:

Jerry Falwell appeared on CNN and spoke about the war in Iraq. He said in part, “The president’s doing the right thing. He’s looking for [terrorists], he’s searching them out. He’s killing them when he finds them. And that’s the only cure for barbarians.” He also said with somewhat circular logic that “you’ve got to kill the terrorists before the killing stops. And I’m for the president to chase them all over the world. If it takes 10 years, blow them all away in the name of the Lord.” When reminded that the terrorists who brought down the twin towers did not come from Iraq, he said “I don’t care where they came from.” Is this the definition of Christianity? Is it outmoded to view Christianity as something that shouldn’t be blinded by zealotry but instead something that opens our eyes to the humanity to be found in everyone the world over?

Falwell doesn't care where the terrorists come from, and calls for killing everyone, like Bush is doing, in the vicinity of terrorists, all in the name of the Lord. I'm here to tell you right now, this kind of rhetoric, which appears to be perfectly acceptable to the Bush Administration, will only remind American Jews of history, and other killing done in the name of the Lord, by folks like Torquemada. Perhaps that's why, on election day, Jews in this country continued to support John Kerry..

As long as folks like Jerry Falwell are given air time, the Republican Party will continue to be seen as the party of mullahs, radical clerics, and jihad.