For some reason, the “language pack installation” box pops up when we open this sop for the faithful by James G. Lakely in today’s Washington Times. A reminder of the paper’s owner, the Rev. Moon, and his native tongue, but also no doubt a clue that the article you’re about to read is written in a kind of election year code.

The doctrine under discussion is that of “faith-based initiatives.” The discussant is the president, delivering a speech to the White House Conference of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives at the Los Angeles Convention Center.

We haven’t heard much pro- or con- about faith-based initiatives (FBI; no, wait, that won’t work) in some time, but it’s election year, which means its time for Bush to follow the lead ofJohn Kerry by showcasing his own personal story of suffering. Kerry resorts to Vietnam, Bush talks about how he once resorted to the bottle (The Revealer makes no judgement as to who suffered more).

“Pointing to a friend in the audience,” writes Lakely, “Mr. Bush said, ‘We used to drink too much, and our hearts changed and then we quit. That is a tried-and-true formula. The problem is that government isn’t good at changing hearts.'”

Wait — isn’t that what the Bush administration is attempting in Iraq? Perhaps Mr. Bush would prefer to replace U.S. troops with twelve-step programs and a faith-based initiative?