Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Problem with Keyser Soze

My favorite all time movie is "The Usual Suspects". It has a great cast (Kevin Spacey, Benicio Del Toro, Stephen Baldwin, Kevin Pollak, Chazz Palminteri, etc.), an even better director (Bryan Singer), and possibly the most intelligent movie writing ever (thank you Christopher McQuarrie). I saw it my sophmore year in college on what has to be the best failed first date ever (I'm pretty sure my date liked the movie, though I can't remember her name or why I never asked her out again - probably had something to do with not remembering much about the evening other than the movie). The movie has a fantastic twist towards the end of it - one which I actually guessed about twenty minutes into the movie. The problem is that almost no one believes me when I tell them this. Almost no one else I've ever met has guessed it nearly that soon into the film and doesn't believe it's possible. And since other than one vaguely remembered female, there is no one who can actually attest to me calling it the first time I saw it. But since they weren't there, most everyone is left with nothing but a strong doubt of my tale and an inability to call me a flat out liar on this one.

Sometimes I wonder if George W. Bush feels like this, too. He makes claims to being a Christian and has great speechwriters who drop in enough scripture and religious tones to his speeches that there is certainly evidence that suggests it could be true. That, and that he has several religious extremists like Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson and James Dobson and Bill Frist stumping for him and his supposed life of faith.

But it's harder to prove an actual faith. Perhaps it's impossible. So why would anyone even bother to question his faith, since no one can typically prove faith or lack of it - that's why it's called "faith". All we really can do is look at what someone says and does to see the evidence of their faith (or not). But this is where I get even more confused by Bush.

God created the earth and all life on it and God loves and cherishes it. A Christian should see that protecting the environment is important to God - more important than making strong financial ties with those willing to destroy it. A Christian should see that all human life is precious to God and worth protecting. Yes, ALL - not just the unborn, but also the ones who committed crimes and the ones in other countries who don't agree with us. A Christian should value the truth and not present lies to his country and world to push across his agenda. A Christian should value humility - at least to the degree of being willing to admit at least ONE mistake he has ever made. A Christian should see a nation's responsibility to helping the poor and oppressed - not to work mostly to make sure the wealthy can become ultra-wealthy. Don't get me wrong - there are certainly other sides to the coin where Bush's policies and practices do seem to match up with what I've understood to be Christian values (against abortion - though it would be stronger if he was against all abortions, reading scripture, not supporting homosexuality, etc.) - but shouldn't it be easier than this? Shouldn't the comparison of Christian values versus non-Christian values not even be a close comparison?

But I won't actually go so far as to question Bush's actual faith. I've recently had that done to me by a virtual stranger and it's horribly out of line and offensive. I am here stating for the record that if he says he is a Christian, then I do believe him. I guess I'm just left wondering why the evidence doesn't seem to back up that faith as clearly as it easily could and why that doesn't bother any of his Christian supporters.