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At the Foot of the Cross: A Story You Havenít Heard
Breakpoint ^ | 6 Jan 04 | Chuck Colson

Posted on 01/06/2004 8:57:16 AM PST by Mr. Silverback

Angel Tree, our Prison Fellowship program for prisoners’ children, is one of the great unheralded volunteer outreaches in America. Over the Christmas holidays these past few weeks, approximately 100,000 volunteers delivered Angel Tree gifts to more than 525,000 children of inmates.

You didn’t read about this in the newspapers, nor would I expect that you should. It’s not really that newsworthy that Christians help people in need. But there are two of our volunteers, who delivered forty presents, that I think you should have read about but didn’t. For reasons best known to themselves, the media ignored the fact that two of the volunteers were President and Mrs. George Bush. And they delivered gifts to forty inner-city kids in a church basement three days before Christmas.

President and Mrs. Bush arrived at three-o’clock, Monday, December 22, at the Shiloh Baptist Church in Alexandria, Virginia. Now, presidents don’t move anywhere without a great deal of fuss. The police were out, the roads blocked, and Secret Service were roaming around the church. And when the president arrived, he was accompanied not only by his own team, but also by a pool of reporters, forty or so members of the press. For ten minutes they popped their flashbulbs, scribbled their notes, and then were ushered out.

I remember from my days with President Nixon what photo opportunities are: Get the picture and leave. So I thought the Bushes would shortly depart, but they didn’t. They stayed long after the cameras were gone to greet every child, to have their picture taken with them, their mothers, and their grandmothers, to talk with them, and to ask questions. Though the press didn’t report it, I noticed that both the president and Mrs. Bush talked to the Hispanic children in Spanish.

Just before the president left, I introduced him to Al Lawrence, a member of our staff. I told the president that I had met Al more than twenty years ago in a prison. Jesus had got hold of Al’s life, and he’s been working for us ever since. Then I told the president that Al’s son was now a freshman at Yale. At that point the president stopped, exclaimed, “We’re both Yale parents,” and threw his arms around Al Lawrence—an African-American ex-offender being embraced by the president of the United States in a church basement. The ground is indeed level at the foot of the cross.

I tell you this story because it’s a wonderful Christmas story, and you probably haven’t heard it. With all those reporters who crowded into that basement, the visit resulted in almost universal media silence.

I suppose there are many explanations for this, but I’ll offer mine. The president is a Christian who really cares for “the least of these,” who does this not for photo ops, but because he’s genuine. That is something that his detractors in the media simply can’t handle. Conservatives caring for the poor? Never. It dashes the stereotypes.

But surely Christians ought to be rejoicing that the most powerful man in the world and his wife, a couple of days before Christmas, had a wonderful visit with the most powerless people in our society.

After all, that echoes the Christmas message, doesn’t it? The most powerful came to be with the least powerful to give us hope.


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Editorial; News/Current Events; Philosophy; US: Virginia
KEYWORDS: alexandriava; angeltree; bush43; charity; charlescolson; church; inmates; laurabush; merrychristmas; prisonfellowship; shilohbaptist; volunteers
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A belated Merry Christmas. I just love this President!
1 posted on 01/06/2004 8:57:16 AM PST by Mr. Silverback
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To: agenda_express; AntiJen; BA63; banjo joe; Believer 1; billbears; Blood of Tyrants; ChewedGum; ...
BreakPoint/Chuck Colson Ping!

If anyone wants on or off my BreakPoint Ping List, please notify me here or by freepmail.

2 posted on 01/06/2004 8:57:44 AM PST by Mr. Silverback (Pre-empt the third murder attempt-- Pray for Terry Schiavo!)
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To: All
Rank Location Receipts Donors/Avg Freepers/Avg Monthlies
Kenya




20.00
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Thanks for donating to Free Republic!

Move your locale up the leaderboard!

3 posted on 01/06/2004 8:58:52 AM PST by Support Free Republic (Freepers post from sun to sun, but a fundraiser bot's work is never done.)
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To: dd5339; cavtrooper21
W ping!
4 posted on 01/06/2004 9:01:04 AM PST by Vic3O3 (Jeremiah 31:16-17 (KJV))
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To: Mr. Silverback
I'm disappointed in Chuck. The Bushes should be allowed to help people anonymously (that is, with as little publicity as possible, under the circumstances), and he's blown it.
5 posted on 01/06/2004 9:01:39 AM PST by Tax-chick (I reserve the right to disclaim all January 2004 posts after the BABY is born!)
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To: Mr. Silverback
BTTT...Thanks!!!
6 posted on 01/06/2004 9:09:05 AM PST by in the Arena (1st Lt. James W. Herrick, Jr., - MIA - Laos - 27 October 69 "Fire Fly 33")
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To: Mr. Silverback
That is a wonderful story but not a surprising one. President and Mrs. Bush are good, kind, loving CHRISTIAN people and that will never leave them. That is who they are and who they will always be.

Report it in the mainstream press? No way. Although they had their noses there just in case soemthing they thought would be newsworthy would take place.

However, helping those less fortunate than you and not only giving the presents but staying there so long to converse with families, kids, etc and just "hang out" is not important enough to the mainstream press. Which by the way, that term "mainstream" is gonna be pretty obsolete soon. The Cable and internet are pulling them down like quicksand and they are becoming obsolete. Thank God for that. They are just a bothersome crew and think stories like spears getting married and annuled within 24 hours is a story...that kind of trash reporting.

I think President and Mrs. Bush do a lot more things like this that even reporters don't know much less report. They don't need the limelight or the publicity. God bless them both. Our country is so fortunate to have President Bush at the helm with God's hand one of his shoulders and Laura's hand in his hand.

Thank you so much for this beautiful story. It is a Christmas story for sure and one I will be sending to everyone on my list and asking them to do the same which I am sure they will.

Happy New Year and God bless America and our President!
7 posted on 01/06/2004 9:09:19 AM PST by cubreporter
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To: Mr. Silverback
Thanks for the article. Just when the media negativity is starting to get to me, I sat down at my computer and found your article about our great president.
8 posted on 01/06/2004 9:09:20 AM PST by Eva
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To: Tax-chick
I'm disappointed in Chuck. The Bushes should be allowed to help people anonymously (that is, with as little publicity as possible, under the circumstances), and he's blown it.

But the press was there...

9 posted on 01/06/2004 9:10:41 AM PST by Eala (Sacrificing tagline fame for... TRAD ANGLICAN RESOURCE PAGE: http://eala.freeservers.com/anglican)
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To: Eala
Mr. Colson says himself: "You didn’t read about this in the newspapers, nor would I expect that you should."
10 posted on 01/06/2004 9:12:15 AM PST by Tax-chick (I reserve the right to disclaim all January 2004 posts after the BABY is born!)
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To: Tax-chick
But he goes on, "For reasons best known to themselves, the media ignored the fact that two of the volunteers were President and Mrs. George Bush..."
11 posted on 01/06/2004 9:14:18 AM PST by Eala (Sacrificing tagline fame for... TRAD ANGLICAN RESOURCE PAGE: http://eala.freeservers.com/anglican)
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To: Eala
Mr. Colson's standard should be the Gospel, "When you give alms, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by men." To me, that's what he's doing here on behalf of the Bushes - blowing the trumpet so they'll be praised by men. I find it disappointing.
12 posted on 01/06/2004 9:22:55 AM PST by Tax-chick (I reserve the right to disclaim all January 2004 posts after the BABY is born!)
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To: Mr. Silverback
Great story. Thanks for posting it. A President for all the people.
13 posted on 01/06/2004 9:24:47 AM PST by mom-7
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To: Mr. Silverback; ohioWfan
bump and ping!
14 posted on 01/06/2004 9:32:15 AM PST by mamaduck (I follow a New Age Guru . . . from 2000 years ago.)
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To: Mr. Silverback
Righteousness exalts a nation
(Proverbs 14:34)
15 posted on 01/06/2004 9:36:19 AM PST by pkjeff ( <><)
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To: Mr. Silverback
Here are a couple more links (Sited as further reading from the main article:) <a href="http://www.news8austin.com/content/headlines/?arID=93109&SecID=2

<a href="http://www.pfm.org/BPtemplate.cfm?Section=BreakPoint_Home&template=/ContentManagement/ContentDisplay.cfm&ContentID=11320"
16 posted on 01/06/2004 9:43:19 AM PST by Core_Conservative (ODC-GIRL - the love of my life!)
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To: Mr. Silverback
Here are a couple more links (Sited as further reading from the main article:) <a href=http://www.news8austin.com/content/headlines/?arID=93109&SecID=2

<a href=http://www.pfm.org/BPtemplate.cfm?Section=BreakPoint_Home&template=/ContentManagement/ContentDisplay.cfm&ContentID=11320
17 posted on 01/06/2004 9:45:46 AM PST by Core_Conservative (ODC-GIRL - the love of my life!)
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To: Tax-chick
Good grief...you're making a simple instruction of Jesus, about personal conduct, into an occasion for a CASUISTRY OF RESULT. He said "if you do what you do to be praised by men you already have your reward" -- but that doesn't translate into "if somebody else tells about it God will be mad."

Do your virtue in private -- but of your friends tell about it neither you, nor your friends, have violated any Gospel counsel.

It's perfectly appropriate to hold up your friends as examples of charity when they themselves should not.

When you are invited to a banquest, choose the lowest seat. If you should be invited to move up higher, do so. When the choice is yours, choose humility, but if you are honored by others, you've done nothing against humility.

18 posted on 01/06/2004 9:48:28 AM PST by Taliesan
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To: Taliesan
I never said God would be mad at anyone, just that I'm personally disappointed at what I feel is inappropriate publicity. All others free to disagree with me, of course ...
19 posted on 01/06/2004 9:54:12 AM PST by Tax-chick (I reserve the right to disclaim all January 2004 posts after the BABY is born!)
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To: Tax-chick
I'm disappointed in Chuck. The Bushes should be allowed to help people anonymously (that is, with as little publicity as possible, under the circumstances), and he's blown it.

Yeah! President Bush and the First Lady should have slipped out of the White House through the kitchen and jumped into their Stealth VW bug and driven to that church to deliver those presents dressed as Groucho and Harpo.

I don't know who approached who first for this Christmas visit..Chuck/Bush or Bush/Chuck. I would guess the President knows Chuck very well, and I believe Chuck approached him. At any rate, it was a great thing to do.

You don't have many kind things to say about your President, do you Tax-chick?

FMCDH

20 posted on 01/06/2004 10:01:35 AM PST by nothingnew (The pendulum is swinging and the Rats are in the pit!)
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To: Tax-chick
I don't believe the president has much choice about publicity while he is in office. It takes more resources to keep something secret than not. He does what he can with what he has.
21 posted on 01/06/2004 10:01:37 AM PST by Drawsing (Keep arms and legs within this post at all times.)
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To: nothingnew
You don't have many kind things to say about your President, do you Tax-chick?

I beg your pardon? I have not said one word about President Bush, but only expressed an opinion on the good taste of Mr. Colson's publishing this article.

I'm sorry you're not feeling well.

22 posted on 01/06/2004 10:10:59 AM PST by Tax-chick (I reserve the right to disclaim all January 2004 posts after the BABY is born!)
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To: Mr. Silverback; Grampa Dave; glock rocks; Mo1; RottiBiz; Brad's Gramma; Fiddlstix; Gabz; ...
Bump & Ping!
23 posted on 01/06/2004 10:50:00 AM PST by EdReform (Support Free Republic - ALL donations are appreciated!)
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Bump
24 posted on 01/06/2004 10:55:37 AM PST by NormsRevenge (Semper Fi Mac ....... Become a Monthly at FR... https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: Tax-chick
You don't have many kind things to say about your President, do you Tax-chick?

That was unfair and unkind of me and I apologize.

The rest of my reply stands.

I feel fine, thanks.

FMCDH

25 posted on 01/06/2004 10:58:06 AM PST by nothingnew (The pendulum is swinging and the Rats are in the pit!)
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To: Mr. Silverback
I luv Dubya PING

J o h n n y x G a g e


26 posted on 01/06/2004 10:58:56 AM PST by Johnny Gage (It is better to have a horrible ending... than to have horrors without end.)
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To: 4TheFlag; Aeronaut; ALOHA RONNIE; AntiJen; Aquamarine; AuntB; AZ Flyboy; baltodog; Beach_Babe; ...
Forgot the ping list.
27 posted on 01/06/2004 10:59:55 AM PST by Johnny Gage (It is better to have a horrible ending... than to have horrors without end.)
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To: Johnny Gage
Thank for the ping, Johnny. Why do I get the feeling if this was Hillary there would have been live coverage.
28 posted on 01/06/2004 11:12:30 AM PST by SAMWolf (I have a rock garden. Last week three of them died.)
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To: Tax-chick
He really stressed the point that Bush is "multicultural" too.
29 posted on 01/06/2004 11:14:40 AM PST by stainlessbanner
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To: Johnny Gage
Thanks for the ping, Johnny!

I love reading stories like this one about two wonderful people like these!

And I als=ways liked Chuck Colson!

30 posted on 01/06/2004 11:15:39 AM PST by Pippin (Fear the elephant!)
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To: Tax-chick; Mr. Silverback; mamaduck; GretchenEE; kayak; Miss Marple; kitkat; olliemb; McLynnan; ...
You're making quite a fuss about this 'disappointment' that you feel, aren't you?

Who was Chuck Colson telling this to? The media? No. He was sharing it with fellow believers whom he felt ought to know what kind of President and First Lady we have. And I, for one, am glad he did.

btw, your Scripture reference does not apply, since Chuck was not seeking the self aggrandizement the passage refers to. It would have to be the President and First Lady's 'trumpeting' that would make the Scripture applicable.

THANKS, Mr Silverback for posting this, and THANKS mamaduck for the ping.

Those of us who have been observing the actions of our President are not one bit surprised by his Christ-like behavior, but are always thankful that God has been merciful to this nation and given us this wonderful couple to lead us.

31 posted on 01/06/2004 11:16:31 AM PST by ohioWfan (BUSH 2004 - Leadership, Integrity, Morality)
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To: SAMWolf
Because Hillary would've demanded live coverage or else she would not do it at all.
32 posted on 01/06/2004 11:16:56 AM PST by Pippin (Fear the elephant!)
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To: ohioWfan
Ditto!
33 posted on 01/06/2004 11:17:58 AM PST by Pippin (Fear the elephant!)
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To: Mr. Silverback
They stayed long after the cameras were gone to greet every child

The true measure of a man is how he relates to children.

34 posted on 01/06/2004 11:19:21 AM PST by r9etb
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To: Johnny Gage
BTTT!!!!!!
35 posted on 01/06/2004 11:40:28 AM PST by E.G.C.
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To: Mr. Silverback
Thanks for posting this. Chuck Colson definitely walks the walk.

It's so nice to have a President who doesn't believe faith is measured by the size of one's Bible.

36 posted on 01/06/2004 11:41:41 AM PST by colorado tanker ("There are but two parties now, Traitors and Patriots")
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To: nothingnew
I feel awful, all day every day (see my tag line!), so I had to go back and make sure I hadn't inadvertently said something uncharitable about President Bush! I think it's outstanding that the Bushes spent time showing genuine Christian love for the unfortunate, and I don't believe they had any other motive for their visit to Prison Fellowship (unlike some other Presidents that might occur to us :-). I also believe Mr. Bush went to Iraq at Thanksgiving simply because he wanted to be with the troops and encourage them. AND I think they're both sharp dressers with terrific haircuts, and I'm delighted that I've been able to vote for him for governor AND president!

There, all kind statements about my President, which I mean sincerely, and thank you for the reminder to say something nice ... it's not hard to think of nice things to say about the Bushes!
37 posted on 01/06/2004 12:10:56 PM PST by Tax-chick (I reserve the right to disclaim all January 2004 posts after the BABY is born!)
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To: Tax-chick
The Angeltree group NEEDS the publicity, so the press was notified.

As for Colson saying, "You didn’t read about this in the newspapers, nor would I expect that you should," he was saying that the President and First Lady did NOT stay after the media left in order to make themselves look good.

But, if Colson wanted to talk about, there's no reason why he shouldn't.

38 posted on 01/06/2004 12:43:45 PM PST by kitkat (Purr, purr)
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To: Tax-chick
When the President and First Lady endorse a charity which has given 525,000 thousand gifts to children, there is NO amount of publicity that is too much. The charity will thrive because of it. More children will benefit.

39 posted on 01/06/2004 12:54:10 PM PST by kitkat (Purr, purr)
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To: kitkat
Excellent point. If I was hasty and hadn't thought the situation through completely, it wouldn't be the first time.
40 posted on 01/06/2004 1:12:54 PM PST by Tax-chick (I reserve the right to disclaim all January 2004 posts after the BABY is born!)
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To: ohioWfan; Mr. Silverback
Those of us who have been observing the actions of our President are not one bit surprised by his Christ-like behavior, but are always thankful that God has been merciful to this nation and given us this wonderful couple to lead us.

I agree with your statement totally. I believe George W. was destined to be where he is at this critical time, to the benefit of us all. Our Lord works in exactly this way.

41 posted on 01/06/2004 1:30:14 PM PST by toddst
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To: r9etb
The true measure of a man is how he relates to children

And animals.

For instance, compare Bush to Bill and Hillary. Where is SOCKS?

The Clinton's were not the kind of people that have or take care of pets.

The pets they had seemed to be ornaments to supplement their position. (as long as they had a staff that would care for the pets)

I have seen that animals can sense whom they can trust, and who is an a**hole.

Children can do the same, but can be fooled with 'words'.

It just amazes me how hateful a segment of our society is towards President Bush. I have asked these people, PLEASE NAME ONE THING HE DID WRONG.

Their answer, "I DON'T KNOW, I JUST HATE HIM."

I am not at all surprised to find GWB and WIFE doing this kind of thing. It is what we should expect of the American we choose to take the responsibility of the highest elected office, and a third of control of our government.

Sadly, we have accepted less, (much, much less) in the past.

President Bush did this act, partially as a response of the President, but mostly as a Christian. I assume he would have done it, President or not. That is the kind of man he is.

I would rather fall off a cliff, following President Bush's footsteps, than end up in a PLAYBOY pool following Meister Clinton.

I am not surprised the media did not report this.

Most of the media staff that have access to the White House were put in their place by Bush and treated as reporters (which is what they are). Those so treated were UPSET because they had special favoritism from past Presidents, inside news, scoops, etc. with which their employer would benefit.

Since they had that little perk taken away, they became totally hostile to the President.

They will never see that President Bush didn't 'take away' anything, but merely reacted to the truth of what these reporters had become.

42 posted on 01/06/2004 2:08:13 PM PST by UCANSEE2 ("Duty is ours, Results are God's" --John Quincy Adams)
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To: Mr. Silverback
I just love this President!

Today is Epiphany and/or Orthodox Christmas.

Merry Christmas to you !

43 posted on 01/06/2004 2:17:28 PM PST by happygrl
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To: happygrl
btt
44 posted on 01/06/2004 2:25:21 PM PST by GailA (Millington Rally for America after action http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/872519/posts)
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To: Tax-chick
I know where your reply is coming from. I read the other post. Don't be too mad at the poster who jumped you. We are all kind of touchy. To forgive is divine, and I am sure you already did.

Yes.

President Bush flew onto the USS Abraham Lincoln to personally congratulate the crew for a MISSION ACCOMPLISHED. (my son was on the ABE LINCOLN).

President Bush quietly snuck into Iraq to have Christmas with the troops. To let them know he really cared about them. To surprise them. Because he did what real men do.

President Bush quietly appeared at this Christmas Celebration to let them know he cared.

Sorry, I am crying because it hurts so much.

Funny to feel joy and pain from the same news, isn't it?

I am so ashamed of many of my fellow Americans, and even myself, for not being as Christian as our President.

I am ashamed for the behavior of many of our past Presidents.

I feel empty compared to the fullness and light which President Bush must feel in his soul.

I wish you the very best of health and success and congratulations upon the impending birth of your child.

May your child live in a society where Christian love is seen as the ideal, instead of a reason for imprisonment and/or death.

45 posted on 01/06/2004 2:28:06 PM PST by UCANSEE2 ("Duty is ours, Results are God's" --John Quincy Adams)
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To: UCANSEE2
You're very kind. I hope we'll all have the opportunity to live in a better country and a better world. It's encouraging that there are people like the Bushes (and like Chuck Colson, whom I deeply admire, even though I questioned his journalistic judgment in one situation :-), and your son serving our country!

Best wishes,
Xy
46 posted on 01/06/2004 2:53:15 PM PST by Tax-chick (I reserve the right to disclaim all January 2004 posts after the BABY is born!)
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To: Tax-chick
feel awful, all day every day (see my tag line!), so I had to go back and make sure I hadn't inadvertently said something uncharitable about President Bush!

Same here, I went back mentally if not literally. I have certainly criticised some of the President's policies and decicions and probably will again. But I don't believe I have ever criticized his character, and for a very good reason, it's exemplary.

47 posted on 01/06/2004 3:02:42 PM PST by epow
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To: Mr. Silverback
This is a FNC story. Can somebody email it to them?

This would be a neat comentary for Cavuto.
48 posted on 01/06/2004 3:06:24 PM PST by longtermmemmory (Vote!)
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To: Mr. Silverback
I wondered if this were the case when I heard the skeleton of the original story. Usually you don't go to a church for Angel Tree "events" - you go forth bearing gifts. The few I saw on the news were just for media consumption. Apparently, the First Lady and President were able to go about their charitable work without much fanfare. That's a good thing - especially since most in the media wouldn't understand their spirit of giving anyway.
49 posted on 01/06/2004 3:36:36 PM PST by anniegetyourgun
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To: epow
I think my family would lock me in the garage until I give birth, if they didn't need me to cook and clean :-). But in this case, I actually had made a specific and measured statement, which didn't say ANYTHING about President Bush ... that's why it was frustrating to have people responding as if I'd criticised the President.
50 posted on 01/06/2004 3:45:31 PM PST by Tax-chick (I reserve the right to disclaim all January 2004 posts after the BABY is born!)
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