Current articles and subscriptions information can be found at www. President Bush believes God called him to the presidency. Most discussions of George W. Deliberately vague in its chronology, the book describes a man who drifted until middle age, when Billy Graham "planted a mustard seed" in his soul and helped turn his life around.
It does not single out one decisive born-again moment, but describes a gradual transformation that included such steps as Bible study, repudiation of drink and a recommitment to God, church and family.
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The following year, Bush became senior adviser on the campaign team. One of the core responsibilities assigned to him, probably as a result of his newfound faith, was to serve as liaison with the Religious Right. Wead introduced him to the right people and taught him to win their support by showing he shared their values and spoke their language.
The elder Bush demurred, but his son took the lesson in earnest. Wead goes unmentioned in A Charge to Keep, but is discussed in many other publications. A Charge to Keep opens portentously. Moments that forever change you. Moments that set you on a different course. Connecting this critical moment in sacred history to concerns of the present.
A Man of Faith: The Spiritual Journey of George W. Bush
Pastor Craig observed that America was hungry for leadership, moral courage and faith. Good men, when called, could not hesitate. Those so inclined will see a humble man of faith, moved to do the right thing by good advice and a thoughtful sermon. The text is designed to admit both readings.
A man of faith : the spiritual journey of George W. Bush / David Aikman.
It suggests the stronger interpretation to those who find it congenial, but allows for a more modest reading for anyone who considers such views either presumptuous or preposterous. Yes, Bush believes God called him to office. But he is careful to say this obliquely and to connect it with a broader theology of vocation, in which all are called to take their place and do their best. It comes from a well-known hymn that was played at the church service with which he began his first term as governor in Written by Charles Wesley, its words and music are much beloved by evangelicals throughout Texas and the South.
To dramatize the point, he invites them to come see the picture hanging over his desk, where a determined rider on horseback charges up a steep hill, a picture also titled "A Charge to Keep. At the end of the chapter devoted to this theme, Bush cites a Bible verse, 1 Corinthians "Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful.
Although Bush often alludes to scripture, he does not frequently cite chapter and verse this way. But this is a signal for his core constituency, making strategic use of their specialized reading practices. Full citation invites those with such habits to consult the passage. Anyone who does will find that the verse is embedded in this paragraph:. This is how one should regard us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful.
With me it is a very small thing that I should be judged by you or by any human court.
I do not even judge myself. I am not aware of anything against myself, but I am not thereby acquitted. It is the Lord who judges me. Therefore do not pronounce judgment before the time, before the Lord comes, who will bring to light the things now hidden in darkness and will disclose the purposes of the heart. Then every man will receive his commendation from God. One has to wonder: Is this how Bush regards himself? Is this how he would like to be regarded?
More likely, this is another instance of double coding. But if such things make you uneasy, he would prefer that the question never arise. Following the strategy of "Signal early and signal often," Bush employs biblical citation to communicate with his base, the linguistic equivalent of winks and nudges. The practice lets him convey things the faithful love to hear, while also letting them feel that they enjoy a privileged relation to him by virtue of sharing biblical reference points.
At the same time, it lets him veil these things from people who would be put off by the biblical language or might challenge its propriety.
Should anyone point out what he is doing, it is easy to deny any but a general meaning, while dismissing the criticism as verging on paranoia. Here and elsewhere, however, he invests the term "compassion" with a particular meaning. To appreciate this, one has to consider his mythic account of the fall in American culture:. During the more than half century of my life, we have seen an unprecedented decay in our American culture, a decay that has eroded the foundations of our collective values and moral standards of conduct.
Our sense of personal responsibility has declined dramatically, just as the role and responsibility of the federal government have increased.
The reason government cannot deal with social issues, he asserts, is its lack of compassion. He understands compassion as a quality of spirit that characterizes religious individuals and groups, but is categorically different from the soulless, bureaucratic nature of the state. When government attempts to care for the needy, it does so for practical and political, not moral and spiritual, reasons. And in doing so, it obscures and inhibits the compassion of godly individuals, thereby compounding the problem.
However rhetorically attractive it may be, "compassionate" conservatism differs only slightly from rougher forms of the same creed. It remains laissez-faire in its approach to social welfare and justice, and justifies this stance by claiming the state has no ability rather than no right or no reason to intervene in such matters. For our culture to change, it must change one heart, one soul, and one conscience at a time. Government can spend money, but it cannot put hope in our hearts or a sense of purpose in our lives.
This is done by churches and synagogues and mosques and charities that warm the cold of life. They are a quiet river of goodness and kindness that cuts through stone.
Government should welcome the active involvement of people who are following a religious imperative to love their neighbors. Supporting these men and women -- the soldiers in the armies of compassion -- is the next bold step of welfare reform. Bush made compassion a centerpiece of his campaign, actively courting religious people as well as suburban soccer moms who found other conservatives too callous.
To counter the risk that his emphasis on compassion might make him seem effeminate, however, he often paired it with courage, describing these two as the quintessential American virtues. Like the other attributes that mark the U. For about eight months after his inaugural, Bush held courage and compassion in rough balance. If anything, the latter seemed to prevail, albeit in his specialized sense.leondumoulin.nl/language/fan/the-politics-of-nature.php
The Faith of George W. Bush: The Personal, Practical, and Political
Tax cuts, a smaller role for government and a shift of social service to the faith-based "armies of compassion" were his chief agenda items. The events of September 11, , changed things. Initially rendered almost speechless, Bush searched for a way to comprehend and describe what had happened. Once the latter had been confirmed, he promised to "hunt down and punish those responsible for these cowardly acts," and he asked the country for prayer.
In his third speech of the day, he renewed this request and quoted the 23rd Psalm: "Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I shall fear no evil, for You are with me. The verse was well chosen, and it resonated with other aspects of this address, in which Bush first introduced a discourse on "evil. Elsewhere he spoke of America as defender of all that is good and just, "the brightest beacon for freedom and opportunity," thereby implying a struggle of light and darkness "And no one will keep that light from shining".
His dualistic vision was best captured, however, in another passage. Today, our nation saw evil, the very worst of human nature. And we responded with the best of America -- with the daring of our rescue workers, with the caring for strangers and neighbors who came to give blood and help in any way they could.
Bush by David Aikman. The Faith of George W. On June 27, Governor George W. Bush spared serial killer Henry Lee Lucas' life Lucas killed more than people. Bush issued the reprieve on the recommendation of the state parole board. One of George W. Bush's first acts as governor of Texas, in January , was to reject a request for clemency for Mario Marquez, who suffered from severe brain damage and had an I. Marquez was executed on the evening of Mr.
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