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George Bush's Theology: Does President Believe He Has Divine Mandate?
Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life ^ | February 12, 2003 | Deborah Caldwell

Posted on 02/12/2003 8:35:27 PM PST by rwfromkansas

In the spring of 1999, as George W. Bush was about to announce his run for President, he agreed to be interviewed about his religious faith -- grudgingly. "I want people to judge me on my deeds, not how I try to define myself as a religious person of words."

It's hard to believe that's the same George W. Bush as now. Since taking office -- and especially in the last weeks -- Bush's personal faith has turned highly public, arguably more so than any modern president. What's important is not that Bush is talking about God but that he's talking about him differently. We are witnessing a shift in Bush's theology – from talking mostly about a Wesleyan theology of "personal transformation" to describing a Calvinist "divine plan" laid out by a sovereign God for the country and himself. This shift has the potential to affect Bush's approach to terrorism, Iraq and his presidency.

On Thursday (Feb.6) at the National Prayer Breakfast, for instance, Bush said, "we can be confident in the ways of Providence. ... Behind all of life and all of history, there's a dedication and purpose, set by the hand of a just and faithful God."

Calvin, whose ideas are critical to contemporary evangelical thought, focused on the idea of a powerful God who governs "the vast machinery of the whole world."

Bush has made several statements indicating he believes God is involved in world events and that he and America have a divinely guided mission:

-- After Bush's Sept. 20, 2001, speech to Congress, Bush speechwriter Mike Gerson called the president and said: "Mr. President, when I saw you on television, I thought -- God wanted you there." "He wants us all here, Gerson," the president responded.

In that speech, Bush said, "Freedom and fear, justice and cruelty, have always been at war, and we know that God is not neutral between them." The implication: God will intervene on the world stage, mediating between good and evil.

At the prayer breakfast, during which he talked about God's impact on history, he also said, he felt "the presence of the Almighty" while comforting the families of the shuttle astronauts during the Houston memorial service on Feb. 4.

-- In his State of the Union address last month, Bush said the nation puts its confidence in the loving God "behind all of life, and all of history" and that "we go forward with confidence, because this call of history has come to the right country. May He guide us now."

In addition to these public statements indicating a divine intervention in world events, there is evidence Bush believes his election as president was a result of God's acts.

A month after the World Trade Center attack, World Magazine, a conservative Christian publication, quoted Tim Goeglein, deputy director of White House public liaison, saying, "I think President Bush is God's man at this hour, and I say this with a great sense of humility." Time magazine reported, "Privately, Bush even talked of being chosen by the grace of God to lead at that moment." The net effect is a theology that seems to imply that God is intervening in events, is on America's side, and has chosen Bush to be in the White House at this critical moment.

"All sorts of warning signals ought to go off when a sense of personal chosenness and calling gets translated into a sense of calling and mission for a nation," says Robin Lovin, a United Methodist ethicist and professor of religion and political thought at Southern Methodist University in Dallas. Lovin says what the president seems to be lacking is theological humility and an awareness of moral ambiguity.

Richard Land, a top Southern Baptist leader with close ties to the White House, argues that Bush's sense of divine oversight is part of why he has become such a good wartime leader. He brings a moral clarity and self-confidence that inspires Americans and scares enemies. "We don't inhabit that relativist universe (of European leaders)," Land says. "We really believe some things are good and some things bad."

It's even possible that Bush's belief in America's moral rightness makes the country's military threats seem more genuine because the world thinks Bush is "on a mission."

Presidents have always used Scripture in their speeches as a source of poetry and morality, according to Michael Waldman, President Clinton's chief speechwriter, author of "POTUS Speaks" and now a visiting professor at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government.

Lincoln, he says, was the first president to use the Bible extensively in his speeches, but one of the main reasons was that his audience knew the Bible -- Lincoln was using what was then common language. Theodore Roosevelt, in his 1912 speech to the Progressive Party, closed with these words: "We stand at the edge of Armageddon." Carter, Reagan and Clinton all used Scripture, but Waldman says their use was more as a "grace note."

Bush is different, because he uses theology as the guts of his argument. "That's very unusual in the long sweep of American history," Waldman says.

Bush has clearly seen a divine aspect to his presidency since before he ran. Many Americans know the president had a religious conversion at age 39, when he, as he describes it, "came to the Lord" after a weekend of talks with the Rev. Billy Graham. Within a year, he gave up drinking and joined a men's Bible study group at First United Methodist Church in Midland, Texas. From that point on, he has often said, his Christian faith has grown.

Less well known is that, in 1995, soon after he was elected Texas governor, Bush sent a memo to his staff, asking them to stop by his office to look at a painting entitled "A Charge to Keep" by W.H.D. Koerner, lent to him by Joe O'Neill, a friend from Midland. The painting is based on the Charles Wesley hymn of the same name, and Bush told his staff he especially liked the second verse: "To serve the present age, my calling to fulfill; O may it all my powers engage to do my Master's will." Bush said those words represented their mission. "What adds complete life to the painting for me is the message of Charles Wesley that we serve One greater than ourselves."

By 1999, Bush was saying he believed in a "divine plan that supersedes all human plans." He talked of being inspired to run for president by a sermon delivered by the Rev. Mark Craig, pastor of Bush's Dallas congregation, Highland Park United Methodist Church.

Craig talked about the reluctance of Moses to become a leader. But, said Mr. Craig, then as now, people were "starved for leadership" -- leaders who sacrifice to do the right thing. Bush said the sermon "spoke directly to my heart and talked about a higher calling." But in 1999, as he prepared to run for president, he was quick to add in an interview: "Elections are determined by human beings."

Richard Land recalls being part of a group of about a dozen people who met after Bush's second inauguration as Texas governor in 1999.

At the time, everyone in Texas was talking about Bush's potential to become the next president. During the meeting, Land says, Bush said, "I believe God wants me to be president, but if that doesn't happen, it's OK." Land points out that Bush didn't say that God actually wanted him to be president. He said he believed God wanted him to be president.

During World War II, the American Protestant thinker Reinhold Niebuhr wrote about God's role in political decision-making. He believed every political leader and every political system falls short of absolute justice -- that the Allies didn't represent absolute right and Hitler didn't represent absolute evil because all of us, as humans, stand under the ultimate judgment of God. That doesn't mean politicians can't make judgments based on what they believe is right; it does mean they need to understand that their position isn't absolutely morally clear.

"Sometimes Bush comes close to crossing the line of trying to serve the nation as its religious leader, rather than its political leader," says C. Welton Gaddy, president of the Interfaith Alliance, a clergy-led liberal lobbying group.

Certainly, European leaders seem to be bothered by Bush's rhetoric and it possibly does contribute to a sense in Islamic countries that Bush is on an anti-Islamic "crusade."

Radwan Masmoudi, executive director of the Washington-based Center for the Study of Islam and Democracy, worries about it. "Muslims, all over the world, are very concerned that the war on terrorism is being hijacked by right-wing fundamentalists, and transformed into a war, or at least a conflict, with Islam. President Bush is a man of faith, and that is a positive attribute, but he also needs to learn about and respect the other faiths, including Islam, in order to represent and serve all Americans."

In hindsight, even Bush's inaugural address presaged his emerging theology. He quoted a colonist who wrote to Thomas Jefferson that "We know the race is not to the swift nor the battle to the strong. Do you not think an angel rides in the whirlwind and directs this storm?" Then Bush said: "Much time has passed since Jefferson arrived for his inauguration. The years and changes accumulate, but the themes of this day he would know, `our nation's grand story of courage and its simple dream of dignity.'

"We are not this story's author, who fills time and eternity with his purpose. Yet his purpose is achieved in our duty, and our duty is fulfilled in service to one another. Never tiring, never yielding, never finishing, we renew that purpose today; to make our country more just and generous; to affirm the dignity of our lives and every life.

"This work continues. This story goes on. And an angel still rides in the whirlwind and directs this storm."

TOPICS: Current Events; Evangelical Christian; Religion & Culture; Religion & Politics
KEYWORDS: bush; catholiclist; providence; religion
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To: Catholicguy
You are weird!

Bush is Horoning His calling as one of the world leaders that God appoints world over.

Only man has freewill, but Bush choses to listen to God, where as many others in their calling in the world, are falling short!

51 posted on 02/13/2003 4:51:02 PM PST by restornu
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Comment #52 Removed by Moderator

To: sandyeggo
Yes.It's the "just war" theory
53 posted on 02/13/2003 5:09:02 PM PST by Codie
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Comment #54 Removed by Moderator

To: Codie
Yes.It's the "just war" theory

It's not about the "just war" theory. Afghanistan was most assuredly a "just war," but CG thinks even that war was unjust and misguided.

CG's got issues with George W. Bush. His criticism of him went over the line and somebody (not me) turned him in, I guess.

I like CG, but he's an ultramontane where the Pope is concerned, and is a total pacifist.

55 posted on 02/13/2003 5:52:35 PM PST by sinkspur
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To: Catholicguy
I got home this evening, uncorked one of my favorite merlots, sat down and hurray! Catholicguy is back, and Wow! is he back; didn't miss a beat.( Tiger Woods could learn a thing mebbe )I suspected his line of rhetoric was bannable, knowing others who have dissented from the FR line have reached a similar fate; said so to my wife before getting toward the bottom of the thread. I didn't agree with all he wrote, but when it came to originality and creativity, not to mention knowlege, Catholiguy was one of the best Freepers. Banning him is a travesty, and says more about FreeRepublic than it does him. It says more about where this country is headed, and it says that there are some real dopes here, if they can't handle having their political views questioned.

Here's to you Catholicguy.

56 posted on 02/13/2003 6:04:34 PM PST by St.Chuck
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To: Catholicguy
Chiliastic cretin--LOL--plus all those celebrity TV evangelists annoyingly sucking up to Israel while privately interpreting prophecy and proclaiming an impending thousand year reign.
57 posted on 02/13/2003 6:13:13 PM PST by IGNATIUS
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Comment #58 Removed by Moderator

Comment #59 Removed by Moderator

To: sitetest; saradippity; Salvation; heyheyhey; patent; Siobhan; ultima ratio; BlackElk; ...
Just wanted to bump you to the thread that led to Catholicguy's demise. I know you were all friends/foes. I doubt anyone had a neutral position.
60 posted on 02/13/2003 7:38:10 PM PST by St.Chuck
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To: St.Chuck; Jim Robinson; Admin Moderator; patent; Askel5; american colleen; sandyeggo; Codie; ...
Someone explain to me why Catholicguy has been banned.

He is a conservative and his views were consistent with just war theory.

Is it his style that got him banned? Or are we forbidden to take issue with President Bush over the war plans involving Iraq and other nations?

I do not understand this banning at all, especially when other Freepers are allowed to roam the threads with endless anti-Catholic invective.

61 posted on 02/13/2003 8:15:57 PM PST by Siobhan ( Pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet )
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To: Siobhan; St.Chuck
I am glad he is gone. His thinking was playful, but shallow, and he brought a level of vitriol to his posts that were unacceptable--such as calling traditionalists like myself "sons of Satan" and worse. I am surprised he got away with what he did for so long--it was so clearly over the line.

I also never considered him a true conservative and his posts on Bush certainly prove this. No real conservative would have failed to have noted how eight years of Clinton have brought us to this sorry impasse, forcing Bush to deal with problems Buba was too inept or too corrupt to deal with.
62 posted on 02/13/2003 8:33:28 PM PST by ultima ratio
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Comment #63 Removed by Moderator

To: Siobhan
Apparently, any deviation from the approved doctrine is now a bannable offense. Too bad; we used to have some good debate around here.

FWIW, I don't agree with his view of Pres. Bush, but I don't think someone should be banned for holding that view.

64 posted on 02/13/2003 8:56:03 PM PST by B Knotts
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To: Siobhan; Catholicguy
I agree with what you said re CG.

I am really against this war as well. I don't think it fits the bill as a "just" war, and, what's more, Bush's not closing the borders and expelling illegals tells me WE AREN'T IN IT TO WIN! (Just like Viet Nam)

Bush needs to be careful invoking God as he has. A country that sees abortion as a "civil right" has no claim to its essential goodness. We are warned against tempting God. And every day we are slipping more and more into godlessness--no, paganism.

After this last State of the Union address how can anyone call Bush a conservative? With one hand he called for tax cuts and with 10 others he called for spending increases. BTW, did you know that if Medicare picks up the tab for meds, that will include Viagra?

This man is a one-termer, and we are on the road to destruction.

We voted him in as the anti-Clinton, and in many ways he has turned out to be one and the same policy-wise.

65 posted on 02/13/2003 9:02:24 PM PST by attagirl
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Comment #66 Removed by Moderator

To: Catholicguy; ultima ratio
Catholicguy: you shouldnta got banned. At first I didn't agree with you regarding this thread, but since it was you saying what you said, I gave it it some serious consideration and I am now more tempered in my war thoughts.

You know your style cannot be imitated! You are an original and although at first I thought you were bombastic and loud, after a while I realized you just like to push buttons when people got too full of themselves. You also have a great sense of humor and you made me laugh a lot. I'll miss that and you. God Bless.

Ultima, your post sounds like the post of a spoiled kid AND sour grapes. Lighten up.

67 posted on 02/13/2003 9:54:27 PM PST by american colleen (Christe Eleison!)
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To: attagirl
While I don't think I disagree with a lot/some of your post, we ALMOST GOT GORE!!!
68 posted on 02/13/2003 9:57:25 PM PST by american colleen (Christe Eleison!)
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To: St.Chuck
I'm with you,I was so glad he was back with his unique views,plethora of facts,sweeping world view and incredible vocabulary,and sorry he got banned. I hope he manages to get back on. It's posters like CG that have made this site so invaluable to men of good will with bright minds.

I hope those who are so satisfied with our activity in Afghanastan,note that many who live there are not that happy with the return of the Northern Alliance. There are those that think the pederasts with their "boy toys" back on the streets,the reopening of the drug routes and the "oil" question diminish the glow of the "democracy" we wish to bring them after we liberate them from the evil "Taliban".

While I agree with CG's post #3 for the larger part,I disagree with CG's characterization of George W Bush, I think too many people equate smart with glib. He is not glib,he is not articulate but I believe he is smart and sincere. I also believe he is misguided,as are so many people these days;there are so many lies and so little trust,we have created and live in a "culture of death",and so many are too dead to notice.

69 posted on 02/13/2003 10:05:14 PM PST by saradippity
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To: american colleen; sandyeggo
Oh, I'm feeling bright and cheery, believe me. As for Catholicguy's political views, I'm glad he got a chance to express them before he was given the boot. It showed better than anything else exactly where he was coming from--from way out in left field. No wonder he loved the Novus Ordo and its scandalous apparatus.
70 posted on 02/13/2003 10:26:09 PM PST by ultima ratio
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To: ultima ratio
I immediately regret drawing your attention to this matter. Of all people, I would have thought that you would have appreciated the oppurtunity CG afforded you to voice your opinions. Who will pay you any attention now?

I am not surprised that you are a Bush-bot, and blame bubba for everything type. That is fitting with your other allegiences.

71 posted on 02/13/2003 11:42:51 PM PST by St.Chuck
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To: sinkspur
Maybe you'd like to ask the women of Afghanistan if they'd rather go back to wearing burkas and being beaten by their "men."

Please. War for fashion change is a specious arguement

72 posted on 02/13/2003 11:59:29 PM PST by St.Chuck
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To: Siobhan; Jim Robinson; Admin Moderator; .45MAN; AKA Elena; al_c; american colleen; ...
CatholicGuy was banned because he too is an outspoken, conservative, and thoughful Catholic, just as I too was banned in the past.

This Forum as well as certain of its moderators (and possibly Jim Robinson himself?) have an unapologetic anti-Catholic bigoted bias.

CatholicGuy's banning is further proof of the same.

They will tolerate any sort of anti-Catholic bigotry, leave the most vile anti-Catholic reports in the News forum/Breaking News sections, and banish anything in which Catholicism is seen in a positive light to the Religion Forum ghetto, but they draw the line when us Papists get uppity.

There's a reason this Forum has such a bigoted anti-Catholic bias:

Jim Robinson permits it at best, and at worst actively fosters it by letting certain of his bigoted moderators get away with their anti-Catholic censorship.

I have consistently contributed to this Forum since I joined up, and I have consistently encouraged my Catholic peers here to do likewise.

I cannot however in good conscience continue to support, or encourage others to support, an organization with such an openly enforced bigoted anti-Catholic bias.

Jim Robinson, you should be ashamed of yourself for allowing this bigoted anti-Catholic censorship on your Forum. You're a good guy. You should know better. You should do better. Reign in your bigoted anti-Catholic moderators.

If they are simply doing your will in carrying out an active anti-Catholic bias and censorship, then just say so.

73 posted on 02/14/2003 6:46:55 AM PST by Polycarp
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To: Siobhan
CG probably got banned because he didn't know when to quit. He also didn't use logic, but that's neither here nor there.

I'll say this, there is a difference between being gung-ho for war and recognizing a job needs to be done. I'm one of those people. It needs to be done, IMO. I am very much afraid that once it starts, we are going to end up with another world war. This is a last resort. At some point, enough is enough. We could go on the way things are going now forever. Look what the same sort of tactic did to Cuba. Sometime it has to end. And frankly the way Hussein is leading the rest of the world around by the nose is embarassing.

As for George Bush: the man has been a fighter pilot, an honor reserved only for the best of the best and the brightest, even in the National Guard; he holds an MBA; he ran a MAjor League Baseball team and turned it into a money-maker; he ran a fortune-500 company and the state of Texas, quite well, as a matter of fact. Stupid he is not. He's not a great speaker, but who cares. He gets the job done.

This, regardless what anyone thinks, is not about oil. If it was, the best solution would be to drill our own. We have plenty. It's the response to an agressive dictator who has no regard for human life and is using religion like a Crusade, with absolutely no good intentions. There have been men like this in the past, same signs, and we did nothing and ended up still cleaning up a big mess.

So, having been attacked, not once, but multiple times, can someone in clear, concise terms explain to me how neutralizing a dangerous dictator violates the Just War Doctrine?
74 posted on 02/14/2003 6:50:45 AM PST by Desdemona (Our Lady of Guadalupe pray for us.)
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To: Siobhan
He is a conservative and his views were consistent with just war theory.

Pope John Paul II is opposed to this war.

If he was a FReeper and outlined his objections to Bush's plans here, Jim Robinson would ban him too.

75 posted on 02/14/2003 6:56:13 AM PST by Polycarp
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To: Catholicguy
Take a look at the map.
76 posted on 02/14/2003 6:57:15 AM PST by RobbyS
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To: Polycarp; Siobhan
Most of the world is anti-Catholic. Get used to it.

I've never seen Catholics complain more about it than I have here.
77 posted on 02/14/2003 6:58:12 AM PST by Desdemona (Our Lady of Guadalupe pray for us.)
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To: RobbyS
Catholicguy signed up 2001-04-01.
This account has been banned.
78 posted on 02/14/2003 7:01:27 AM PST by drstevej
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To: Polycarp
I am opposed to this war to, but the ruler of this state is provoking it simply to stay in power, and he has shown he will do so at all costs. The question are: should be be allowed to hold this strategic place at this particular time; does he have weapons of such force imcommensurate with his defence needs? To me the most telling fact is that he kicked out the inspectors in 1998, when THEY were the most effective cover he could have had. WHY did he do this, except that he saw that the Clinton administration was a paper tiger and distracted by the Balkans situation.
79 posted on 02/14/2003 7:03:42 AM PST by RobbyS
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To: Siobhan
Or are we forbidden to take issue with President Bush over the war plans involving Iraq and other nations?

Yes, we are forbidden. Especially if we're uppity Papists.

Mark my words: Bush engaging this war, wrapped in the mantle of the Christian nation with a mandate from God will be the destruction of this country.

There is no place in scriptural prophecy for America. It will either be annihilated or relegated to third world insignificance before the End Times. It has no role to play in the end.

This war will be the beginning of the transformation of America into third world insignificance.

And Bush's belief in his Divine Mandate, while running a country that is the greatest disseminator of the culture of death on the globe, will be the final sacrilege that leads to our destruction.

Frankly, let Bush go to it.

This country deserves its chastisement.

And it is coming.

And this Forum has fallen into irrelevancy by their censorship. The Catholic Caucus would do well in disengaging from it.

80 posted on 02/14/2003 7:06:37 AM PST by Polycarp
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To: Polycarp
Poly I have mixed feelings about this war...I am not in favor of it . I think we have lost our focus on the "war on terror"

BUT I do believe in the providence of God and that He is in control. He knows the end from the beginning...May it mean the "death " of this nation? It may well..but that then is in Gods design

So in the short of it I do think we may agree but perhaps for different reasons

81 posted on 02/14/2003 7:16:22 AM PST by RnMomof7 (Rom 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God,)
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To: Polycarp
They fear what they do not understand.

CG's tirade was not born of any political motivation whatsoever to bring GWB down in order to pump someone else up, which is offensive here. Banning him for stridently supporting his interpretation of the views of the Pope is another example of bias, and yes, I've seen enough of it.

I've contributed to various forums here for a long time. Perhaps my greatest contributions were explaining the flurry of legal issues and decisions during the 2000 election debacle. I've seen reports of anti-Catholic bigots like one_particular_harbour being selected to provide legal services for FR-related organizations, and yes, I've seen the bias in forum selection.

Maybe I will turn the other cheek, but maybe not. All I can say is if GWB ran this site, CatholicGuy wouldn't be banned. Banning people like CG does the conservative movement far more damage than good.

82 posted on 02/14/2003 7:19:22 AM PST by Kryptonite
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To: Polycarp
If one is going to reduce the matter to theology, let us not forget that the Catholic tradition has always allowed that the state has an foundation independent of that of the Church. In short, in some matters, the state is the competent authority. The role of the pope is what it has always been traditionally, as arbitrator. If one ruler is obviously weaker, then he has the obligation to accept the best possible terms and that would include humiliation. He does not have a natural right to hold on to power, and when he cannot be removed by some other means, say of regular vote of the people, then he can expect only his own person safety.
83 posted on 02/14/2003 7:20:26 AM PST by RobbyS
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To: drstevej
Just catching up on this thread...what an interesting thread it is!

"CG, are you French?" Almost lost the keyboard with the coffee on that one,lol!

Poor CG seemed to be having a tough time being an American. I fear for us more if Bush is a one term president than I fear for us in this war.
84 posted on 02/14/2003 7:24:22 AM PST by Domestic Church (AMDG)
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To: Domestic Church
I fear for us more if Bush is a one term president than I fear for us in this war.

85 posted on 02/14/2003 7:25:27 AM PST by Desdemona (Our Lady of Guadalupe pray for us.)
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To: Polycarp
You were banned before? And you viciously attack the owner of the forum? Not a very bright move, I'd say.

If you're unhappy at Free Republic, I'm sure you can find another forum that suits you better.

86 posted on 02/14/2003 7:26:41 AM PST by Catspaw
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To: Desdemona
mega dittoes
87 posted on 02/14/2003 7:30:36 AM PST by LiteKeeper
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To: St.Chuck
Let's hope he returns soon...we need his verbage to say the did I ever get through the millennium without knowing the meaning of chiliastic!

Besides, the pro Bush Catholics need him to sharpen their wits. Just make sure someone hides his martini shaker for a while.
88 posted on 02/14/2003 7:35:09 AM PST by Domestic Church (AMDG)
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To: Catspaw
viciously attack

Now pointing out reality is a vicious attack?

89 posted on 02/14/2003 7:40:12 AM PST by Polycarp
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To: Polycarp; JHavard
This Forum as well as certain of its moderators (and possibly Jim Robinson himself?) have an unapologetic anti-Catholic bigoted bias.

In all fairness, JHavard was warned by the admin moderator about a tagline that was more than likely a candidate for Catholic bashing. Nobody hit the abuse button as far as I know and the post was removed. While this is not a ban, it is indicitive of mods standing up for both sides of the front.

90 posted on 02/14/2003 7:40:25 AM PST by al_c
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To: Kryptonite
"Banning people like CG does the conservative movement far more damage than good."

I agree, he just doesn't think this is a just war and his vitriol got him in hot water.

I do think it is a just war. And I think it fits the just war theory but I understand with the oil/currency issue among others, why some are questioning it.
91 posted on 02/14/2003 7:45:49 AM PST by Domestic Church ( could be worse, it could be Gore.)
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Comment #92 Removed by Moderator

To: al_c
I know at least one of the Admin Moderators is a Catholic, and is fair handed.

However, I also know that at least one is rabidly anti-Catholic, and gleefully censors Catholics/Catholic threads by banishing them to the Religion Forum and other abuses of their censorship powers.

The fact that they do it routinely leads me to believe Jim Robinson approves of their anti-Catholic censorship.

And the fact that One_Particular_Harbour, now known as the consumate anti-Catholic bigot Chancellor Palpatine, provides legal counsel to Free Republic, solidifies my opinion that this Forum has become institutionally anti-Catholic.

93 posted on 02/14/2003 7:48:37 AM PST by Polycarp
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To: Polycarp; american colleen
Polycarp: I totally agree with your post #80.

AmericanColleen: Well, we almost got Gore. But we didn't: instead we got Homeland Security,* due in great part to the perception of Mr. Bush as "one of us."

Hillary can't WAIT to go to work implementing it! Don't forget, "terrorist" is a broadly defined term therein.

Bush's election meant everyone went to sleep because of the perception that we're in safe hands. NOT

to say nothing of the unconstitutional NoChildLeftBehindAct that is a socialist's dream. Also, he caved on the cloning issue--there are no longer federal limits on the embryos which can be experimented on. And did he overturn ONE of Clinton's executive orders? The forests still burned, the sale of supercompers to China was expandad by his order, no one was brought to justice (including the outrageous Clinton pardons), we got China in the WTO...

94 posted on 02/14/2003 7:53:15 AM PST by attagirl
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To: Siobhan; Polycarp
CatholicGuy was banned because he too is an outspoken, conservative, and thoughful Catholic, just as I too was banned in the past.

Comparing George W. Bush to Hitler, calling him a "Chiliastic cretin," "dumb," and questioning Bush's integrity and motives for going to war with Iraq will usually get somebody banned around here.

CG's vitriol towards Bush surprised me, as he has managed to keep a lid on his anger as far as the Church and trads are concerned. Apparently, he's a libertarian Buchananite peacenik who would have us sit back and get taken out by terrorists or dictators. Even the action to take out the Taliban was an "unjust war," in his opinion.

He doesn't belong here, at least not politically.

95 posted on 02/14/2003 7:59:51 AM PST by sinkspur
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To: rwfromkansas
you Catholics have your own Bible with uninspired books and don't consider it a one authority.

Uncalled for! You wrongly label every Catholic with this UNTRUE statement. In fact, of the 66 books of the bible YOU believe to be inspired, I would like you to prove each one's inspiration. Else stow it!

Back to the subject at hand: I often agree with Catholicguy, but on this thread I don't. But I refuse to throw any mean-spirited verbiage his way just because he doesn't see things my way. Too bad he got banned. He often times added a lot to FR.

96 posted on 02/14/2003 8:00:17 AM PST by ThomasMore ([1 Pet 3:15-16])
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To: Polycarp; Admin Moderator
So, if you were banned, why are you here again?

And no, I'm not anti-catholic - my grandparents and parent were catholic. I myself am a Baptist, but I still love the heathens in my family...
97 posted on 02/14/2003 8:02:07 AM PST by Chad Fairbanks (We've got, you know, armadillos in our trousers. I mean, it's really quite frightening.)
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To: Domestic Church; Polycarp; Siobhan; Jim Robinson; Catholicguy
Poor CG seemed to be having a tough time being an American.

I don't feel a bit sorry for CatholicGuy. He seems to have a firm grip on the critical difference between citizenship and religion -- which is more than I can say for the packs of yelping cretins I see around here. In his defenestration, he's been spared the anguish of having to choose between faith and political viability.

Perhaps one day CatholicGuy will learn the value of circumspection and prudence.

I hope not. I salute him.

98 posted on 02/14/2003 8:03:17 AM PST by Romulus
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To: Polycarp
This war will be the beginning of the transformation of America into third world insignificance.

This is a wish on your part, I see.

You'd better hope to hell not.

Podiatry is not a thriving practice in third-world countries.

99 posted on 02/14/2003 8:09:59 AM PST by sinkspur
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To: rwfromkansas

"In terms of population alone, a high percentage of the pre-revolutionary American colonies were of Puritan-Calvinist background. There were around three million persons in the thirteen original colonies by 1776, and perhaps as many as two-thirds of these came from some kind of Calvinist or Puritan connection" (Douglas F. Kelly, The Emergence of Liberty in the Modern World — (Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R Publishing, 1992), p. 120.

"The U.S. Constitution is a Calvinist's document through and through."

And because of that, they made sure that in America, one man’s liberty will not depend upon another man’s (religious) conscience (as in Europe)!

Dr. George Bancroft, arguably the most prominent American historian of the 19th century — and not a Calvinist — stated:

"He who will not honor the memory and respect the influence of Calvin knows but little of the origin of American liberty"

The 55 Framers (from North to South):

John Langdon, Congregationalist (Calvinist)
Nicholas Gilman, Congregationalist (Calvinist)
Elbridge Gerry, Episcoplian (Calvinist)
Rufus King, Episcopalian (Calvinist)
Caleb Strong, Congregationalist (Calvinist)
Nathaniel Gorham, Congregationalist (Calvinist)
Roger Sherman, Congregationalist (Calvinist)
William Samuel Johnson, Episcopalian (Calvinist)
Oliver Ellsworth, Congregationalist (Calvinist)
Alexander Hamilton, Episcopalian (Calvinist)
John Lansing, Dutch Reformed (Calvinist)
Robert Yates, Dutch Reformed (Calvinist)
William Patterson, Presbyterian (Calvinist)
William Livingston, Presbyterian (Calvinist)
Jonathan Dayton, Episcopalian (Calvinist)
David Brearly, Episcopalian (Calvinist)
William Churchill Houston, Presbyterian (Calvinist)
Benjamin Franklin, Christian in his youth, Deist in later years, then back to his Puritan background in his old age (his June 28, 1787 prayer at the Constitutional Convention was from no "Deist")
Robert Morris, Episcopalian, (Calvinist)
James Wilson, probably a Deist
Gouverneur Morris, Episcopalian (Calvinist)
Thomas Mifflin, Lutheran (Calvinist-lite)
George Clymer, Quaker turned Episcopalian (Calvinist)
Thomas FitzSimmons, Roman Catholic
Jared Ingersoll, Presbyterian (Calvinist)
John Dickinson, Quaker turned Episcopalian (Calvinist)
George Read, Episcopalian, (Calvinist)
Richard Bassett, Methodist
Gunning Bedford, Presbyterian (Calvinist)
Jacob Broom, Lutheran
Luther Martin, Episcopalian, (Calvinist)
Daniel Carroll, Roman Catholic
John Francis Mercer, Episcopalian (Calvinist)
James McHenry, Presbyterian (Calvinist)
Daniel of St Thomas Jennifer, Episcopalian (Calvinist)
George Washington, Episcopalian (Calvinist; no, he was not a deist)
James Madison, Episcopalian (Calvinist)
George Mason, Episcopalian (Calvinist)
Edmund Jennings Randolph, Episcopalian (Calvinist)
James Blair, Jr., Episcopalian (Calvinist)
James McClung, ?
George Wythe, Episcopalian (Calvinist)
William Richardson Davie, Presbyterian (Calvinist)
Hugh Williamson, Presbyterian, possibly later became a Deist
William Blount, Presbyterian (Calvinist)
Alexander Martin, Presbyterian/Episcopalian (Calvinist)
Richard Dobbs Spaight, Jr., Episcopalian (Calvinist)
John Rutledge, Episcopalian (Calvinist)
Charles Cotesworth Pinckney, III, Episcopalian (Calvinist)
Abraham Baldwin, Congregationalist (Calvinist)
William Leigh Pierce, Episcopalian (Calvinist)
William Houstoun, Episcopalian (Calvinist)
William Few, Methodist

Even some "four score"-odd years later, the supposedly "non-christian" Abraham Lincoln offered the positively Biblical and very Reformed covenantal view of the Sovereign of the Nations and Ruler of history:

"It is the duty of nations, as well as of men, to own their dependence upon the overruling power of God, to confess their sins and transgressions in humble sorrow, yet with assured hope that genuine repentance will lead to mercy and pardon. And to recognize the sublime truth announced in the Holy Scriptures and proven by all history, that those nations are blessed whose God is the Lord." (Abraham Lincoln, Lincoln's Thanksgiving Proclamation, October 3, 1863. bold emphasis mine).

by Stephen L. Corrigan -

The founders of the United States of America believed that all men were created with equal authority. Thus they declared the following principle as the foundation of their political union. They said:

" We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.

That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.

That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness."

The founders also believed that this concept of equal authority was taught in the Bible. They used Sir Walter Blackstone’s Commentary on Law to explain and illustrate this Biblical concept. The following is from Blackstone's "Commentary on Law" concerning the equality of mankind at creation:

"If man were to live in a state of nature, unconnected with other individuals, there would be no occasion for any other laws, than the law of nature, and the law of God. Neither could any other law possibly exist; for a law always supposes some superior who is to make it; and in a state of nature we are all equal, without any other superior but him who is also the author of our being."

This phrase "law of nature" was explained by Blackstone a little earlier in his "Commentary on Law" in the following manner:

"This law of nature, being coeval with mankind and dictated by God himself, is of course superior in obligation to any other. It is binding over all the globe in all countries, and at all times; no human laws are of any validity, if contrary to this: and such of them as are valid derive all their force, and all their authority, mediately or immediately, from this original."

The founders identified the 13 colonies of their union as "Free Protestant". As Protestants, their Declaration in 1776 that "all men are created equal (in authority) " was consistent with the doctrine of their founder, the man who first openly protested the hierarchy of men (the pope and priests in the Roman Chatholic Church) over Christians. His name was Martin Luther. He was a Roman Catholic priest from Germany who began the "Protestant Reformation". He stated the following:

"I say, then, neither pope, nor bishop, nor any man whatever has the right of making one syllable binding on a Christian man, unless it be done with his own consent.

Whatever is done otherwise is done in the spirit of tyranny...I cry aloud on behalf of liberty and conscience, and I proclaim with confidence that no kind of law can with any justice be imposed on Christians, except so far as they themselves will; for we are free from all."

As Protestant Christians, the founders believed that all Christians were in a covenant relationship with God the Father made possible through Jesus Christ. Because of that covenant, they felt that every Christian was obligated to follow at least the minimum of God 's Revealed Will (THE TEN COMMANDMENTS) found in His Holy printed Word. This belief was to be the foundation for order in all communities in America. This belief that God revealed his will directly to all believers regardless of sex was later known by the Free Protestants who came to America in 1620 as the "Priesthood of the Believer".

By accepting God's precepts as the standard for their consciences, they believed that God alone gave them liberty.

Because dictionaries did not exist at the time of the Declaration of Independence, the only way one could determine how Liberty in America was defined both religiously and politically was to look at the only religious source that was to be accepted by all free Protestants. Once that source was determined and an examination of the political documents that had been written at that time had been made, it was a very simple task to determine how the founders applied their religious liberty politically. The only religious book at that time was the "The King James Version" of the Bible.

Let us see how Liberty is defined in this version of the Holy Scriptures. It is found in Psalms 119:45 :

"And I will walk at liberty: for I seek thy precepts."

Because the founders were "free Protestant" concerning their view of the Gospel and how it was to be spread in the world, they adopted a form of political union for their colonies that was taken from the Old World. It was not inconsistent with their religious views concerning associations. The type of political Union that was adopted by the first colonies in America was the "Confederation". This type of union allowed them to unite as a single union FOR SECURITY but allowed them to retain their right of sovereignty as Christians and their right of sovereignty to exist as 'free Protestant" colonies.

The first Confederation was formed in 1643. As we examine a portion of their Charter , we can gain a clear view of how they viewed their religious liberty politically. Again because there were no dictionaries at that time, this is the only source to see how liberty was view in America.

It proves beyond the shadow of a doubt that they continued the belief of the pilgrims identifying God not man as the author and giver of their liberties.

The following portion in that Charter clearly reflects the purpose of the American Confederation and souce of their Liberties. This, by the way is the same Confederation that fought the Revolutionary War:

Whereas we all came into these parts of America with one and the same end and aim, namely, to advance the Kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ and to enjoy the liberties of the Gospel in purity with peace;

For our founders, one man’s liberty did not rest upon another man’s conscience. Each citizen had the right to program his conscience according to the standards he felt were true and to live his life as his conscience dictated in his pursuit for happiness. Again Blackstone speaks on the subject of pursuing happiness.

"For he (God) has so intimately connected, so inseparably inter-woven the laws of eternal justice with the happiness of each individual that the latter cannot be attained but by observing the former; and, if the former be punctually obeyed, it cannnot but induce the latter."

They believed that God gave life to all men and with that life the opportunity to follow him. As believers, they believed that they had a responsibility to protect the lives and liberties of their fellow Americans against all tyranny and that each citizen should have the right as a priest to pursue happiness according to the dictates of his own conscience.

"League of Friendship" identified the religious and political principles that were in their Confederation as colonies. Those same principles are identified when they again refer to their Confederation of free States as a"League of Friendship" (see Articles of the Confederation). As Christians, they defined the obligation of their sacred friendship in the following manner. In John 15:13 of the New Testament, Jesus made this statement to his followers:

"Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends."

Those founders considered the cost of belonging to the Union that they had created and determined that the treasure for their children was well worth the price. Thus they asked God for the following condition as they pledged their support to one another to protect the Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness of their fellow Americans. They asked God to keep them honest by holding them accountable for what they were about to pledge. They then pledged the following:

"We, therefore, the Representatives of the United States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by the authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare:

That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do.

And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.

Rights of Conscience is the foundation of American Politics. Many Christians in America were worried at the time when the U.S. Constitution was passed and feared that their right to let God govern their conscience might be replaced by the authority given to Congress as the U.S. Constitution was ratified. Thomas Jefferson was aware of their concerns and wrote the following:

"No provision in our Constitution ought to be dearer to man than that which protects the rights of conscience against the power of its public functionaries..."

(Thomas Jefferson in a letter to the Methodist Episcopal Church at New London, Connecticut, Feb. 4, 1809).

In America, one man’s liberty is not dependent upon another man’s conscience!

100 posted on 02/14/2003 8:18:54 AM PST by Matchett-PI (Male pacifists have been feminized-Pacifism doesn't come *naturally* to MEN.)
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