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George W. Bush is one of the most influential presidents of the United States, who improved Americans’ lives in economic, social, healthcare, and spiritual spheres. In 1999, during the presidential debate, Bush said that Christ is the philosopher who changed his life (Rozell and Gleaves 237). Faith played a significant role in his world perception and affected his personal and political decisions. This essay aims to explore the impact of religious beliefs on the life of the forty-third president.
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Although all of the U.S. presidents were Christians, George W. Bush was the one who often included religious remarks in his speeches. At one of the United Nations assemblies, the president stated, “we may profess different creeds and worship in different places, but our faith leads us to common values” (Robinson and Wilcox 238). This political argument reveals that Bush believed that each religion is essential, and if a person has faith, they will build a good partnership with the United States.
George W. Bush’s family belonged to the Episcopal church, the part of old Anglican Communion. The president was not involved in worshipping activities during his young years, but he experienced a life-changing religious transformation in his forties. His father, George H.W. Bush, made Episcopal Church nation’s most prominent worship house during his political career and presidency in the 1980s (Paulsen). Frequent participation in church events turned George W. Bush into a strong believer and forced him to study religious books, postulates, and commandments.
The new knowledge helped him to overcome painful personal life experiences. Bush decided to give up alcohol abuse after finding relief in faith and prayer (Rozell and Gleaves 239). Moreover, he and his wife Laura could not give birth to their children, and adopted the twins, Barbara and Jenna, before they were born. George W. Bush joined Methodist Church soon after getting the daughters and then baptized at Yale’s non-denominational Dwight Hall Chapel (Robinson and Wilcox 253). Through these activities, Bush shared gratefulness and willingness to follow God’s plan. He stated that “in my personal life and in my daily walk, my relationship with God is important, and I believe I can receive strength and sustenance from the Lord by praying to the Lord.” (Rozell and Gleaves 237). He revealed this close connection to the faith in the gubernatorial election of 1994, and his biography admits that his words were sincere.
During his political career, Bush actively shared the church’s values and encouraged citizens to consider faith in everyday life happenings. This approach helped Bush gain vast support from evangelicals during election campaigns, beneficially affecting his ratings (Robinson and Wilcox 234). The forty-third president’s governance was mostly conservative, and his belonging to the Episcopal church influenced the decisions and programs he established. For example, George W. Bush pushed campaigns that praised educational excellence and stimulated faith-based communities (Robinson and Wilcox 236). However, the Christian context of the president’s speeches and regulations did not suit everyone in the country, as one of its values is to respect the diversity of religions.
It is essential to mention that the strong faith influenced George W. Bush’s response to the events of September 11, 2001. The president met the great challenge as a true Christian by staying with the nation and taking the time to help people at Ground Zero. Bush then stated, “please continue praying for the victims of terror and their families; prayer has comforted us in sorrow and will help strengthen us for the journey ahead” in his address to the citizens (Rozell and Gleaves 250). George W. Bush gave this speech on September 20, 2001, and showed how religious belief could unite people during tough times.
The life of the forty-third president and the way Christian beliefs impacted his responses to challenges, political career development, and governance reveal the importance of a person’s spiritual part. Although his conservative presidency meets criticism, many communities and organizations which honor the philosophy of peace and God’s plan appeared with his assistance and still thrive. George W. Bush faithfully baptized through his speeches and campaigns and provided the nation with peace even during the most devastating events.
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Paulsen, David “Bush Remembered as Lifelong Episcopalian with Deep Ties to his Church.” The Episcopal Church, 2018, Web.
Robinson, Carin, and Clyde Wilcox. “The Faith of George W. Bush: The Personal, Practical, and Political.” The Evolving American Presidency, 2018, pp. 233-259.
Rozell, Mark J., and Gleaves Whitney. Religion and the American Presidency. Springer, 2017.