Here's a video that sums up the evangelical mindset pretty well.
And here's a video that sums up the tragedy of the Iraq war pretty well. I could do without the reedit at the end, but this was the best version I could find.
Why the juxtaposition? Well, besides the obvious connection between the Bush's admissions of speaking directly with God and our country's adventurism in the Middle East, I think there are a few other points to be made.
When viewing the first video, if I am alone, is to my first instict is to rub my temples and sigh quietly. If I am with friends, my instict is to mock loudly and attack the speaker with rationality. Either way, though, I am, and I think a lot of people are also, ultimately dismissive. As with the Left Behind series and James Dobson speeches, I often try to see these viewpoints as the marginal and extreme voices that they are.
When I saw the second video I was stunned. You can see what this occupation is doing to members of American families who return home in the best of possible circumstances. Finally, more than four years into this disaster, we are seeing this kind of footage in Mainsteam Media outlets.
I think history will show that Bush and Co took us into Iraq primarily for Economic and Strategic Military reasons, not because of any imminent threat and certainly not with the decievingly benevolent goal of "spreading democracy." Yet the support he recieves from Evangelicals and Born-Agains, such as those shown in the first video, who believe in a Manichean concept of Good vs. Evil, allow Bush to employ the rhetoric he does. That extreme, by many accounts insane, position gives Bush a constant base from which to work, and from which to pull American discourse further to the "right." That's why watching these videos of crazies spewing anti-rational nonsense must be taken seriously.