In Bob Woodward’s new book, Plan of Attack, reference is made to how President Bush prayed “for the strength to do the Lord’s will” when he committed the nation to war. According to Woodward, Bush did not seek “to justify war based upon God,” but he did look for guidance.
In an interview with the Christian Science Monitor yesterday, here is how presidential contender Ralph Nader characterized Bush’s remarks: “We are dealing here with a basically unstable president…. We are dealing with a messianic militarist. A messianic militarist, under our constitutional structure, is an unstable office-holder. Talk about separation of church and state: It is not separated at all in Bush’s brain, and this is extremely disturbing.”
In today’s Washington Post, columnist Richard Cohen picks up on this subject by saying that Bush is convinced that he is “a servant of God and history.” In today’s Philadelphia Inquirer, a Catholic University professor, John Kenneth White, is quoted as saying that Bush is “coming to the very edge” of the “very fine line between church and state.”
Catholic League president William Donohue sees things differently:
“Bush mentions Jesus as his favorite philosopher, and the secularists go mad. The president turns to God for wisdom, and the elites get nervous. There is more than a phobia at work here—it’s a deep-seated hostility to any public expression of religion. And demagoguery: Nader is not decent enough to simply disagree with Bush; he must label him as unstable. As for the ‘messianic militarist’ tag, Nader should be careful: he has done more to earn his stripes as a messianic militarist—in service to the Leviathan—than any American.
“Separation of church and state has nothing to do with ‘God talk.’ In fact, the First Amendment guarantees freedom of speech and freedom of religion. And that is why attempts to censor the free speech rights of any candidate for public office must be resisted. Persons of faith, comprising 94 percent of Americans, will not be silenced in this election.”