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:: Monday, April 21, 2003 ::

Robert L. Bartley, over at the OpinionJournal, asks, "President Bush is a Christian. Why does that bother people?"
On net, religious impulses are probably growing. September 11 persuaded others besides George Bush that evil is an active force in the world. The science of the Big Bang and DNA looks much more like the work of a creator than the cold world of Newtonian Laws and Darwinian evolution. And at least indirectly the horrors of the 20th century showed that the latter provides no moral compass.

The Scopes Monkey trial of 1925, the great defeat of the fundamentalists, has in particular come in for reassessment. Noting for example that the ACLU advertised for a plaintiff, a 2002 PBS documentary let the people of Dayton, Tenn. say that they were not the dolts depicted by the news dispatches of H. L. Mencken and the 1960 movie "Inherit the Wind." And in his new Mencken biography "The Skeptic," Terry Teachout points to the unlovely side of the philosophy animating his account: A disdain of democracy, for example, in favor of credo of Social Darwinism, applying survival of the fittest to human communities, and its corollary of eugenics, shortly later discredited by the Third Reich.

As for the Iraq war, what do the pope and liberal theologians make of the cheering crowds in Baghdad and Saddam's torture chambers? The president's success has confounded his critics. His decision, whatever role Divine Guidance played, clearly was what psychologists call inner-directed. His war cabinet meetings did not include people such as Karl Rove, Karen Hughes or Ari Fleischer. Somehow it's better, I suspect, for a president to talk to God than to talk to pollsters.

Go read it.

:: Mark 8:58 AM [+] ::
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