Former U.S. President George W. Bush Affirms His Faith In Jesus Christ

Former U.S. President George W. Bush
Former U.S. President George W. Bush

Though raised Christian by his parents, 41st President of the United States George H.W. Bush and former First Lady Barbara Bush, former U.S. President George W. Bush abandoned much of his religious beliefs quite young in life. After years spent partying and experimenting with drugs, Bush was able to get sober and adopted Evangelical Christianity. As the 43rd President of the United States, Bush was vocal about his religious beliefs, saying, “I trust God speaks through me. Without that, I couldn’t do my job.”

President Bush is a Methodist and has been very open about the role of faith in his life.

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For better or worse, accurately or not, George W. Bush became the face of American evangelical Christianity during his eight-year presidency. From his campaign debate statement that Jesus was the philosopher he identified with the most “because he changed my heart” to his claim that he had “more of a theological perspective” on the Iraq War, Bush’s faith and religious remarks are still discussed at length by pundits and believers alike.

Below are selections from recent speeches and interviews in which he mentions his faith or religious topics.

On God, War, and Freedom
“Freedom is on the march in this world. I believe everybody in the Middle East desires to live in freedom. I believe women in the Middle East want to live in a free society. I believe mothers and fathers want to raise their children in a free and peaceful world. I believe all these things, because freedom is not America’s gift to the world, freedom is the almighty God’s gift to each man and woman in this world.”
Speech in Pennsylvania, October 22, 2004

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“…The God I know is one that promotes peace and freedom. But I get great sustenance from my personal relationship. That doesn’t make me think I’m a better person than you are, by the way. Because one of the great admonitions in the Good Book is, don’t try to take a speck out of your eye if I’ve got a log in my own.”
Interview by Radio and Television Ireland, June 24, 2004

“I believe that God has planted in every human heart the desire to live in freedom. And even when that desire is crushed by tyranny for decades, it will rise again.”
State of the Union Address, January 20, 2004

“The cause we serve is right, because it is the cause of all mankind. The momentum of freedom in our world is unmistakable–and it is not carried forward by our power alone. We can trust in that greater power who guides the unfolding of the years. And in all that is to come, we can know that His purposes are just and true.”
State of the Union Address, January 20, 2004

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“Americans do not presume to equate God’s purposes with any purpose of our own….”[Prayer] teaches us to trust, to accept that God’s plan unfolds in his time, not our own.”
Apology for Abu Ghraib prison scandal, as quoted in the Washington Post, May 7, 2004

Former U.S. President George W. Bush Praying with Jews
Former U.S. President George W. Bush Praying with Jews

On His Personal Faith
“My faith plays a big part in my life. And when I was answering that question what I was really saying to the person was that I pray a lot. And I do. And my faith is a very, it’s very personal. I pray for strength. I pray for wisdom. I pray for our troops in harm’s way. I pray for my family. I pray for my little girls.

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“But I’m mindful in a free society that people can worship if they want to or not. You’re equally an American if you choose to worship an Almighty and if you choose not to. If you’re a Christian, Jew or Muslim you’re equally an American. That’s the great thing about America is the right to worship the way you see fit. Prayer and religion sustain me. I receive calmness in the storms of the presidency. I love the fact that people pray for me and my family all around the country. Somebody asked me one time, how do you know? I said I just feel it.

“Religion is an important part. I never want to impose my religion on anybody else. But when I make decisions I stand on principle. And the principles are derived from who I am. I believe we ought to love our neighbor like we love ourself. That’s manifested in public policy through the faith-based initiative where we’ve unleashed the armies of compassion to help heal people who hurt. I believe that God wants everybody to be free. That’s what I believe. And that’s one part of my foreign policy. In Afghanistan I believe that the freedom there is a gift from the Almighty. And I can’t tell you how encouraged how I am to see freedom on the march. And so my principles that I make decisions on are a part of me. And religion is a part of me.”
Third Presidential Debate, Tempe, AZ, October 13, 2004

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“I am sustained by the prayers of the people in this country. I guess an appropriate way to say this, it’s one of the beautiful things about America and Americans from all walks of life is that they’re willing to pray for the President and his family. And that’s powerful. It’s hard for me to describe to you what that means. It’s–let me just say this: It’s a leap of faith to understand.”
Excerpts from interview with Diane Sawyer, December 16, 2003

On Religion’s Role in Politics
“I wouldn’t pick a judge who said that the Pledge of Allegiance couldn’t be said in a school because it had the words ‘under God” in it. I think that’s an example of a judge allowing personal opinion to enter into the decision-making process, as opposed to strict interpretation of the Constitution.”
Second Presidential Debate, St. Louis, October 8, 2004

“I fully understand it’s important to maintain the separation of church and state. We don’t want the state to become the church, nor do we want the church to become the state.

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“There’s a way to accomplish the separation of church and state, and at the same time, accomplish the social objective of having America become a hopeful place, and a loving place.”
Speech in Washington D.C., June 1, 2004

Former U.S. President George W. Bush
Former U.S. President George W. Bush

“I believe that God wants me to be president.”
According to Richard Land, as quoted in “”Understanding the President and his God”

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“We need common-sense judges who understand our rights were derived from God,” 
As quoted in “”Understanding the President and his God”

“We Americans have faith in ourselves, but not in ourselves alone. We do not know–we do not claim to know all the ways of Providence, yet we can trust in them, placing our confidence in the loving God behind all of life, and all of history.

“May He guide us now. And may God continue to bless the United States of America.
State of the Union Address, January 28, 2003

On Abortion
“I think it’s important to promote a culture of life. I think a hospitable society is a society where every being counts and every person matters. I believe the ideal world is one in which every child is protected in law and welcomed to life. I understand there’s great differences on this issue of abortion. But I believe reasonable people can come together and put good law in place that will help reduce the number of abortions.”
Third Presidential Debate, Tempe, AZ, October 13, 2004

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“We’re not going to spend taxpayers’ money on abortion. This is an issue that divides America. But certainly reasonable people can agree on how to reduce abortions in America.

“I think it is a worthy goal in America to have every child protected by law and welcomed in life. I also think we ought to continue to have good adoption law as an alternative to abortion.”
Second Presidential Debate, St. Louis, October 8, 2004

On Gay Marriage
“I will always stand firm to protect the sanctity of marriage. I believe it is important to work with people to find common ground on difficult issues.”
Speech in Pennsylvania, October 22, 2004

“I think it’s very important that we protect marriage as an institution between a man and a woman. I proposed a constitutional amendment. The reason I did so was because I was worried that activist judges are actually defining the definition of marriage. And the surest way to protect marriage between a man and woman is to amend the Constitution.”
Third Presidential Debate, Tempe, AZ, October 13, 2004

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“I do believe in the sanctity of marriage. …But I don’t see that as conflict with being a tolerant person or an understanding person.”
Excerpts from interview with Diane Sawyer, December 16, 2003

“Our nation must defend the sanctity of marriage. The outcome of this debate is important–and so is the way we conduct it. The same moral tradition that defines marriage also teaches that each individual has dignity and value in God’s sight.”
State of the Union Address, January 20, 2004

On Faith-Based Initiatives
“I believe it is in the national interest that government stand side-by-side with people of faith who work to change lives for the better. I understand in the past, some in government have said government cannot stand side-by-side with people of faith. Let me put it more bluntly, government can’t spend money on religious programs simply because there’s a rabbi on the board, cross on the wall, or a crescent on the door. I viewed this as not only bad social policy — because policy by-passed the great works of compassion and healing that take place — I viewed it as discrimination.”
Speech in Washington D.C., June 1, 2004

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“I’m telling America we need to not discriminate against faith-based programs. We need to welcome them so our society is more wholesome, more welcoming, and more hopeful for every single citizen.”
Speech in Washington D.C., June 1, 2004

“It is the government’s strong desire to empower this fabric, this social fabric of our society where faith-based programs large and small feel empowered, encouraged, and welcomed into changing lives.”
Speech in Washington D.C., June 1, 2004

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“It’s also important to strengthen our communities by unleashing the compassion of America’s religious institutions. Religious charities of every creed are doing some of the most vital work in our country–mentoring children, feeding the hungry, taking the hand of the lonely. Yet government has often denied social service grants and contracts to these groups, just because they have a cross or a Star of David or a crescent on the wall. By executive order, I have opened billions of dollars in grant money to competition that includes faith-based charities. Tonight I ask you to codify this into law, so people of faith can know that the law will never discriminate against them again.”
State of the Union Address, January 20, 2004

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