Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Blind faith is practice for conservatism

There's no possible doubt that many people choose the beliefs they take to be true. Reason, as I'm learning the more I read about neuropsychology (currently, How We Decide, by Jonah Lehrer), is only part of the decision to believe.

Often, a very small part. Some believers intentionally push reason aside for a heady brew of reflex, prejudice, and blind faith in received wisdom. Even if that wisdom was only slightly wiser than the violent and tribal surrounding society of 2000 years ago...

Bushists believe that Duhbya went to church a lot, not because it's true but because they know it. Facts - he didn't - and memory - his absence was reported in real time - don't bleedin' enter into it. Duhbya talked about Gawd all the goddamned time - and talked about prayin' and blessings and reading Scripture (capital S, by gum). Flaying his faith like Elmer Gantry, they're sure that he surely must've been sitting in a pew nearly every Sunday, not just Christmas, Easter, and National Prayer Day. Even if their senses should tell them that he wasn't.

Who you gonna believe - faith or your lyin' eyes?

When Duhbya recently met some soldiers at the Dallas-Ft. Worth airport on their return home on a two-week break from Iraq, Afghanistan, and other, unspecified billets, one of my Facebook friends, an evangelical Christian, commented about how much the Bushes love our troops. I bit my tongue and didn't ask her for evidence. You can find more of her faithful compatriots among the commenters on the Dallas Morning News site.

There was one previous time that Duhbya greeted returning sailors. Mission accomplished!

But Bush was in office for more than seven years while our troops were in combat in Afghanistan and for nearly six while they were in combat in Iraq, and I don't recall any other time that he greeted them. He never went to greet the fallen in their caskets at Dover AFB (something President Obama had done already ten months ago), and he only went to Walter Reed to see the wounded after the scandal of the grim conditions there broke.

But Duhbya loves him some fighting men (and women).

If you are practiced well at believing in your own personal Jesus and you thank him every time another Vicodin relieves the pain of your kidney stone (Facebook again), you're well prepared to believe that a man who got 4000 Americans killed and many more maimed in a war of choice loves the troops.

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