Beliefnet

Religion has come up time and time again during this year's campaign. Beliefnet has pulled together a compendium of quotations and speeches on the topic by both major candidates. Here, you'll find things that Republican candidate George W. Bush has said about religion, organized by topic.

Index:

  • Personal faith
  • Religion and the Election
  • Education and Family Values
  • Faith-Based Organizations
  • Catholicism and Other Faiths
  • The Death Penalty
  • Abortion

    Personal Faith:
    On being a "lowly sinner":
    Q: And that notion that you're a lowly sinner, how do you think that affects the way you approach government?
  • Bush: Well, I treat people with respect. I don't feel like I'm better than anybody else. I feel like I have the ability to lead. I wouldn't be seeking the presidency if I wasn't confident that I could do the job.

    Q: So you're not that lowly?

    Bush: Each of us have different talents and--yeah, sinner, not lowly sinner. But you know, I respect other people, and that's what's needed in Washington, D.C., right now. This nation needs somebody to heal some wounds and bring people together. It's too bitter and too divided in Washington. And I think I'm the man to do that.
    Beliefnet.com editor-in-chief Steven Waldman's interview with Bush, October 2000

    On personal faith/compassionate conservatism:
    Q: In what ways did your personal faith affect your notion of what it means to be a compassionate conservative?

    Bush: A lot. A genuine philosophy reflects the experiences of a person. And in my case, I was raised a Christian, recommitted myself to Christ. Got into the Bible. My life changed in many ways. An outward manifestation is I quit drinking. I was a more dedicated, more focused person. Not to say I wasn't a dedicated person beforehand, but it was a life-changing moment.

    I also recognize that a walk is a walk, I mean, it's a never-ending journey. And I've got a lot of imperfections like anybody else. And the more I got into the Bible, the more that admonition "Don't try to take a speck out of your neighbor's eye when you've got a log in your own" becomes more and more true, particularly for those of us in public life. And so my style, my focus, and many of the issues that I talk about, you know, are reinforced by my religion.

    You see, if you believe that we're all sinners, as opposed to you're a sinner and I'm not, then I think it helps you, at least for me. It's made me a better governor. It helps bring people together, and that's what is needed on some very practical issues that the country faces. A classic example is Medicare and prescription drugs.
    Beliefnet.com editor-in-chief Steven Waldman's interview with Bush, October 2000

    On personal faith/ religion:
    Q: How would you describe the change that occurred in your life as a result of your conversion experience?

    Bush: A Bible verse that is important to me is the one that says I shouldn't try to take a speck out of someone else's eye if I have a log in my own. I like that verse because it reminds me that we're all sinners. When you admit you're a sinner, it is recognition that there is a need. And that need, for me, was met through Christ.

    You can be a sinner and live under a bridge. Or you can be a sinner and be the governor of Texas. To me it is an understanding that the human condition requires a power greater than self. In 1986 I came to that realization. I had been raised a Christian, but my faith was reconfirmed in a much more powerful, personal way--because I sought, and I found.

    Regarding my encounter with Billy Graham: He was a messenger. I can't really think of the words he said, but I know he lit a spark inside me that kindled into a flame over time. Billy Graham planted a seed, and then I went back to Midland [Texas] and got involved in Community Bible Study--which is a very active national program. That's when I began to read the Bible every day. Now I seek God's guidance. But of course, as a politician, I am mindful of the fact that my faith doesn't make me better than anyone else.

    How has my faith manifested itself? I am more mindful of the needs of others. I also have a certain confidence about my life. It is not dependent upon material success, or electoral success for that matter. I am going to fight like heck and give this campaign my best shot, and I hope I will be the president. But should it not work out, I understand that there is a force greater than myself--and it gives me great comfort.
    From "God and the Governor," Charisma Magazine interview, August 29, 2000

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