God & Country Home
GEORGE WALKER BUSH
43rd President (2001-2009)
Education: Yale University, Harvard Business School
Political Affiliation: Republican
Religious Affiliation: Methodist
Summary of Religious Views:
Views on Religion & Politics:
"Schools must never impose religion--but they must not oppose religion either. And the federal government should not be an enemy of voluntary expressions of faith by students.
"Religious groups have a right to meet before and after school. Students have a right to say grace before meals, read their Bibles, wear Stars of David and crosses, and discuss religion with other willing students. Students have a right to express religious ideas in art and homework." -- speech, Gorham, New Hampshire, 2 November 1999
"I'm a Methodist. I'm an active church member. . . . I attend church, I like church . . . . I've heard great preachers, I've heard not-so-great preachers. I love the hymns, I read the Bible daily. . . . I pray on a daily basis. I've got a structure to my life where religion plays a role. I understand religion is a walk, it's a journey. And I fully recognize that I'm a sinner, just like you. That's why Christ died. He died for my sins and your sins." -- "George W. Bush: Running on His Faith," US News Online
"I believe in tolerance, not in spite of my faith, but because of it. I believe in a God who calls us, not to judge our neighbors, but to love them." -- Acceptance Speech, Philadelphia, 3 August 2000
"Our nation is chosen by God and commissioned by history to be a model to the world of justice and inclusion and diversity without division. Jews and Christians and Muslims speak as one in their commitment to a kind, just tolerant society." -- speech to B'nai B'rith, 28 August 2000
"The state should not be the church, and the church should never be the state. But we ought to welcome people of faith into the political process." -- "God and the Governor," Charisma Magazine interview, 29 August 2000
"I would describe myself as a man who was raised a Christian, who sought redemption and found it in Jesus Christ. And that's important by the way, for someone running for public office. It's a humbling experience to make that admission. I admit I'm a lowly sinner. It's that admission that led me to redemption and led me to Christ. Without making that admission, I don't think there's such a thing as redemption." -- interview with the Baptist Press, 31 August 2000
"My parents are Episcopal, I'm Methodist, my brother Jeb's a Catholic. It's a religious blend of diversity, and I respect the religious nature of our country." -- Catholic News Service interview, 20 September 2000
"I support voluntary, student-led prayer and am committed to the First Amendment principles of religious freedom, tolerance, and diversity. Whether Mormon, Methodist, or Muslim, students in America should be able to participate in their constitutional free exercise of religion. I believe it is wrong to forcefully expunge any mention of religion, or dilute its impact and importance, when discussing world affairs. Religion is a personal, private matter and parents, not public school officials, should decide their children's religious training. We should not have teacher-led prayers in public schools, and school officials should never favor one religion over another, or favor religion over no religion (or vice versa). I also believe that schools should not restrict students' religious liberties. The free exercise of faith is the fundamental right of every American, and that right doesn't stop at the schoolhouse door." -- Associated Press questionnaire, October 2000
"And some needs and hurts are so deep they will only respond to a mentor's touch or a pastor's prayer. Church and charity, synagogue and mosque lend our communities their humanity, and they will have an honored place in our plans and in our laws." -- Inaugural Address, 20 January 2001
"Americans practice different faiths in churches, synagogues, mosques and temples. And many good people practice no faith at all. For those who observe Easter and Passover, faith brings confidence that failure is never final, and suffering is temporary, and the pains of the Earth will be overcome. We can be confident, too, that evil may be present and it may be strong, but it will not prevail." -- Radio Address to the Nation, 30 March 2002
"Justice and cruelty have always been at war, and God is not neutral between them. His purposes are often defied, but never defeated." -- Radio Address to the Nation, 30 March 2002
"I want to thank all who have worked hard to set this breakfast up. It gives me a chance to come and remind us all that America has many traditions of faith, and that's important to always remember.
"We have never imposed any religion, and that's really important to remember, too. We welcome all religions in America, all religions. We honor diversity in this country. We respect people's deep convictions.
"We know that men and women can be good without faith. We know that. We also know that faith is an incredibly important source of goodness in our country. Throughout our history, Americans of faith have always turned to prayer -- for wisdom, prayer for resolve, prayers for compassion and strength, prayers for commitment to justice and for a spirit of forgiveness.
"Since America's founding, prayer has reassured us that the hand of God is guiding the affairs of this nation." -- Address to National Hispanic Prayer Breakfast, 16 May 2002
"Baptists have had an extraordinary influence on American history. They were among the earliest champions of religious tolerance and freedom. Baptists have long upheld the ideal of a free church in a free state. And from the beginning, they believed that forcing a person to worship against his will violated the principles of both Christianity and civility.
"What I found interesting is the Baptist form of church government was a model of democracy even before the founding of America." -- Remarks Via Satellite to the Southern Baptist Convention 2002 Annual Meeting, 11 June 2002
"Since the earliest days of our Republic, Baptists have been guardians of the separation of church and state, preserving the integrity of both. Yet, you have never believed in separating religious faith from political life. (Applause.) Baptists believe as America's founders did: that religious faith is the moral anchor of American life.
"Throughout history, people of faith have often been our nation's voice of conscience. We all know that men and women can be good without faith. And we also know that faith is an incredibly important source of goodness in our country.
"True faith is never isolated from the rest of life, and faith without works is dead. Our democratic government is one way to promote social justice and the common good, which is why the Southern Baptist Convention has become a powerful voice for some of the great issues of our time." -- Remarks Via Satellite to the Southern Baptist Convention 2002 Annual Meeting, 11 June 2002
References, Links, & Further Reading: Books, Articles, Links
Tony Carnes, "The Burning Bush from Texas," Christianity Today, 2 October 2000
Edmund D. Cohen, "The Religiosity of George W. Bush Is the personal presidential?," Free Inquiry, Vol. 24, No. 4, June/July 2004
God & Country Home