Beliefnet News

(RNS) President Bush says he prays in the Oval Office and his faith has changed his life but he can’t say if God chose him to be president, ABC News reports.
“I just, I can’t go there,” Bush said in an interview that aired Monday (Dec. 8) on “Nightline.” “I’m not that confident in knowing, you know, the Almighty, to be able to say, `Yeah, God wanted me of all the other people.”‘
Speaking at length about his beliefs, the president said he’s “not a literalist” when reading the Bible and he “would have been a pretty selfish person” without his faith. He also thinks belief in God and evolution are not mutually exclusive.
“I happen to believe that evolution doesn’t fully explain the mystery of life,” he said.
The president said he thinks he prays to the same God as others with different faiths, but that doesn’t include terrorists.
“I think anyone who murders to achieve their religious objective is not a religious person,” he said. “They may think they’re religious, and they play like they’re religious, but I don’t think they’re religious.
They are not praying to the God I pray to … the God of peace and love.”
He also said that going to war in Iraq “was not a religious decision.”
Bush hopes President-elect Barack Obama will continue aspects of his White House Office of Faith-based and Community Initiatives.
“I think he knows that in certain communities, in order to help achieve a national objective there needs to be something more powerful than government, and you can find that there’s something more powerful than government on nearly every street corner, in a house of worship,”
he said.
As he looks beyond the presidency, he said he would strive to stay on the Christian walk, endeavoring to continue to learn about his faith.
“I’ve come to this conclusion — maybe I’m wrong, I don’t know — that the full understanding of Christianity is going to take a full lifetime of study,” he said.
By Adelle M. Banks
Religion News Service

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