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October 08, 2004

Count me as reassured...

... that President Bush thinks the Dred Scott decision was regrettable.

Posted by Chris Clarke at October 8, 2004 07:30 PM TrackBack URL for this entry:
http://www.faultline.org/cgi-bin/mt-tb.cgi/780

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Comments

That "Dred Scot" answer was kind of incomprehensible. The earpiece must have been on the fritz at that moment.

Oh, and I'm sure you loved it when Bush said "I guess you'd say I'm a good steward of the land."

Posted by: the_bone at October 9, 2004 07:47 AM
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I almost turned off the debate at that "good steward" line. I haven't felt so digusted since I saw 9/11.

This is somewhat off topic, but the hypocrisy of the man astounds me. Do you know he doesn't go to church?

Empty Pew

Posted by: Siona at October 10, 2004 12:43 PM
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I was equally mystified myself at Bush's discursion on Dred Scott. But it turns out this is actually an appeal to the anti-abortion base: they perceive Roe v. Wade and the Dred Scott decision as equally abhorrent failures to treat human beings as persons under the law. Try googling " 'Dred Scott' abortion" for a window into this way of thinking.

I see this as an illustration of how politically divided the country has become. We don't get each other's allusions. Pretty soon we'll be speaking mutually unintelligible languages. And not long after, we'll be evolutionarily distinct populations. That is, for those of us who believe in evolution.

Posted by: Seth at October 10, 2004 04:32 PM
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That "good steward" line made me laugh/wince, and I was disappointed that Kerry's response was so weak (I _know_ he can do better than that!!!) but I was quite pleased with the man who asked that question. His stony expression while Bush blathered on was perfect and spoke volumes.

Posted by: Rana at October 11, 2004 11:44 AM
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I'm kind of disappointed to hear that the Dred Scott reference may actually have meant something. I had the same reaction I guess Chris did: "Oh wow! He's against slavery! What a courageous stand!" It was definitely a surreal moment.

If you go back to the etymological meaning of steward - "ward of the (pig) sty" - Bush can fairly claim to have been a good one, I think. He certainly takes care of his porkers.

Posted by: Dave at October 11, 2004 06:21 PM
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"Stewardship" refers to a specific Christian doctrine: God gave us the Earth and all the animals and plants on it. We are given free rein with the planet (and I guess anything else we can get our hands on), with the caveat that God will call us to reckoning eventually for what we do.

We're not watching over the Earth primarily for the good of anything else living on it, or even necessarily for the good of all humanity. We're watching over the Earth for God.

And there's the catch. God doesn't always make sense. It is possible that God might want us to have a messy war to glorify God, or ensure the freedom of Iraq's oil.

And if the end is coming soon, what is the point in saving things up anyway? It's better to trample a little wilderness if it will help you to get the Lord's message out.

Remember that the Bible puts humans at the top of the importance scale. To some, "Earth First" is not just irrational, it is sacrilegious.

Obviously not all Christians think this way -- most of the ones I know don't. But this particular twist on the interpretation isn't rare. And it makes itself very cozy with capitalism and nationalism.

To you or me, stewardship would mean not harming the environment. To someone else, it's making sure that we all have plenty of oil for energy and DVD players to watch Left Behind movies.

Posted by: JoAnne at October 16, 2004 04:03 PM
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