The religious faith of George W. Bush
has been much discussed since the days of his presidential candidacy. Bush was raised as a member of the Episcopal Church
, but later left that faith to become a Methodist
, the church his wife Laura
attended. On many social issues, however, he maintains positions considerably more conservative than the relatively progressive United Methodist Church
. Unlike other American presidents
, Bush went to great lengths during the early half of his presidency to promote what he called faith-based initiatives
, which critics said was a step forward in abolishing the separation of Church and State
. Though mostly focusing on Christianity
, the initiatives also were intended to push forward Jewish
social programs as well.
Bush cites his wife's influence on sparking his religious faith. For a long time he had been abusing alcohol, and came to a point where he said he turned to God and dedicated himself to live by a Christian example.
Though he does not belong to an explicitly evangelical church, Bush has a great amount of support from them, and he has also used terminology which critics state imply a religious orientation towards the "war on terror" and regime change. He also ascribed the religious awakening he experienced in his early 40s in part to a 1985 meeting with Evangelical Christian leader Reverend Billy Graham, after which he began serious Bible study.
Since he took office Bush has refused to meet with any leaders of the Methodist Church. What's more he has rejected the teachings of the church.
- "I feel like God wants me to run for President. I can't explain it, but I sense my country is going to need me. Something is going to happen... I know it won't be easy on me or my family, but God wants me to do it." - Bush to James Robison
Further reading and sources
- The Faith of George W. Bush by Stephen Mansfield
- George W. Bush: Faith in the White House (2004)
- "Bush says God chose him to lead his nation", from the The Observer
- "The faith and ethics of George W. Bush: authors Peter Singer and Paul Kengor assemble a wealth of material refuting both supporters' and critics' views of President Bush's Christian faith and ethics" (book title is "God and George W. Bush" )
- "The Foreign Policy of George W. Bush" by Alexander Moens