Iraqi Elections, Inaugural Spurge, and Dissenting Evangelicals
The Bush administration has moved their public expectations for the Iraqi Elections down yet another notch. Gone are the days when January 30th was a mystical date in the distant future that promised a final absolution of our democracy-building bloodshed as well as a heartening reward for our intentions in the Middle East. Now the administration is finally admitting that if the elections can even be considered legitimate, they're probably not going to deter the insurgency all that much if at all.
Somehow a democratic Iraq went from being an immediate, shining beacon of freedom in a region full of strife to not even that of a "pivotal point" in such matters.
More and more voices are coming out to publicly denounce the untimely indulgence of the upcoming inauguration, citing the need for military funding as well as international charity at a time in which the world cries out for help and the country is knee-deep in war. President Bush contends that "You can be equally concerned about our troops in Iraq and those who suffered at the tsunamis (and) with celebrating democracy." Perhaps soldiers in Iraq pulling scrap metal off of garbage piles to armor-up their vehicles are as excited about the "Commander-in-Chief Ball" as President Bush seems to be.
Despite the news media's recent obsession with "values" and President Bush's so-called obligations toward right-wing Evangelical leaders and their respective agendas, it turns out that not all Evangelical clergy members are consider marriage definition more important that other messages in scripture. Tony Campolo, an Evangelical minister, claims "there are other concerns that are crucial to our faith. Poverty is a concern to which we gave little attention, yet there are over 2,000 verses in scripture that call on us to meet the needs of the poor..." He goes on to compare the US's reasons for the war in Iraq with St. Agustine's requisites of a "just war", as well as to express concern over a loss of integrity suffered by Evangelicals who officially and strictly align themselves with one political party.