The President says he’s a “soldier of God.” His inspiration is Jesus. And he’s fighting the “emperor of evil.” More Bush Bible babble? Nope — just the latest from Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, who today faces a recall referendum. On his side (besides Jesus, of course): the majority of Venezuela’s poor. In the other corner: big business, much of the middle class, almost all of the upper class, and the aforementioned EoE (emp. of evil): None other than fellow God soldier George Bush. Seems the two have something in common. Read more… And check in with Narco News for the most reliable voting results.

Steve Weiss, formerly of Protocols, formerly of Forward, formerly of Fiddish, has a new blog:Canonist. Real reporting about religion and politics.

The New Yorker‘s David Remnick on political convention rituals: “To read these speeches is to encounter not only the expectable baloney but a form as unwavering as Hopi wedding rites or the Mourner’s Kaddish. They are not called convention speeches for nothing. These are rituals designed less to broadcast detailed policy than to armor the speaker against the onslaught to come, speeches in which George McGovern waxes muscular about providing the ‘shield of our strength’ to our weaker allies and George W. talks of ‘learning to protect the natural world around us’ and changing “the tone of Washington to one of civility and respect.” Still, conventions, like all rituals, reveal more than they seem to.” The Revealer couldn’t have said it better, but we did say it sooner. Jay Rosen“Democratic National Ritual”Jeff Sharlet:“Don’t Forget the Bodies.”

Wood’s Lot is one of our favorite sites, a truly graceful compendium of art, politics, philosophy, and religion. Such as this obscure and clever treatise, by Manuel de Dieguez. A sample: “The American defeat in Iraq will be a terrifying theological trauma, because it will be the public proof of the disowning of the nation of the chosen ones by the divinity. Naturally, all this will be happening in the non-explored depths, therefore carcinogenic, of the religious unconscious of the nation.” If you can make it through that, discard the bad habits you’ve picked up reading SlateSalon, or the Weekly Standard (written at fifth, sixth, and eighth-grade reading levels, respectively) and proceed to Uncommon Thought Journal for “The Religious American Unconscious Caught in the Trap of Torture.”