Monday, November 15, 2004

The New Republic Online: The Elect

The New Republic Online: The Elect: "The belief in God does not guarantee the knowledge of God's wishes. This is the most elementary lesson of the history of religious faith. The believer lives in the darkness more than he lives in the light. He does not wallow in God's guidance, he thirsts for it. And when God's guidance comes, it does not take the form of policy recommendations, unless he has created his God in the image of his desire. What deity is this, that has opinions about preemption and taxation and Quentin Tarantino? In this regard, there is no more ringing refutation of the religion of George W. Bush than the religion of Abraham Lincoln. 'Both read the same Bible, and pray to the same God; and each invokes his aid against the other,' Lincoln proclaimed at the beginning of his second term, and in the middle of a war. 'The prayers of both could not be answered--that of neither has been answered fully.' For Lincoln, his party was not God's party; or rather, the other party was as much God's party as his party was. And he explained this repudiation of human certainty this way: 'The Almighty has his own purposes.' He did not know what they were, he knew only that they were. Beware the politicians, and the politics, that know more."

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