Though President Bush makes no secret of the influence his faith has on his agenda, rarely has the president mixed the language of faith and God so closely with talk of war and terrorism as he did yesterday in an address to the National Religious Broadcasters convention in Tennessee. Bush defended his actions in Iraq and Afghanistan with a 42-minute address attributing his faith to his foreign policy.
Coming just one day after spritual leaders protested President Bush's veto of limits to US interrogation techniques, his speech tying the war to a spiritual quest could raise eyebrows. In his speech Bush said,
The effects of a free Iraq and a free Afghanistan will reach beyond the borders of those two countries. . . . It will show others what’s possible. And we undertake this work because we believe that every human being bears the image of our maker. That’s why we’re doing this. No one is fit to be a master, and no one deserves to be a slave.
To see how tied "freedom" to God,
. Bush went on to call freedom a “precious gift,” and said, “The liberty we value is not ours alone. Freedom is not America’s gift to the world; it is God’s gift to all humanity.” From the audience came shouts of, “Amen!”
Do you find it difficult to reconcile the two missions? On the one hand Bush has set out to deliver the divine gift of freedom, while on the other refusing to outlaw inhumane treatment of those who might stand in his way. Is it a case of "do as I say, not as I do?" Or, "damned if you do, damned if you don't?"