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Religion

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Voltaire2

(13,917 posts)
Mon Jan 15, 2018, 10:25 AM Jan 2018

Horrible people of faith: George Bush [View all]

Born: July 6, 1946


I've long suspected the essential fact about Mr. Bush is that God was his 12-step program. At the age of 40, Mr. Bush beat a drinking problem by surrendering to a powerful religious experience, reinforced by Bible study with friends. This kind of born-again epiphany is common in much of America -- the red-state version of psychotherapy -- and it creates the kind of faith that is not beset by doubt because the believer knows his life got better in the bargain.

There are lots of ways to describe Mr. Bush's religion. By church affiliation, he is a Methodist. In theological terms he would be called a pietist, referring to a tradition in which religion is more a matter of the heart than the intellect. One of his fellow believers describes Mr. Bush's Bible study milieu as ''small-group evangelicalism.'' However labeled, Mr. Bush's faith entails a direct relationship between the believer and God. It does not provide a pope, or any other intermediate authority figure.

...

How his faith influences policy is harder to tell. People who know Mr. Bush say his religion tells you more about the way he makes certain decisions than about the outcome. One adviser, who does not share the president's religious views, said: ''Once you see something as belonging in the moral realm, you have a strong desire to act in such a way that you can live with your conscience.'' Even people who know Mr. Bush are not always sure how much issues are shaped by his conscience and how much by the political calculation that this White House has refined to high science.

His advocacy of faith-based social programs, for example, clearly grows from his conviction, based on personal experience, that religion can bring an extra charisma to problems like drug abuse. If that also happens to win him religious votes and to coincide with the Republican aversion to government social programs, so much the better for Mr. Bush.


God and George W. Bush
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