Is President Bush a Christian?

Miss Dagurreotype challenges me to comment on the video embedded in a recent post on her blog http://dagurreotype.blogspot.com/2006/11/found-on-youtube.html

This is an English pastor addressing at some length the question above. I have some problems with his Type 1/2/3 analysis – it seems an odd framework to put around the question and the conclusion [that George Bush is emphatically not a Christian] seems to arise entirely from questions about the nature of his personal relationship with Jesus. But he leaves out all the other questions which might arise from asking whether the fruits of the spirit are present in George Bush’s life – the love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, etc.
I have spent too much of my life being myself reported as ‘not being a Christian’ in the Northern Ireland context – so I am very reluctant to get into the same stuff in relation to George Bush.

But – in response to Miss D – I am prepared to nail my colours to my crozier and say that there are two [only two?] aspects of what Dubya says and does which seem to me to be sub-Christian. The first is the demonisation of others – as in ‘axis of evil’. That general dehumanisation and demonisation of others is for me the absolute antithesis of what Jesus both taught [love your enemies] and did [eating and drinking with publicans and sinners]. The second is one of which I have no direct evidence – but it is widely reported. That is his refusal ever to admit to being wrong. Yes I do it too – guilty as charged! But it seems to me to be of the essence of the Christian soul that I acknowledge my individual responsibility for what I do and what goes wrong – and my part in the fallen-ness of humanity [Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you….]. That humility becomes the foundation of my ability to relate to others. How can anyone relate to those who believe that they are never wrong?  For they become sub-human.  Yet the heart of the discipleship journey is that we become more authentically human – closer to the image of God in which we were made.

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3 Responses to Is President Bush a Christian?

  1. Tim says:

    Yes, I think his approach is rather simplistic, at best. It makes an interesting exercise trying to pin specific logical fallacies on his monologue.
    His view of “Christian” seems limited to those of a mostly evangelical persuasion. Of his types, I wouldn’t rule someone out for being “type 2” (“experienced initial salvation” (whatever that means) “but the issue is sovreignty”) and I’d think some Christians wind up in “type 3” through circumstances as well.

    He doesn’t have much evidence of GWB’s private life to be going on with – the media clings onto a handful of events and statements and then others take it further from there.

    His spiel is itself exclusivist.

  2. Ian says:

    Jim Rea in Northern Ireland used to make jokes about defining evangelicals, “an evangelical is a person whom other evangelicals say is an evangelical”.

    There is a similar circularity in this guy’s arguments. What’s a Christian? “A Christian is a person whom people like me define as a Christian”

  3. I’m on the south Texas coast (77F & Mostly Sunny) for that great food-centric US Holiday – Thanksgiving (it was yesterday). I had a chance to check some of my favorite blogs today. Thanks for the comments. I edited my original post to link to your post.

    Oh speaking of Thanksgiving – the first one wasn’t in 1621 New England, that was the third, nor was the first at Jamestown, they had the second celebration of Thanksgiving in what is now the US in 1607 (though that was the first one with Anglicans present and the menu was reportedly similar to the first). The first celebration of Thanksgiving in what is now the US was in 1541 somewhere in what is now west Texas on the rim of a canyon. The menu was limited to bread and wine and Latin was the language spoken around the “table” at that first Thanksgiving. Just thought I’d explain how Thanksgiving started in Texas while I was at it.

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