Thursday, August 24th 2017

Gary Wills and David Frum on prayer in the Bush-house

WDAD? (What Did AMERICA Do?) | Originally uploaded by silki.

In a piece in this week’s New York Times Magazine headed, “With God On Our Side,” the fearless historian Gary Wills illustrates just how deeply religion has permeated the White House, for better of for worse.

Founding father James Madison and Enlightenment-devotee would be taken aback by the degree to which religion gets ”cognized” and empiricized in, say, Karl Rove’s Rolodex.

The nation’s executive mansion is currently honeycombed with prayer groups and Bible study cells, like a whited monastery. A sly dig there goes, ”Missed you at Bible study,” as David Frum, a Jewish Canadian who worked for Bush as speechwriter, reported in ”The Right Man.” A line from the book: “Bible study was, if not compulsory, not quite uncompulsory, either.”

White House etiquette tip: Friends going to intimate dinners with the Bushes should be prepared to lead grace before dining.

The question, then, is that if our government truly is filled with Christians, why, then, does it so often act with so little mercy and compassion? The White House may be religious. But is it genuinely spiritual?

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