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Religion in Politics
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I know it's not going away anytime soon, but I had an extended argument with a co-worker today (hi Jill) about the very end of Bush's speech.

In the words of the prophet Isaiah, "To the captives, come out; and to those in darkness, be free."

Thank you for serving our country and our cause.

May God bless you all. And may God continue to bless America.

I said I didn't think it was a particularly good idea to use a biblical quotation, since the perception that this is a religiously motivated war, by some in the Middle East, doesn't need to be inflamed anymore than it already has. The rest of the speech indicated our desire to do nothing more than remove a threat and bring freedom to an oppressed populace. Why muddy the waters by dragging religious language into it?

Also, this is just another example of by continued problem of public figures using religious speech in general. Yeah, it bugs me everytime a public official says "God bless America", or the fact that it's on our money, that we have a Congressional chaplain position. All that shit bugs me.

Jill says that makes me intolerant. That if he'd quoted a secular philosopher I wouldn't have a problem with it. She's right about the second part, and we've talked about intolerance here before. If wanting to reduce the religiosity in public speech and action makes me intolerant, than so be it.

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