Saturday's New York Times featured this Panglossian column by Bill Keller about Bush's religiosity. The letters column of today's Times has some nice replies, especially the first one:
In "God and George W. Bush" (column, May 17), Bill Keller suggests that the president's faith is "highly subjective." Mr. Keller adds: "It enjoins him to try to do the right thing, but it doesn't tell him what the right thing might be. It is faith without a legislative agenda."
This is the most disturbing aspect of Mr. Bush's moral crusade, because it absolves him of looking for guidance to any source other than his "heart."
If Mr. Bush thinks that something is right, the argument goes, it must be simply because God would not steer him wrong.
The religious right, whatever its hypocrisies, at least likes to work from a "playbook," the Bible, and thus operates on some recognizable and debatable set of principles.
I am far more scared by the unwavering faith that George W. Bush maintains in his own moral judgment to the neglect of all else (save political expediency, of course).
Austin, Tex., May 17, 2003