Sunday, 29 November -0001 19:00

Bush On Relationship With The Lord

Written by Rev. H.A. Bergsma
President George Bush outlined the role of his faith, saying he doesn't "see how you can be president without a relationship with the Lord." Bush told The Washington Times in an interview in the Oval Office that many in the public misunderstand the role of faith in his presidency and his view of the proper relationship between religion and the government. "I think people attack me because they are fearful that I will then say that you're not equally as patriotic if you're not a religious person," said Bush, who was inaugurated for a second term on January 20. "I've never said that. I've never acted like that. I fully understand that the job of the president is and must always be protecting the great right of people to worship or not worship as they see fit," Bush told the Times. "That's what distinguishes us from the Taliban. The greatest freedom we have or one of the greatest freedoms is the right to worship the way you see fit." The president said there is no reason to fear his conspicuous practice of his faith or his approval of religious expression in the public square. Bush noted that he daily leans heavily on his faith and cannot imagine handling the pressures of the presidency without leaning on God. (From Charisma News Service)

Meanwhile, Christian Coalition of America is commending the federal judge who rejected Michael Newdow's lawsuit attempting to prevent prayer at the 2005 Presidential Inauguration. The atheist activist's suit alleged that he would be forced to accept unwanted religious beliefs if a minister at the inauguration ceremonies invoked God. But U.S. District Judge John Bates ruled that the "balance of harms," particularly the public interest in the case, did not weigh strongly in favour of granting the legal relief sought by Newdow, which would have required "the unprecedented step of an injunction against the president." The Christian Coalition's (CCA) vice president of legislative affairs, Jim Backlin, was pleased with Bates' decision and commented, "Thank God there are still federal judges--including the Supreme Court justices who threw out Mr. Newdow's Pledge of Allegiance lawsuit last year--who reject the goals of a tiny vocal minority trying to impose their anti-God prejudices on more than 80 percent of Americans who hold traditional values and want God to remain in the public square."

President Bush's first inauguration included religious invocations, a tradition with precedents that go back as far as the presidency itself. As CCA noted in a recent press release, George Washington referred to God during his 1789 inauguration, and President Franklin Roosevelt began the practice of including Christian prayer during his second inauguration in 1937.

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