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G.W. Bush, Our Soul-Saving President

Netlore Archive

MIND YOU, I don't question President G.W. Bush's commitment to his religious faith. In his autobiography, A Charge to Keep, co-written by campaign advisor Karen Hughes, Bush described at some length his 1985 spiritual reawakening inspired by Reverend Billy Graham. He has attributed his decision to run for the presidency to a sermon he heard about the story of Moses.

His first actions in office, including the appointment of cabinet members who share his doctrinal views and a ban on U.S. funding for international organizations that support abortion rights, demonstrate a clear intent to apply his personal beliefs to policymaking.

There's no doubting the man's religiosity. What piques my skepticism is the instantaneous formation of folklore surrounding it.

Now, presidents are entitled to their legends. George Washington told the truth about chopping down his father's cherry tree; Abe Lincoln wrote the Gettysburg address on the back of an envelope; Ronald Reagan bravely cracked jokes at death's door after an assassination attempt. But proper presidential legends accrue over time - they're "earned," in a sense. And though they need not be (and often aren't) factual, they ought to be distinguishable from outright hoaxes.

Here's a test case, an email story in circulation since late December depicting George W. Bush's evangelical enthusiasm:

INFO ON OUR NEXT PRESIDENT.

There is a man in our church, Jeff Benoit, who has a friend who served on President Elect Bush's campaign in Austin, and she called him to tell this story.

Last week, Gov. Bush appeared at the thank-you banquet for his campaign staff, and was going table to table to shake hands with the 1000+ campaign volunteers.

He got to one lady, who by a brief comment she made, indicated she was a Christian. She was there with her 16 year old son. Gov. Bush asked him if he was a believer, too. He said he didn't think so. Gov. Bush then asked, "Do you mind if I tell you how I came to know Christ as my Saviour?" The boy agreed, and Gov. Bush pulled up a chair and witnessed to him for 30 minutes, and led him in the sinners prayer!!

Jeff's friend was so choked up, she could hardly tell the story through tears.

Yes, my dear friend, we are living in the end times. How glorious to know that our new president is a man that doesn't feel the political pressure to glad-hand 1000 people, but would take 30 minutes of his precious time to lead a teenager to Christ.

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