Wednesday, December 22, 2004

President Bush and Religion

In A hot line to heaven, the Economist looks at President Bush's use of religion and asks whether it is outside the mainstream of presidential history. Their conclusion:

Mr Bush is in fact in the mainstream of recent presidents. As Michael Cromartie of the Ethics and Public Policy Centre points out, Jimmy Carter taught Sunday school while president. Bill Clinton talked about Jesus more often than Mr Bush and has spoken in more churches than Mr Bush has had rubber-chicken dinners.
If this is the case, why all the uproar on the Left? Partially, its due to the increasing stridency of those militant secularists who believe that putting up a Christmas tree in a town square is equivalent to the establishment of a state religion and there in violation of the Constitution, but I think there's a more fundamental cause.

The reason the Left objects to President Bush's religious references, while ignoring those of Bill Clinton or, more recently, John Kerry, is that they know Bush actually believes in this stuff. The self-styled elites who lead the charge on this give Democratic candidates like Clinton and Kerry (and lately Nancy Pelosi) a pass on this because they know that the candidate is just playing it up for the less enlightened rubes in the fly-over states that matter so much during elections but who can be ignored and laughed at the rest of the time. A politician who actually means what he says when he quotes the Bible (an who doesn't need to be coached on the difference between the old and new testaments) is a whole other matter.

Hat tip - Katherine Lopez at The Corner.