Who are you calling evil?

Janet Dubé on religion, and prayer in US politics

In President Bush’s now notorious phrase “axis of evil”, it is obviously the word evil that suggests he was using a religious idea for political purposes. Axis has scientific meanings in a way evil cannot. Some meanings of axis suggest the phrase axis of evil is nonsense: others amplify its vague menace.

But it is not just because they’re politicians that many find the idea of Bush and Blair in private prayer creepy or frightening. It is because they have power and we don’t want a holy war. Use religious language to pray for reconciliation, forgiveness and peace says Professor Pagels, and keep political discourse open to everyone