President George W. Bush was born in New Haven, Connecticut. He is the son of another former president, George Bush, Sr.
Bush was raised in a protestant home that ping-ponged between being Presbyterian and Episcopalian. However, in 1985, Bush had a change of heart. He quit drinking alcohol and, because of the inspiration of evangelical Billy Graham, “found God” and joined the United Methodist Church.1
Bush has spoken about the influence of his faith on the decisions he made as president, saying:
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.2
You can just imagine America’s atheists thinking: ‘Maybe asking your imaginary friend what you should do as leader of the world’s most powerful country isn’t such a good idea.’ But hey, everything worked out just fine, didn’t it?
Politics of a president
Looking back at the Bush administration, it kind of seems like he was just a regular Republican conservative that was just winging it as he went along. In his defense, he had a lot of major challenges during his term, from 9/11 to Hurricane Katrina. And it is easy to look backwards and say what someone should or should not have done.
But certainly the running theme is: “That was a bad idea.”
His reaction to 9/11 was to go to war with countries that had little or nothing to do with that event. Katrina was a botched job, and Bush even admitted it.3
During his term, there was regular imprisonment and torture of foreign nationals with little or no evidence against them.4 In fact, Bush had to cancel a trip to Switzerland because there was worry that Swiss authorities were going to have him arrested and tried for war crimes having to do with international agreements on torture.5
There was, of course, the PATRIOT Act,6 Abu Ghraib,7 and clear connections to oil companies and giant corporations that made millions upon millions of dollars with contracts with the federal government.8
Unfortunately, the list goes on from poor economic policy to hindering life-saving advances in science.9 Most Americans with a rational bone in their body would prefer to pretend that the Bush administration never happened. But what does Bush have to say about it?
I’d do it again to save lives.10
Well, that’s nice.
- Religion of George W. Bush, U.S. President. Adherents. [↩]
- George W. Bush On Faith. Beliefnet. [↩]
- President Bush concedes mistakes during Katrina, but says fed action not slow. Nola. [↩]
- George W Bush should be prosecuted over torture, says human rights group. Theguardian. [↩]
- George W. Bush Cancels Swiss Trip as Rights Activists Vow War Crimes Charges. Abcnews. [↩]
- Patriot Act. Wikipedia. [↩]
- General who probed Abu Ghraib says Bush officials committed war crimes. Mcclatchy. [↩]
- Bush, Cheney, and Halliburton. Tripod. [↩]
- Human Embryonic Stem Cell Policy Under Former President Bush. Nih. [↩]
- ‘I’d do it again’ former President Bush tells Grand Rapids crowd about waterboarding terrorists. Mlive. [↩]