Key Post in Bush Administration: Ayatollah Bonicelli

Revolution #027, December 19, 2005, posted at

This October Bush appointed Paul Bonicelli to be deputy director of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). Bonicelli will be in charge of all U.S. programs to "promote democracy and good governance overseas."

Bonicelli is dean of academic affairs at Patrick Henry College in rural Virginia. The institution's motto is "For Christ and Liberty." It requires that all of its students sign a 10-part "statement of faith" declaring, among other things, that they believe "Jesus Christ, born of a virgin, is God come in the flesh;" and that hell is a place where "all who die outside of Christ shall be confined in conscious torment for eternity."

Dating at the school is regulated and subject to parental approval. Faculty members must sign a pledge stating they share a literalist belief in the Bible. Biology and theology teachers are required to believe that the world and all life on earth was created in six 24-hour days.

The purpose of the school, according to its founder is

"to prepare Christian men and women who will lead our nation and shape our culture with timeless biblical values and fidelity to the spirit of the American founding. If we are going to have our values reflected in our culture, we've got to train our kids in those values and train them for leadership. So this is a very concerted effort to train top leaders."

In other words the purpose of the college is to prepare the leadership of a theocratic United States. So far it has been extraordinarily successful.

In 2004, of 100 interns working in the White House, seven are from the roughly 240 students enrolled at Patrick Henry College. An eighth intern worked for Bush's re-election campaign. A former Patrick Henry intern now works on the paid staff of the president's top political adviser, Karl Rove. Also, some 22 conservative members of Congress have employed interns from Patrick Henry over the past few years.

What does it mean when the United States appoints someone who believes that all Muslims will be consigned to "conscious torment for eternity" to lead the U.S.'s democratic outreach to the Muslim world? What does it mean when 7% of the interns at the White House come from a fundamentalist school of 300? It means that this government is moving each day closer to a theocracy, where a narrow and hateful brand of Christian fundamentalism will rule.

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