In a recent interview, President Bush tipped his hand a bit with respect to his own faith in God and understanding of the Bible. When asked whether he believed that the Bible is literally true, he replied, “You know. Probably not.... No, I'm not a literalist, but I think you can learn a lot from it, but I do think that the New Testament for example is ... has got ... You know, the important lesson is ‘God sent a son.’”
Umm, why do American evangelicals insist on demanding that our president be Christian again? No, seriously: why? For eight years we heard how devout our leader was, how he was convinced that God had chosen him to lead the people into blessing, how God told him to invade Iraq, et cetera. But from the portions of the interview that I have read it does not appear that President Bush has a clear grasp of what the gospel even is. “The important lesson of the New Testament is that God sent a son”? How is that a lesson in the first place? What moral truism is our president’s “favorite philosopher” trying to teach us here? That we, too, should “send our sons”? Maybe to Baghdad?
And the reality is that John McCain was about forty rungs below Bush on the whole Christianity ladder (I don’t recall him mentioning his faith once during his campaign). And for my own part I don’t fault him for this at all, but would prefer our elected officials tout their experience, their grasp of the issues, and their actual policies instead of their faith.
Especially when their faith is in a God who sent his Son to teach us a lesson (one that we probably could have learned from William Bennett’s Book of Virtues).