(PORTIONS ORIGINALLY APPEARED IN OCTOBER 2007)
The smell of autumn is in the air on this Sunday morning, that intoxicating aroma of decaying leaves, ripe apples and bedewed grass brilliantly illuminated by the sun in a cloudless azure blue sky. But there is another smell as well and it is not so sweet – the smell of hypocrisy as the faithful file into a conservative Christian church near Kiko's House for their weekly dose of God.
There they are, the fathers in their starched shirts and mothers in their best dresses, their two and a half children in tow, as I pedal by on my daily bike ride and take note of all of the bumper stickers in support of George W. Bush and the troops in Iraq on their SUVs and pickup trucks.
Now hypocrisy is a strong word, so I had better explain myself lest the Big Guy unleash a thunderbolt and knock out my hard drive before I can post this.
In researching my commentary yesterday titled Sic Semper Tyrannis: The Blackest of the Bush Administration's Black Marks on the White House's sick embrace of torture, I noticed that the so-called fundamentalist, faith-based Republicans who make up a goodly portion of the president's political base have, with damned few exceptions, been silent.
You can read the Christian Bible in any number of ways, but it is a stretch to say that torture is endorsed. Its use as a tool of war is a sin. Period. And to be silent in the face of its use is to condone its use. It's not that fundamentalists cannot find their tongues. Why just the other day a bunch of them declared that the greatest threat to America is not gay marriage, flag desecration or even abortion. It's anime.