Beliefnet

A Rich Soup of Paranoia


Okay, a lot of people are turned off by President Bush's religious faith. No problemo. That's their right. But Frank Rich's dishonest column in today's New York Times, a report on a forthcoming DVD about the President's religious views, resorts to innuendo and distortions to misrepresent Bush's faith.

The title of the DVD is "George W. Bush: Faith in the White House." "More than any other campaign artifact," writes Rich, "it clarifies the hard-knuckles rationale of the president's vote-for-me-or-face-Armageddon re-election message." That's a lie--Vice President Cheney has said that a terrorist attack is more likely under a Kerry administration. That's something we have every right to debate. Nobody in the Bush campaign has said or implied anything about Armageddon, a loaded term referring to a Biblical battle at the end of time.

Here's another snippet: "'Will George W. Bush be allowed to finish the battle against the forces of evil that threaten our very existence?' Such is the portentous question posed at the film's conclusion by its narrator, the religious broadcaster Janet Parshall, beloved by some for her ecumenical generosity in inviting Jews for Jesus onto her radio show during the High Holidays." Mr. Rich seems unable to recognize that whoever wins in November will have to battle against evil in the form of jihad. And Janet Parshall, by the way, is a very nice lady who doesn't deserve to be mocked for asking Jewish converts to Christianity on her program.

"Past presidents have rarely, if ever, claimed such godlike infallibility. Mr. Bush never admits to making a mistake," writes Rich. Rich seems to be referring to Bush's refusal to answer a politically motivated question by a (most likely) politically motivated reporter about what mistakes he's made. This doesn't amount to a claim of infallibility. It's more a matter of not replying to a jerk.

I'll bet this column scared Swami, who's already frightened enough, to death. Frank Rich should be ashamed.

Only a Few Shopping Hours Left


Yup, John Kerry now has a matter of hours to come up a position on Iraq for the rumble in Coral Gables. I don't think that Howard Dean could have been elected (is it premature to say "either"?), but you can't blame Democrats for wishing they'd stuck with their first love. There's a superb piece in Slate by Chris Suellentrop on Dean nostalgia.

If you read one thing today, let it be George Will's piece on tonight's debates. "Presidential debates are to real debates as processed cheese is to cheese," writes Will. But he does offer a fantasy ploy designed to help us find the true position, if any, Kerry has on Iraq.

Moderator Bias: Will Bush get a fair shake from liberal moderators in the course of the debates? They may be a little shell-shocked by CBS's travails but don't count on it. Here's a good report from the Media Research Center.

Why Kerry will win even if he doesn't--from Instapundit:

"DEBATE PREDICTION: Unless Kerry melts into a puddle on the floor, the media spin will be that he did well and helped his campaign. This is for two reasons. One is, as Newsweek's Evan Thomas remarked, that the press "wants Kerry to win."

He Goes to Church with John Kerry! Wow!


Loose Canon has often wondered how somebody can go through seminary and not understand basic Catholic theology. Yes, I'm referring to James Carroll, the former priest who now bashes the Catholic Church for the Boston Globe.

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