Daily news and commentary by: Whymrhymer

The Sunday edition of the International Herald Tribune (Europe edition) contains an article that recounts a recent interview that Gerhard Schröder, the former German chancellor, gave to Der Spiegel, the German weekly news magazine and to Bild am Sonntag, the equivalent of a U.S. supermarket tabloid. Schroder gave the interviews to promote his soon-to-be-published autobiography, titled: “My Life in Politics.”

In his new book Schroder recounts his childhood in a working class family, losing his father during WWII and his entry into German politics that saw him rise to the top of the German government; the autobiography also provides his impressions of notable people and events encountered during his political career. One such set of impressions involve President George W. Bush.

On September 11, 2001, Schroder describes having tears in his eyes as he watched the events unfold and supported the Bush’s eventual invasion into Afghanistan:

“It was important to me that Germany fulfill its requirements as an ally.”

But when President Bush started making plans to invade Iraq he had serious problems with the way the decision was made. He told Der Spiegel:

“if a person adopts a policy based on what he gleans from his prayers, in other words, a personal talk with God, it can lead to difficulties in democracy.”

Schroder also feels that Christian fundamentalists have grabbed too much power in the U.S. government and compares that situation to Islamic theocracies:

“We rightly criticize that in most Islamic states, the role of religion for society and the character of the role of law are not clearly separated; but we fail to recognize that in the U.S.A., the Christian fundamentalists and their interpretation of the Bible have similar tendencies.”

Schroder’s opinion is, of course just Schroder’s opinion and it is, at least right now, an exaggerated view of the power of Christian fundamentalists over the workings of the U.S. government; but it has an eerie element of truth to it.

Schroder is not alone in his views! Many Americans are disturbed by the religious rhetoric that President Bush too often uses and by the fact that he wears his religion “on his sleeve.” Also, like Schroder, many Americans see the entire religious right movement as a potential danger to our democracy. Are they imagining things or does religion, at some finite point, become incompatible with a democratic government?

Links:

International Herald Tribune: Schröder targets role of religion in America

From the blogosphere: Schroeder Creeped Out by Bush

Whymrhymer’s contributions to the Blogger News Network are mirrored in his blog: The View from the Center

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