Thursday, November 03, 2005

Why Do So Many Americans Believe in God and Fundamentalist "Christianity"?

I'm guessing that some of this blog's readers have already purchased the latest Noam Chomsky book - Imperial Ambitions (Metropolitan, 2005) a remarkable set of interviews with Chomsky (2003-2005) conducted by the award winning radio journalist David Barsaniam, who has a special gift for asking evocative questions that bring NC's unmatched brilliance to bear on numerous, urgent, and wide-ranging issues of interrelated contemporary, historical, domestic and global relevance. Somewhere in this excellent collection (currently sitting a few miles from my computer), there’s an interesting exchange on a problem that seems to uncharacteristically baffle the conversants: why there’s so much religious and particularly so much extreme religious belief in the U.S.

It’s a fascinating and important issue in a country whose "messianic militarist" (Ralph Nader’s description) president once invoked "Christ" as his favorite political philosopher ("because he changed my heart") and announced his imperialist war(s) on (of) terror and the Arab world as "a crusade." A friend of school prayer and the death penalty and a religiously based opponent of abortion rights, gay rights, civil rights, evolutionary science, and stem-cell research, Bush is possibly the nation’s most theocratic president to date.