Tuesday, July 17, 2007

GWB's Iraq Policy

Dreher highlights a quote from GWB taken from an interview by David Brooks in the NYTimes:

"It's more of a theological perspective. I do believe there is an Almighty, and I believe a gift of that Almighty to all is freedom. And I will tell you that is a principle that no one can convince me that doesn’t exist."

Bush said this to explain why he has not lost his optimism about the (political) situation in Iraq.

While Dreher's column then wanders off-topic a bit, this quote from Andrew Sullivan in the essay is pertinent:

There is a dstinction between theology and politics, a distinction between theory and practice: a distinction at the core of the very meaning of conservatism.

Sullivan also promptly meanders away from the core of the thought above.

The gift of the Almighty was, accurately, free will, not "freedom." Free Will does not presuppose a political environment of any sort, nor is its exercise dependent on ANY political system. While one can strenuously and correctly argue that a democracy of some sort is a Good Government for exercising Free Will, it is also arguably true that an enlightened monarchy is sufficient for that purpose (not that there are many of them around these days.)

The difference between "freedom" and Free Will is substantial. One can only hope that GWB was misquoted.


Anonymous said...

I believe Pres. Bush is referring to the antithesis of slavery as "Freedom".

It appears to be his belief that we are all entitled, and expected to inately yearn for freedom from repression. And that that very desire is a gift from God. It would seem the struggle to protect others from repression would therefor be a duty of the soul.

It is a belief common in Southern Baptist Churches (my religion as a child) but not so in Catholicism (my religion now).

Dad29 said...

That Baptist origin is the foundation of the remark made later in the article about "Whiggery," which was a shared value of the New England Prots and the Southern Baptists.

And you're right--the Catholics are not so hung up on the politics as are the Baptists.

For us, the real enslavement is that of the World/Flesh/Devil variety.