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Talking Jesus: Obama vs. Bush
Townhall.com ^ | June 13, 2009 | Dt Paul Kengor

Posted on 06/13/2009 4:09:58 AM PDT by Kaslin

There's an important article in the Politico titled, "Obama invokes Jesus more than Bush." President Barack Obama, says the article, has mentioned Jesus Christ "in a number of high-profile public speeches," more so than did President George W. Bush, and in much less "innocuous contexts."

Obama has done so in order to promote certain policies, especially his economic policies, and "to connect with a broader base of supporters." He does this via various "targeted messages." Most remarkable, the article considers whether Obama is using the bully pulpit to pursue "an even larger goal" of resurrecting the Christian left, of appealing to disillusioned conservative evangelicals, and to attract "swing Protestants" and "swing Catholics."

In other words, Obama is doing the things, faith-wise, that Bush was angrily accused of doing.

That's not surprising. Obama will pursue these goals with the secular-liberal media's acquiescence, silent approval and encouragement, and warmest appreciation. To cover for this political recruitment by their president, liberals in the press will ignore the activity, and certainly not expose it in their news coverage.

Among the claims in the Politico piece, I was struck by the one that's most verifiable: the frequency of the mentions of Jesus. Within about a year, we will be able to tabulate these through the Presidential Documents as they become available on-line.

I did those tabulations for George W. Bush compared to Bill Clinton. I ran the data because I sensed that Bush's references to God-which sent liberal journalists into fits of irrational rage-were less frequent and considerably more benign than anything I heard from Bill Clinton, not to mention a long line of Democratic presidents and politicians. Revisiting those findings here is worthwhile, since they tell us much about how Democratic presidents use faith and, far more important, how the liberal media manipulates public perception.

I searched The Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents, which are the exhaustive, official collection of every public presidential statement. I compared the mentions of "Jesus," or "Jesus Christ," or "Christ" by Bush and Clinton. (Hereafter referred to as "Christ.") Clinton, of course, won handily.

Most telling, however, was the how and when. Bush's biggest year was 2001, when he mentioned Christ in seven statements, typically relating to September 11 memorial services. In 2002, Bush cited Christ five times. Most interesting, in all of 2003, the Presidential Documents display only two statements in which Bush mentioned Christ: Easter and Christmas messages. This downward trend continued, suggesting that the hostile press reaction to Bush's mentions of Christ pressured him into silence.

Such pressure, naturally, was never placed on Bush's Democratic predecessor. President Bill Clinton's biggest year for Christ remarks was 1996-the year of his reelection campaign-when he spoke of Christ in nine separate statements. For a single year, Bush never outdid Clinton in references to Christ.

Generally, Clinton's biggest years for references to Christ were election years: nine statements in 1996, seven in 1998, six in 2000, and five in 1994. In total, Clinton mentioned Christ 27 times in the four election years, compared to only 14 times in the four non-election years. He mentioned Christ twice as much in election years.

Also, the way in which Clinton employed these references would have scandalized the press if Bush had used them. Clinton openly said that his personal "ministry" as president was "to do the work of God here on Earth" (Temple Hills, Maryland, August 14, 1994); declared that "God's work must be our own" (Newark, New Jersey, October 20, 1996); cited the teachings of Christ in support of federal legislation (July 26, 2000); said that his attempted impeachment was "in God's hands" (December 18, 1998); and constantly exhorted congregations to vote for him or Al Gore or other Democrats (Alfred Baptist Church in Alexandria, Virginia, October 29, 2000, and the Kelly Temple Church of God in Christ in Harlem, October 31, 2000, to cite just two examples).

Never heard this before? Of course, you haven't. It was never reported. It was left to researchers to dig it out years after the fact.

There's an important article in the Politico titled, "Obama invokes Jesus more than Bush." President Barack Obama, says the article, has mentioned Jesus Christ "in a number of high-profile public speeches," more so than did President George W. Bush, and in much less "innocuous contexts."

Obama has done so in order to promote certain policies, especially his economic policies, and "to connect with a broader base of supporters." He does this via various "targeted messages." Most remarkable, the article considers whether Obama is using the bully pulpit to pursue "an even larger goal" of resurrecting the Christian left, of appealing to disillusioned conservative evangelicals, and to attract "swing Protestants" and "swing Catholics."

In other words, Obama is doing the things, faith-wise, that Bush was angrily accused of doing.

That's not surprising. Obama will pursue these goals with the secular-liberal media's acquiescence, silent approval and encouragement, and warmest appreciation. To cover for this political recruitment by their president, liberals in the press will ignore the activity, and certainly not expose it in their news coverage.

I could go on and on with examples. Vice President Al Gore sounded like a Baptist preacher on the 2000 campaign trail, and Hillary Clinton obliterated any propriety with her breathtaking statements in dozens of New York City churches during her 2000 Senate campaign. (See my article, "Rev. Hillary Takes the Pulpit," National Review, October 4, 2007. )

What I've noted here is the tip of an iceberg. I've devoted chapters and books to liberal Democrats' extremely expressive public expressions of faith. A core element of that story is how the press embraces these expressions but then, on a dime, turns and blasts conservative Republicans for much milder statements.

Thus, I fully expect President Obama to talk about God in much stronger terms and far more often than did President Bush. Liberals will not politically crucify him as they did Bush. When the double standard is pointed out-strictly by conservatives-liberals will cover their ears, wink, and move on. At best, when confronted, they will conjure up the usual excuses as to why the reaction is different.

So, be prepared to be greatly frustrated. The press has made it abundantly clear: there are different sets of rules for conservative Christian politicians and liberal Christian politicians.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial
KEYWORDS: agenda; bho44; bushandgod; christians; faithbased; obamaandgod; religiousleft; second100days

1 posted on 06/13/2009 4:09:58 AM PDT by Kaslin
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To: Kaslin

Obama uses “Jesus” as a political tool. Not as a matter of faith.


2 posted on 06/13/2009 4:14:35 AM PDT by DB
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To: Kaslin

Obama may mention Jesus Christ, but George Bush believed in Jesus Christ.

I dont think we have any worries about Obama pushing Chistianity


3 posted on 06/13/2009 4:15:19 AM PDT by Venturer
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To: Kaslin

“Christian left”

Sort of like Catholic abortion. Or Methodist prostitution.


4 posted on 06/13/2009 4:16:16 AM PDT by RoadTest (For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus - I Tim 2:5)
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To: Kaslin

Jesus must be one of “them Jews” that keep Obama from speaking to Rev. Wrong.


5 posted on 06/13/2009 4:18:28 AM PDT by BuddhaBrown (Path to enlightenment: Four right turns, then go straight until you see the Light!)
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To: Kaslin
the Christian left

They hold great sway among unicorns and leprechauns.

6 posted on 06/13/2009 4:20:01 AM PDT by SolidWood (www.firedavidletterman.com)
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To: Kaslin

Say what you want about George W. Bush, but I give the man credit for turning his life around. If someone thinks you have an alcohol problem, you usually do, especially if it is your spouse.

That he was a devout Christian is unquestionable.

Obama, on the other hand, is despicable. His idea of Christianity is Black Theology. It is bs, and it makes me angry every time I hear him open his mouth and invoke Jesus or God.

Rush Limbaugh had it right with his God-Obama Jokes.


7 posted on 06/13/2009 4:23:47 AM PDT by rlmorel ("The Road to Serfdom" by F.A.Hayek - Read it...today.)
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To: Kaslin

Obama certainly mentions the “Holy Koran” more than Bush did. Or any preceding president for that matter. Perhaps more than any living or dead American has, too.


8 posted on 06/13/2009 4:25:25 AM PDT by ProtectOurFreedom
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To: Kaslin

“Jesus Christ.. “
When does praise stop and profanity begin...? Those who KNOW Jesus can discern the difference.
“Thou shalt not take the name of God in vain”. I read that someplace....


9 posted on 06/13/2009 4:35:27 AM PDT by rusureitflies? (OSAMA BIN LADEN IS DEAD! There, I said it. Prove me wrong.)
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To: Kaslin

I’m just glad there are not many Buddhist voters to con in America. Otherwise he’d be mentioning my name whenever he thought it politically advantageous.


10 posted on 06/13/2009 4:37:23 AM PDT by BuddhaBrown (Path to enlightenment: Four right turns, then go straight until you see the Light!)
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To: Venturer
>"I dont think we have any worries about Obama pushing Chistianity

Maybe off a cliff.

Thank You Satan 1:50

11 posted on 06/13/2009 4:40:36 AM PDT by rawcatslyentist (<P><a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ajsov1M4h50"> Thank You Satan 1:50</a>)
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To: Kaslin
I think the phrase "hypocrisy is the tribute vice pays to virtue" pretty well covers this story...

Μολὼν λάβε


12 posted on 06/13/2009 4:46:47 AM PDT by wastoute (translation of tag "Come and get them (bastards)" and the Scout Motto)
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To: Venturer
Obama may mention Jesus Christ, but George Bush believed in Jesus Christ.

That is the difference

I dont think we have any worries about Obama pushing Chistianity

I don't thin so either.

13 posted on 06/13/2009 4:47:23 AM PDT by Kaslin (Acronym for 0bama: One Bad Ass Mistake America)
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To: DB

Accordingly, Barry’s use of “Jesus” is not sincere while Bush’s use of “Jesus” was.


14 posted on 06/13/2009 4:49:41 AM PDT by cranked
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To: rusureitflies?

“When does praise stop and profanity begin...?”

Black Liberation Theologists, such as Obama, and others erroneously linking collectivism with Christianity certainly will mention Jesus. False prophets usually do.


15 posted on 06/13/2009 4:55:21 AM PDT by BuddhaBrown (Path to enlightenment: Four right turns, then go straight until you see the Light!)
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To: Kaslin

self-ping


16 posted on 06/13/2009 5:03:34 AM PDT by dpa5923 (Small minds talk about people, normal minds talk about events, great minds talk about ideas.)
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To: cranked

I have been surprised at how few actual worship services the Obamas have attended since being in Washington. I also can’t fathom how one can attend a church for 20 years and not know that the pastor is racist.


17 posted on 06/13/2009 5:06:26 AM PDT by Notasoccermom
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To: Kaslin
christian left=Methodist.
18 posted on 06/13/2009 5:08:31 AM PDT by 09Patriot (I am a MILITANT Conservative, compassionate conservatism got us NOWHERE)
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To: Notasoccermom

I was listening to black leftist talkshow host yesterday he said jeremiah wrights church is mostly white.


19 posted on 06/13/2009 5:15:15 AM PDT by 09Patriot (I am a MILITANT Conservative, compassionate conservatism got us NOWHERE)
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To: Kaslin
Q. What's the difference between Jesus and Obama ?

A. Jesus doesn't call himself Obama.


20 posted on 06/13/2009 5:58:50 AM PDT by SouthDixie (We are but angels with one wing, it takes two to fly.)
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To: Notasoccermom
"...how one can attend a church for 20 years and not know that the pastor is racist."

If that was a question, this might be the answer:

"...how few actual worship services the Obamas have attended..."


I don't pretend to know a man's heart. But it certainly seems possible that the Ivy league snob currently sitting in the White House simply desired membership at Rev. Wrong's racist church in order to create for himself the "street cred" needed to launch a political career from such a decency-challenged area.

Remember now, his first run for national office was an attempt to unseat another racially-motivated radical anti-American, Bobby "Black Panther" Rush. That seat represents the blackest (by population percentage) congressional district in America. And Bobby had the background Obama could only "hope" to mirror by a big "change" in local folks' impressions of his own reality. Rush was a minister and community organizer with real "civil rights" credentials.

To get an idea of what the atmosphere is like there, consider what Black Panther Bobby said about Obama while successfully defending his seat in 2000:

"Obama went to Harvard and became an educated fool. Barack is a person who read about the civil-rights protests and thinks he knows all about it."

21 posted on 06/13/2009 10:48:48 AM PDT by BuddhaBrown (Path to enlightenment: Four right turns, then go straight until you see the Light!)
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