Bush affirms faith in interview
WASHINGTON (RNS)–President Bush reaffirmed his reliance on his faith in an interview with Ladies' Home Journal and attributed his concern about AIDS policy to his reading of the Bible.
“Just living this life–when you realize that there is an Almighty God on whom you can rely–it provides a great comfort,” the president told former White House speechwriter Peggy Noonan in a Q-and-A interview for the magazine's October issue.
“That's why I read every morning, the Bible and Scriptures and Charles Stanley devotionals. It matters a lot to me personally.”
Stanley is pastor of First Baptist Church of Atlanta and a former president of the Southern Baptist Convention.
Bush told Noonan he thinks those who are not particularly religious should not fear those who are.
“The Bible talks about love and compassion and to whom much has been given, much is required,” he said. “That's really a lot behind my passion on AIDS policy, for example.”
The president went on to declare his belief in a pluralistic society. “I believe people can choose whatever religion they choose,” he said.
“It's not my job–nor the government's–to dictate religion. On the other hand, I would hope it would give people great comfort to know there's a religious person holding the office.”
Bush also said he thinks there probably have been and probably will be presidents who do not share his viewpoint on faith.
“From my perspective, however, I know that belief in God and prayer, and prayers of people on our behalf, make a huge difference,” he said.