Thursday, July 19, 2007

Bush’s theology of freedom

The Opinionator - New York Times Blog:
Conservatives seem to be growing tired of Bush’s rhetoric about his Higher Father’s international agenda. National Review editor Rich Lowry, who attended the same sit-down with the president that Brooks did, says that “Bush’s theology of freedom” is “something that has long bothered me.” Lowry writes at The Corner:

You can believe freedom is a gift from the Almighty and still recognize that some cultural soil is more or less compatible with supporting political systems that protect liberty. But Bush believes the spread of liberty is “inevitable.” If that is the case, why not spare ourselves all the effort and let the inevitable flowering of liberty take hold? Now, he does say that there will be different expressions of liberty and a different pace—”but we’ve all got the same odds of achieving the same result.” That strikes me as flat-out wrong, an otherwordly leveling of all the culture and history that separates various societies. In my view, people don’t desire freedom first and foremost, but order, and after that probably comes pride (liberty can be an important expression of pride—because people, as a matter of pride, want to govern themselves, and free systems are the most apt to produce the sort of outcomes in which people can take justifiable pride).

The Atlantic’s Ross Douthat says he is “fed up with the President’s messiah complex” and his “world-historical delusions.” ...

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