THIS I BELIEVE...
At the beginning of Sunday's presidential debate, the Democratic candidates were asked about their "spirituality, if you prefer, religiosity". They were asked to complete the sentence, "This I believe".
Each acknowledged a belief in "God".
Just plain "God".
Even the "Reverend" Al Sharpton used the standard, sanitized, safe term for the Almighty … God. That word is the all-inclusive term for what the Krishnas, Muslims, Jews, New Agers and Christians alike call their deity. None of the presidential candidates mentioned Jesus Christ. John Kerry, John Edwards and Dennis Kucinich all made reference to "blessings" and "principles" and the ever- popular "making a difference". (Seems the only one actually acknowledging Jesus these days is the good-looking Hollywood actor who put his career, his fortune and, it turns out, his very life on the line to mention Jesus in a movie not a few people tried to keep from being made simply because it DID mention Jesus…and in a really big way!)
Folks seem to be quite comfortable saying they "believe in God". In fact an overwhelming majority of Americans cop to it. Trouble is when you start mentioning Jesus, you start to make people wriggle around in their seats and glance about for the exit sign.
I've noticed our president is like that. He used to say he and Jesus were tight but that was years ago when he was the governor of Texas. That's because there were a lot of Bible-believing voters down there who cotton to that kind of talk. Now G.W. says stuff like-
"Islam is peace…let me quote from the Koran" First off, if G.W. had ever READ the Koran he'd know Islam is anything BUT a religion of peace. Secondly, I can't recall our president saying the words "Let me quote from the Bible" lately. Can you?
I've seen our Christian president praying at the Wailing Wall wearing a Jewish yarmulke, wrapped in a prayer shawl at a Shinto temple and backtracking on a statement he made a decade ago while still governor when he said "people who do not accept Jesus cannot go to heaven". Now he's saying things like "Judgements about heaven do not belong in this …world." (So much for John 14:6.)
In fact, Bush seems to be spending so much time embracing other religions' gods he scarcely has time for the One he passes off as his.
Be that as it may, I find it quite sad that evangelicals rush out to buy books like "The Faith of George W. Bush" by Stephen Mansfield. Or "George W. Bush on God and Country" edited by Thomas Freiling.
In Mansfield's 224 page tome he discusses the commander-in chief's "overriding concern for doing the right thing".
I was wondering about that a week ago when this devoutly Christian president appointed Alabama Attorney General William Pryor to the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, thereby rewarding the man who sent Chief Justice Roy Moore to the unemployment office for refusing to have a granite 10 Commandments monument removed from the Alabama Judicial Building. Pryor said he condemned Judge Moore because he "intentionally and publicly engaged in misconduct and because he remains unrepentant."
I had the opportunity to break bread with the "unrepentant" Chief Justice Moore Saturday night at a banquet to honor him titled "Profiles in Courage" sponsored by the Constitution Party of Oregon.
The room was filled with close to 500 people who appreciated that he would rather risk it all than displease the One who handed those Commandments to Moses so long ago.
Judge Moore quoted liberally from Scripture and the Constitution. He went beyond discussing his faith in "God". The Chief Justice used the name "Jesus" unapologetically.
When was the last time you heard our president use that name? Was that a name that held any sway in his heart as he hand-picked a cabinet of pro-aborts to help him run the country? Or perhaps he was thinking about that name when he chose an openly homosexual ambassador to represent this country and then honored him at a swearing-in ceremony where the ambassador was accompanied by his gay lover?
Perhaps President Bush was thinking about the name of Jesus when the Indianapolis Baptist Temple was raided soon after he became the nation's leader. (You remember the tiny Christian church which was over run with armed federal agents and soon after shuttered because they refused to withhold tax money from their employees' paychecks?)
Perhaps you've silently made note of all these inconsistencies but felt that politics was no place for faith. George Washington thought otherwise when he said "I often hear it said, 'Do not bring religion into politics.' This is precisely where it ought to be brought….we have had enough clever men without conscience. Now let us see what honest, God fearing men will do".
Chief Justice Roy Moore did what his God called him to do, despite the consequences.
President Bush, through the actions of Attorney General, now federal court judge William Pryor apparently did what HIS god called him to do.
 Office of The Press Secretary, The White House, September 17, 2001
© 2004 Mary Starrett - All Rights Reserved
Mary Starrett was on television for 21 years as a news anchor, morning talk show host and medical reporter. For the last 5 years she hosted a radio program. Mary is a frequent guest on radio talk shows. E-Mail M123STAR@aol.com
"In fact, Bush seems to be spending so much time embracing other religions' gods he scarcely has time for the one he passes off as his."