Notes from Exile
Of Fundamentalists And Historical Re-Writes
By David Irby
Nov 20, 2005 - 7:02:00 PM

UNITED STATES—I am overjoyed at Schwarzenegger's defeat by my own beloved SEIU and other progressive unions.  Who's the "girly man" now Arnold?  The next
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step is for you to meet your own (political) "Terminator!"  But something else is on my mind, that is:

How different the world looks from outside the United States!  The current debate over (so-called) "Intelligent Design" is one example. 

 

Opinion polls consistently show that American majorities continue to believe that a "literalist" understanding of Genesis, describes the way that the world and human beings came to be.  And campaigners on what is supposed to be "both sides" of "the issue", from the loony preacher, Pat Robertson to Atheist propagandists each insist that something, about which both are mistaken in terms of philosophical categories, "proves" his case, either "for" or "against" God.

 

But the rest of the world has no similar difficulties.  The leader of the overwhelming majority of the planet's Christian believers, Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI, has written of  "the inner unity between creation and evolution and faith and reason", and also that "Christ frees us from the slavery of the letter" (of the Old Testament).

 

All major strands of European Protestantism agree, as do most Jews and other "Theistic" believers.  Essentially, we believe in a God who created us, and we have no difficulty in accepting the overwhelming scientific evidence that "evolution" is "how he did it."  The issue of "evolution" is one which is proper to the physical sciences, but, while we believe that they point strongly toward a conclusion that there is a "Creator God", that is ultimately a faith question. 

 

But those, who parade under the slogan, "Intelligent Design", argue against "evolution" on grounds, which purport to be "scientific", but which are really religious.  But this is dishonest and also unsustainable to those of us who understand the distinctions, which are proper to the physical sciences, and those, which are proper to the realm of faith.  And at the root of their objections lies a continued enslavement to Biblical literalism, which, in faith communities outside the United States, has long been passed.

 

A similar phenomenon emerged in the run-up to the Iraq War in regard to Mr. Bush's claims of "WMD" and "an al-Queda connection".  He is now claiming that those who question his veracity as to those matters are "rewriting history." 

 

At the time, even most Democratic Congressional leaders seemed to have allowed themselves to be hoodwinked.  But the rest of the world could clearly see that Bush was effectively "rewriting history" (that is, fabricating, or at least profoundly distorting, evidence) even as that "history" was being made. 

 

Bush's propaganda machine focused on the objections of "the French" whom they suddenly taught Americans to hate.  But of the 15 UN Security Council members, only two, Britain and Spain, backed the war; both in opposition to the overwhelming majority of their own peoples.

 

But so well has Bush succeeded in his own historical re-write that few Americans remember UN inspector Hans Blix.  But it was clear to everyone in the rest of the world that Bush forced Blix inspections to be cut short precisely because he was already proving that "WMD" was a lie.  Ditto for Mohamed el Baradei, who is now a Nobel Laureate.

 

And then there was Ambassador James Wilson's revelation that there was no "Yellowcake". 

 

Prosecution of Cheney's top staffer, "Scooter" Libby for "outing" Wilson's wife is welcome.  But, in a way even that clouds what should be the real issue. There was ample evidence to negate the Bush administration's claims well before the war, but these were ignored, as "the Downing Street memos" also prove.  But few Americans seem to remember them either.

 

And when the U.S. Army's own inspections disproved the "WMD argument", Bush and Tony Blair immediately rewrote history again.  None of that really mattered, they claimed, because they had done the Iraqi nation and the world such a favor by removing such a vile dictator as Saddam Hussein.

 

But that "post hoc" argument begs the essential question of the legality of the invasion itself.  Even if Saddam had "WMDs," that would not have been justification for that invasion in international law without a UN approval and/or proof that Saddam was about to attack the US or one of his neighbors. 

 

One would almost think that it would take a nincompoop of the proportions of the ultra-Fundamentalist preacher, Pat Robertson, to believe such a thing as that.   But the fact is, even he questioned Bush’s justifications for the Iraq War!



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