Bush the Theocrat?

 Posted by on 5 November 2004 at 9:20 am  Religion
Nov 052004

George Bush the Elder on politics and religion in a 1987 exchange with Robert Sherman of the American Atheists Press:

Sherman: “What will you do to win the votes of Americans who are atheists?”

Bush: “I guess I’m pretty weak in the atheist community. Faith in God is important to me.”

Sherman: “Surely you recognize the equal citizenship and patriotism of Americans who are atheists?”

Bush: “No, I don’t know that atheists should be considered as citizens, nor should they be considered patriots. This is one nation under God.”

Sherman: “Do you support as a sound constitutional principle the separation of state and church?”

Bush: “Yes, I support the separation of church and state. I’m just not very high on atheists.”

George Bush the Younger on politics and religion in his recent press conference:

Q: Mr. President, your victory at the polls came about in part because of strong support from people of faith, in particular Christian evangelicals and Pentecostals and others. And Senator Kerry drew some of his strongest support from those who do not attend religious services. What do you make of this religious divide it seems becoming a political divide in this country? And what do you say to those who are concerned about the role of a faith they do not share in public life and in your policies?

Bush: Yeah. My answer to people is I will be your president regardless of your faith, and I don’t expect you to agree with me, necessarily, on religion. As a matter of fact, no president should ever try to impose religion on our society. The great–the great tradition of America is one where people can worship the way they want to worship. And if they choose not to worship, you’re just as patriotic as your neighbor. That is an essential part of why we are a great nation.

And I am glad people of faith voted in this election. I’m glad–I appreciate all people who voted. And I don’t think you ought to read anything into the politics [of] the moment, about whether or not this nation will become a divided nation over religion. I think the great thing that unites us is the fact you can worship freely if you choose, and if you–you don’t have to worship. And if you’re a Jew or a Christian or a Muslim, you’re equally American. That is–that is such a wonderful aspect of our society, and it is strong today and it will be strong tomorrow.

Oy, what a difference!

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