Since the terrorist attacks on September 11, Attorney General John Ashcroft has been one of the most visible members of the Bush Administration as he leads the domestic investigation into the attacks and the prevention of future terrorist actions. Though his intentions have been almost universally supported, his background bout as the son and grandson of Pentecostal ministers and his previous comments regarding his deep religious beliefs have help to increase the debate regarding the role of religion in this battle. Indeed, the role of religion in the events of the past six months and the fight against terrorism has been clearly played out in the media.
Just last week, as reported in an article in the February 20, 2002 issue of the Washington Post, remarks made by Ashcroft are featured in an article about his feelings on the war on terrorism. In prepared remarks released by the Justice Department, the Attorney General cast the government's war on terrorism in religious terms, declaring that the campaign is rooted in faith in God and urging Christians, Jews and Muslims to unite.
I believe that this article is typical of the current perspective on this issue, that though there is a need and desire to fight terrorism, the issue of religion seems to be almost as important to some as the actual efforts being made to protect American society. This issue is not just one being raised by the liberal media either, but is being used by conservative groups in an effort to further justify the campaign, though in reality the actions of September 11th, is all the justification that is really necessary.
What makes the Washington Post article even more interesting is that while the purpose of the press release was just clarify statements made by Ashcroft in a speech...