The Evangelical President

I am always amazed how President Bush is characterized as "evangelical". Is Evangelicalism all about right thinking ... albeit his is not all that evangelical ... and not about attending regular bible studies or prayer meetings ... don't most evangelicals have a home church?

When the Clinton's occupied the White House they regularly attended and were members of Foundry Methodist Church ... of course the Clinton's represent a different flavor of Evangelicalism ... albeit a church attending one. I wonder why we all give President Bush a pass on this and let him flaunt "evangelical" the way that he does?

In 2005 when asked if Muslims worship the same Almighty as Jews and Christians, President Bush replied replied, “I believe we worship the same God.” I find that statement, evangelically speaking, to be a pretty ignorant one. I wonder who our president gets his information from ... where did he learn the basics of the faith ... does he have a biblical teacher, mentor or advisor?

I found it interesting that only 2 of the 28 points highlighted in a review on this book at the Conservative Books website seemed to speak to the evangelical aspect of the president. I think this third point best reflects why he is "The Evangelical President":
"Is President Bush a religious zealot,
or does he just pander to that crowd?"
That is the question. You still gotta wonder why "a religious zealot" doesn't regularly do anything religious?


  1. Technically, don't they worship the same God?

  2. Missy, I think that it is not accurate or helpful helpful to legitimize Islam, the Quran and Mohammed by saying that Allah is just another name for the Father.

  3. Thinking more Missy :) Here is a follow-up question:

    When he wrote the Quran, did Mohammed get his information from the God of the bible? If not why would we say that it is the same God that we worship?

  4. I think that describing Prez Bush as "evangelical" is just media shorthand. For instance, when the media chose the Top Ten Evangelicals last year, they included two Catholics!

    I think they have a limited set of words and juggle them and see what they pop up with. I think that to them, "orthodox," "devout," and "evangelical" all mean the same thing.

    And if you tried to explain the difference between evangelical and evangelistic to them, they'd pass out from the effort of listening.

  5. Agree about the media TZ. I think that the book title is more of a reflection of the president's self-endorsed persona than how the media sees him.

  6. KB, I am not being facetious, I promise. It's just that I was under the impression that all these religions worship the God of Abraham. To be honest, though, I have never read the Quran, so I don't really know - hence my question. Your statement implies that it should be common knowledge that they do not worship the same God, so I guess I feel a little dumb right now. :(

  7. Didn't mean to imply that anyone who says that Allah and the Father are the same is dumb. Sorry about that implication. What did you think about the question in my follow-up comment?

    I think that Bush's answer is a reflection of the 'all roads lead to God' sentiment. When we say that Allah, Jehovah, Vishnu, Ra, Jesus, etc. are the same God we head down a path that has some dark complications where it was not necessary for Jesus to come, minister, die and be raised from the dead.

    Maybe I am reading too much into your comment though ... it is Monday morning :)

  8. I read your follow up and can't qualitatively answer as I've never read the Quran, but I understand your meaning and probably agree with you based on what I have heard.

    I guess what I originally meant is technically what Bush said is true when you look at the origin of each of these religions, and that his statement was most likely presented in a diplomatic manner rather than a theological. I don't think his intention and belief is that "all roads lead to God," but that we all came from the same place at some point and as a diplomat to find that common ground between people.

  9. I think that you hit the nail on the head Missy when you say that what he said was probably a diplomatic response. My concern (in this post anyway) isn't so much about his diplomacy but about his theology. The point of my post is to highlight how many of us identify our president as an Evangelical when we know very little about him or how he lives out his faith.

    Maybe I shouldn't be asking these questions ... I am not sure. I do know that many of us in the 1980s woke up too late about Ronald Reagan's evangelicalism ... that embraced not going to church and involved astrology on his wife's part.

  10. Does President Bush "flaunt 'evangelical'"? I'm not so sure. I can't recall him doing that.

    And if he did flaunt it, do Christians really give him a pass?

  11. I appreciate your stand against the error that we are all worshipping the same God, Bob.

  12. Ishmael is the father of the Arab people. Abraham is the father of all of the three major religions. God reigns over all three but Muhammad is a curse and destroyed the covenant with God. Islam is correct in believing the one true God but most follow the false prophet Muhammad. Muhammad teachings are nothing God would ever say and now I suppose they follow a false god. Judaism has an everlasting covenant with God but missed the messiah, Jesus, but they will come around. Christians have Jesus but forsake traditions of the Jewish people and misunderstand many of the Jewish laws.

    We all worship the same God because we all acknowledge we come from Abraham.

  13. Anonymous, we do not "all acknowledge we come from Abraham." I did not come from Abraham, though I worship the God that he worshiped. Nowhere does the Bible call Abraham the "father of Christianity." He is the father of "many nations." He is most certainly not the father of Islam, for many of Islam's teachings are contrary to Biblical doctrine.

    Finally, even if all of us said that we worship the God that Abraham worshiped, that does not make it so.

  14. Okay, thanks for the clarification, KB! I think I understand that you are saying it might be a bad idea to hold him as the example of an evangelical, not that his agenda must align with that of evangelicals. I can agree with that.

  15. Jesus was a Jew was he not? Do we not come from Judaism in that Jesus only came to fulfill the laws and save all souls for he is God? Jesus died for everyone but still followed many of the Jewish traditions. God set them there for a reason. I said Abraham is the father of the three religions nothing more. Ok, if you must we will say that Judaism and Christianity derive from Abraham given and guided by God. Ishmael is the father of the Arab people, whom are mostly Muslim. Islam is contradictory because of Muhammad, in which, Islam officially arises from but if they truly follow Ishmael then they follow the same God. So Islam is false but the Arabic people who follow the same God of the Jews and Christians are called what. They are not considered Jewish because they are Arab and not Christian because they don’t accept Christ as the Messiah. Maybe Ishmaelism? No, what about Muslim.

  16. Also, Muslims believe that there is only one God, translated in Arabic as Allah. Muslims believe that Islam existed long before Muhammad and that the religion has evolved with time. So, forget Muhammad and look at it from this perspective.

  17. Thanks for your input anon ... it really hits at the heart of the question doesn't it? Here is my take on what you are saying ... hope I don't get into trouble ... theologically anyway:

    The bible says that Jesus was the full revelation of the God, spoken of in the Jewish scriptures, in human form. Therefore it is accurate and appropriate to say that the God of Jews and Christians are one and the same God. Also, Christianity recognizes the God of the Jews as the same God that Christians worship ... it also officially recognizes the Jewish scriptures.

    This is what Jesus told an Arab woman in the gospel of John:

    "You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews."

    The idea that the God of Islam and Judaism/Christianity is the same is something that Jesus did not agree with and I do not agree with.

  18. Jason, I think that the president's flaunting is pretty subtle because he does it when he wants something like when he invited evangelical leaders to the White House in May to ask for support of his foreign policy. I may be wrong but that is the impression that I have ... and I do think that leaders like those in attendance in May seem to give him a pass.

  19. KB,
    Samaritans are Arabs? Didn't know that.

    Anyway, coming from a predominantly muslim country and having engaged with muslim folks all my life until now, I would not say that the Quranic Allah and the God of the Bible is one and the same.

    An orthodox muslim would never recognize that and it is probably an offence to them. Prez Bush may be doing more good than harm in saying wut he said.

    Perhaps instead of trying to say all gods are the same being with different names, we ought to recognize that Christians and Muslims (and others) were all working on the same human project to find meaning in life.

    And it is in this similarity that we can find a comforting middle ground. That all human beings strive to find the purpose of this existence. We may arrive at different conclusions, but let us honour the fact that this is a human struggle and continue to help one another towards better enlightenment.

    Jack Said


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