As both supporters and opponents of President Bush acknowledge, America is largely going it alone in the war against Islamic terror and tyranny. Until a month ago -- yes, one month ago -- the European Union would not even label Hamas a terrorist group.
There are many explanations for the lack of support for America in this war, a war of civilizations just as much as the wars against Communism and Nazism were wars of civilizations. But the overriding reason is that America has far more believers -- in religion and in their country -- than any other nation in the industrialized world.
Faith in religion and in America also explains much of the ideological division within America itself. President Bush, Vice President Cheney and Condoleezza Rice are deeply religious, and the vast majority of deeply religious Americans support this administration and its foreign policy.
Of course, some of the president's supporters aren't religious and some of his opponents claim to be religious, but these phenomena can be also explained by the question of faith. Virtually all the non-religious supporters of President Bush's war on the Islamist threat to liberty have a deep faith in the United States and in its mission to preserve liberty. Religion is by no means the only form faith can take. Fervent believers have existed among Communists and Nazis. They exist today among animal rights advocates, environmentalists, and countless other ideologies.
But in the modern West, hundreds of millions of people have no such faith in anything. They do not passionately believe in their country or in religion. Their highest values are tolerance, health, pleasure, and not judging good and evil. They are deeply afraid of fervent believers in anything. And they especially fear American believers -- i.e., believers in the Bible and in America. That is why they commonly equate fundamentalist Christians with fundamentalist Muslims and that is why they so hate George W. Bush, the believer in the biblical God and in an American mission.
As for the religious opponents of the president and his war against Islamic terror, they themselves will tell you that they do not share the true believers' faith. The Christian supporters of the president overwhelmingly believe that the Bible is the word of God, while the religious opponents of the president generally regard the Bible as a human document. Faith is therefore the dividing line even among believers in the same religion. That explains why most Christians who believe in the divinity of Scripture are closer on almost every moral and social position with Jews who believe in the divinity of Scripture than they are with theologically and politically liberal Christians.
Dennis Prager is a SRN radio show host, contributing columnist for Townhall.com and author of his newest book, “The Ten Commandments: Still the Best Moral Code.”
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