I wish I noticed this earlier today. It might already be on or over, where some of you live. (LATE CORRECTION: you haven’t missed it! It’s Thursday night, Apr 29! Check your local PBS listing.) PBS’ “Frontline” program tonight is called “The Jesus Factor.” From the NYT review: “…by pulling together well-known and long forgotten incidents and remarks, the program reminds viewers that this ‘faith-based’ president has blurred the line between religion and state more than any of his recent predecessors: a vision that affects the Iraq conflict as well as domestic policy.” How timely, in view of that “loony” George Monbiot article I linked to yesterday.
And on an equally timely note, I’ve been reading Kevin Phillips’ new book, American Dynasty (along with approximately 14 other books, so progress is slowish) and last night, I finished the chapter on “The American Presidency and the Rise of the Religious Right.” The fairly non-loony Phillips (well, if you’re willing to overlook his first incarnation as a conservative Republican) writes this (page 242): “…hypothesizing the Bush coalition as a narrowly Armageddon-believing electorate – probably the first in recent Republican presidential history – helps to explain Bush’s biblical rhetoric and overt pursuit of war in the Middle East. The commitment of his supporters was insufficiently particularized. For about half of his constituency, war in and around the Holy Land was not about battle per se. It was about the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.”