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Bush Touts Religious Freedom and US Record at UN

Speaking at the UN Culture of Peace gathering, President Bush emphasized how religious freedom is crucial to a flourishing society. Bush maintained that freedom to worship as you want is "God's gift to every man, woman, and child."

Bush cited the US as an example of how to promote religious freedom:

Our nation has helped defend the religious liberty of others, from liberating the concentration camps of Europe to protecting Muslims in places like Kosovo, Afghanistan, and Iraq. We're not afraid to stand with religious dissidents and believers who practice their faith even where it is unwelcome.

At the meeting billed as an "interfaith" dialogue, the president of Pakistan also spoke out against hate speech, saying: "The imaginary fear of Islam has been rising. This is exactly what the terrorists had hoped to provoke. Those in the West who accept this are falling into the trap of the terrorists."

As this was most likely Bush's last appearance at the UN, do you think he went out with the right message?


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StolzeMama StolzeMama 7 years
I think you are right snow. I don't think you should leave the country. There is plenty room for free thinkers in our society. I wish in general we would not resort to calling names or questioning someones intentions, abut rather speak of the policies of our law makers. On that note, I don't think our country should be changed, and changing it from it's current capitalistic state to something more socialist (and against the constitution) is wrong, and in that situation, if you disagree with that, that would be the only situation in which to leave. I really hope that didnt come out wrong...
snowbunny11 snowbunny11 7 years
Sugasuga- you always have such a Christian way about you, preaching tolerance, love of your neighbor. You remind me of why Christians are the backbone of this country. I love how in a post about Bush touting religious tolerance and freedom, a commenter thinks it's appropriate to say, "When our leaders make references to Him, if you don't like it...leave the country." Really? Simply not liking the theocratic nature of our current administration is enough for someone to think I should leave this country? What if someone doesn't like Obama's environmental policy or something, is the best advice to give them: "leave the country!"?
stephley stephley 7 years
"There have been tons of studies (I don't have them at my fingertips, but can try to find them before I leave work if requested) that link poverty to pre-marital sex before graduating high school (the main point there being with two incomes, it is much easier to raise a family)." Kind of selective about what studies we want to act on aren't we? You question the science linking smog and lung disease, yet when it fits a certain moral theory, the studies are enough without absolute proof. Bristol Palin and Jamie Lynn Spears immediately contradict the poverty pre-marital sex link. And before you can blame premarital sex for general societal breakdown, you'd have to establish when society was at its peak and whether people were telling the truth about premarital intimacy then. Remember, there was a time when teenaged daughters of better families suddenly went away to visit distant relatives for seven-eight months without explanation.
girlA girlA 7 years
They can't worship at home?
kranky kranky 7 years
girlA- I do see your point. But not everyone can afford those schools and freedom to worship IS freedom to worship.
kranky kranky 7 years
TS: deal! (Provided we define educated as graduated from High School.) Glad we solved that problem. I'm expecting headlines in our honor next week. :)
girlA girlA 7 years
I guess for me, it's about the separation of church and state and there are plenty of churches and parochial schools to go around.
StolzeMama StolzeMama 7 years
aI always like to think of the health risks that are associated with birth control, and the cost of healthcare due to STD's. I don't see a problem in teaching abstinence until you are ready to face the consequences of pregnancy,stds, complications etc... And I agree with undave, I don't think it is aimd at you, but it might be good to convince people not to have sex, just to have sex.
True-Song True-Song 7 years
Okay, I can compromise on abstinence until you're educated and providing for yourself.
kranky kranky 7 years
girlA - I am admittedly not up on this issue, but it does seem to fall in line with the 'freedom of religion' thing. Bush is not forcing people to pray. He is advocating that people be ALLOWED to pray.
kranky kranky 7 years
Seriously.. how many "adult" men have you met that act like grown-ups? There would be lots of pent-up men out there if they had to wait until they matured to get somethin'. ;) Back to your question... seems like you are educated and providing for yourself. I don't think that the abstinence-thing is aimed at your market share. There have been tons of studies (I don't have them at my fingertips, but can try to find them before I leave work if requested) that link poverty to pre-marital sex before graduating high school (the main point there being with two incomes, it is much easier to raise a family). So that's an economic reason. There have also been a number of studies that show kids don't use birth control correctly - I dunno, would that be an ADHD reason? Medical? It's not moral. Also, studies have shown that the rising rates of pre-marital sex have led to a general social breakdown. It's a stretch, but some studies tie a lack of sexual restraint to lower graduation rates, higher crime, etc. I realize that's a lot to throw at you with not a lot of back-up material. But, I do think it's a start to thinking about why abstinance is not JUST a moral policy.
StolzeMama StolzeMama 7 years
I think it is funny my comment was deleted, yet many sections of it were used in many other peoples post, but that is ok??? Was it that I felt complaining about Bush stance on gay marriage is completely off thread and against community rules?
True-Song True-Song 7 years
>TS - thanks for the info about the gay marraige ban (I did say, 'To my knowledge...'). Good to know - I certainly won't make THAT argument again. Smiling >There is more to the abstinence stance than just a moral or religious argument. There are reasons to abstain that have nothing to do with sinnin'... it isn't ALL about making women feel guilty about having urges. You're welcome for the info. I'm kosher with most opinions as long as they are rooted in facts. What interest does the government possibly have in my sex life if not moral or religious? Teen sex, okay, but why "abstinence until marriage"? Why not "abstinence until you're a grown up"?
girlA girlA 7 years
"The Bush administration is clearly trying to push the envelope on behalf of prayer in public schools," said AU's Lynn. "Administration lawyers have selectively read case law to come to the conclusions they wanted." http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qa3944/is_200303/ai_n9170697
girlA girlA 7 years
Let's not forget he was all for prayer in public schools.
kranky kranky 7 years
TS - thanks for the info about the gay marraige ban (I did say, 'To my knowledge...'). Good to know - I certainly won't make THAT argument again. :) There is more to the abstinence stance than just a moral or religious argument. There are reasons to abstain that have nothing to do with sinnin'... it isn't ALL about making women feel guilty about having urges.
True-Song True-Song 7 years
>As for Bush making his religion into law - I have to disagree with that sentiment. To my knowledge, Bush has never targeted the gay population, and there is more than religion behind his stance on abortion. Well, in 2004 he called for a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage. I'd say that's targeting the gay population. As for making his religious views into law, he pushed for abstinence-until-marriage education. Which means he thinks government funded schools should be teaching that I as a grown woman should not be having sex with my manfriend. I don't know if his views on abortion are tied to religion. I suspect they are, but I can see how someone would oppose abortions on all kinds of non-religious grounds, so I will concede that one.
kranky kranky 7 years
TS - Thanks for the info about the gag order. You said he reinstated it... who 'instated' it? As for Bush making his religion into law - I have to disagree with that sentiment. To my knowledge, Bush has never targeted the gay population, and there is more than religion behind his stance on abortion.
geebers geebers 7 years
He talks about religious freedom and then says it is "God's gift" ...hmmm
UnDave35 UnDave35 7 years
"Bush didnt make Muslim a bad word, Bad muslims did." Well said CG
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 7 years
Bush didnt make Muslim a bad word, Bad muslims did. I still love you GW!
kranky kranky 7 years
"Further, it's ridiculous to say Islam is the only large religion encouraging violence. First, because Islam does not encourage violence, but second because all major religions have rogue factions that are violent." I'm going to take this opportunity to put some information out there that might help people understand this stereotype better. Islam has five essential pillars (duties and actions), which include things like praying five times a day, giving alms, going to Mecca, etc. The Shi'a (minority) sect have a sixth pillar - jihad. It is important to note that not all Shi'a see jihad as essential to their faith. Jihad is essentially rules for defense of Muslim people and faith. It is very clear about NOT HARMING INNOCENTS and NOT DESTROYING PRODUCTIVE PROPERTY. Unfortunately, jihad has come to mean something very different to us Westerners, and has been used by those rogue factions that TS talked about in a very twisted way. So, to sum things up... yes, the Muslim faith does have tenants or rules for war-making. But clearly, the original (and I will add) most popular understanding of jihad has nothing to do with terrorism whatsoever. Thanks for reading. :)
True-Song True-Song 7 years
I don't care if Bush is personally against birth control or gay people. But it seems ridiculous for him to be talking about religious freedom when he's trying to make the rules of his religion into law. The global gag rule was reinstated by Bush on his first day in office and basically it's that international organizations cannot receive U.S. funds if they disseminate any information on abortions. No referrals, no discussion of the consequences of unsafe abortions, nothing, even where abortion is legal, even if they're not using the U.S. funds for it.
kranky kranky 7 years
I disagree that Americans - and Bush - are anti-Muslim. I clearly remember Bush saying after 9/11 that the terrorists 'hijacked a great religion.' Yes, he has pushed for the 'War on Terror,' but I don't think he has pushed for intolerance against Muslims. Please correct me if I am wrong. As for Americans, maybe it's because I live in a pretty liberal place, but I don't see a lot of anti-Muslim sentiment. I see the Muslim community here thriving, and no one denies their freedom to worship. Yes, intolerance does exist to a small degree, but I would say that it could be a lot worse. Look at Europe. And freedom of religion means freedom to worship in the way you choose. It has nothing to do with being anti-gay, anti-birth control, etc. I am not going to defend Bush's positions, but I do think that some of you are taking his words about out of context for the purpose of complaining about him. FINALLY (sorry this is running long...) TS - what is the 'global gag rule'? I haven't heard of that.
True-Song True-Song 7 years
>And Steph- Muslim is the only large religion in the world right now that (at least some large factions of it)encourages violence in the name of their god. For starters, the religion is called Islam, and its people are Muslim. Further, it's ridiculous to say Islam is the only large religion encouraging violence. First, because Islam does not encourage violence, but second because all major religions have rogue factions that are violent. The misinformation spread in this world is breathtaking.
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