I know something which is known to few but is not a secret. Karl Rove is not a believer, and he doesn’t shout it from the rooftops, but when asked, he answers quite honestly. I think the way he puts it is, “I’m not fortunate enough to be a person of faith.”
I have to begin wondering to what extent some of the leaders in the conservative right are not true believers at all (my earlier post about O’Reilly’s admission that theism is unfounded, but useful — is another example). A while back, one staunch conservative I argued with claimed that religion was useful for society, and it was important that society does not become secularized (he seemed to avoid the question of whether religion was actually true). Personally, I see no problem with a more secularized nation. In fact, some countries in the world (like Sweden) are very secularized, and nothing has fallen apart. In any case, regarding belief, it seems that some conservatives view theism as unfounded wishful thinking, but also think it’s a useful tool for societies. With that view, they’ll never push atheism and will probably not acknowledge their own non-theistic beliefs (except, perhaps in whispers) because the myth of theism is supposedly too important. It reminds me of some Roman views on the subject – “How many has the fear of divine punishment called back from crime!” (Cicero) – that it was important to constructs myths of gods in order to keep the uncivilized people from doing wrong.
Besides, religion is an important tool for getting votes for the Republicans. All of this is reminding me of the story a while back involving David Kuo (Republican, right-wing Christian). He was the second in charge for Bush’s “Faith Based Initiatives” program. He quit because they realized the whole program was being used as a cheap way to get votes. He believes the Republican Whitehouse had no intention of actually making the program work.
“According to Kuo, Karl Rove’s office referred to evangelical leaders as ‘The Nuts’.”
Also, according to Kuo’s book:
Every other White House office was up and running. The faith-based initiative still operated out of the nearly vacant transition offices.
Three days later, a Tuesday, Karl Rove summoned [Don] Willett [a former Bush aide from Texas who initially shepharded the program] to his office to announce that the entire faith-based initiative would be rolled out the following Monday. Willett asked just how — without a director, staff, office, or plan — the president could do that. Rove looked at him, took a deep breath, and said, “I don’t know. Just get me a f—ing faith-based thing. Got it?” Willett was shown the door.
There’s much, much more in this video:
Interviewer: “You write [in your book] that in the Whitehouse staff that people roll their eyes at the evangelicals. They call them nuts. They call them goofy. Is that really what the attitude [is]?”
David Kuo: “Absolutely. You name the important Christian leader, and I have heard them mocked by serious people in serious places.”
More Videos with David Kuo: