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The President's Public Expression of Religion
In his major speeches to the nation, President Bush frequently invokes God and uses religious language in talking about America's mission in the world and its battle against enemies. Here are selections from those speeches.

- Excerpts that deal with America having a mission and a special calling

 

+ The Inaugural Address, January 20, 2001

"I can pledge our nation to a goal: When we see that wounded traveler on the road to Jericho, we will not pass to the other side. ...

After the Declaration of Independence was signed, Virginia statesman John Page wrote to Thomas Jefferson: 'We know the race is not to the swift nor the battle to the strong. Do you not think an angel rides in the whirlwind and directs this storm?' ...

This work continues. This story goes on. And an angel still rides in the whirlwind and directs this storm."

 

+ Speech to Joint Session of Congress and theCountry, September 20, 2001.

"Great harm has been done to us.We have suffered great loss.And in our grief and anger we have found our mission and our moment.Freedom and fear are at war.The advance of human freedom -- the great achievement of our time, and the great hope of every time -- now depends on us....

The course of this conflict is not known, yet its outcome is certain.Freedom and fear, justice and cruelty, have always been at war, and we know that God is not neutral between them."

 

+ President's Remarks to the Nation, September 11, 2002

"I believe there is a reason that history has matched this nation with this time. America strives to be tolerant and just. We respect the faith of Islam, even as we fight those whose actions defile that faith. We fight, not to impose our will, but to defend ourselves and extend the blessings of freedom.

We cannot know all that lies ahead. Yet, we do know that God had placed us together in this moment, to grieve together, to stand together, to serve each other and our country. And the duty we have been given -- defending America and our freedom -- is also a privilege we share.

We're prepared for this journey. And our prayer tonight is that God will see us through, and keep us worthy.

Tomorrow is September the 12th. A milestone is passed, and a mission goes on. Be confident. Our country is strong. And our cause is even larger than our country. Ours is the cause of human dignity; freedom guided by conscience and guarded by peace. This ideal of America is the hope of all mankind."

 

+ The State of the Union Address, January 28, 2003

"Our fourth goal is to apply the compassion of America to the deepest problems of America. For so many in our country -- the homeless and the fatherless, the addicted -- the need is great. Yet there's power, wonder-working power, in the goodness and idealism and faith of the American people. ...

Across the Earth, America is feeding the hungry -- more than 60 percent of international food aid comes as a gift from the people of the United States. As our nation moves troops and builds alliances to make our world safer, we must also remember our calling as a blessed country is to make this world better.

Americans are a free people, who know that freedom is the right of every person and the future of every nation. The liberty we prize is not America's gift to the world, it is God's gift to humanity."

 

+ State of the Union Address, January 20, 2004

"We also hear doubts that democracy is a realistic goal for the greater Middle East, where freedom is rare. Yet it is mistaken, and condescending, to assume that whole cultures and great religions are incompatible with liberty and self-government. I believe that God has planted in every human heart the desire to live in freedom. And even when that desire is crushed by tyranny for decades, it will rise again. ...

"America is a nation with a mission, and that mission comes from our most basic beliefs. We have no desire to dominate, no ambitions of empire. Our aim is a democratic peace -- a peace founded upon the dignity and rights of every man and woman. America acts in this cause with friends and allies at our side, yet we understand our special calling: This great republic will lead the cause of freedom."

- Excerpts dealing with America's battle between good and evil, light and darkness

 

+ Address to the Nation, September 11, 2001

"America was targeted for attack because we're the brightest beacon for freedom and opportunity in the world. And no one will keep that light from shining. ...

Tonight, I ask for your prayers for all those who grieve, for the children whose worlds have been shattered, for all whose sense of safety and security has been threatened. And I pray they will be comforted by a power greater than any of us, spoken through the ages in Psalm 23: 'Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me.'"

 

+ Remarks at National Day of Prayer and Remembrance, National Cathedral, September 14, 2001

"Just three days removed from these events, Americans do not yet have the distance of history.But our responsibility to history is already clear: to answer these attacks and rid the world of evil."

 

+ Address to a Joint Session of Congress and the American People, September 20, 2001

"On September the 11th, enemies of freedom committed an act of war against our country. ...

Our nation -- this generation -- will lift a dark threat of violence from our people and our future."

 

+ State of the Union Address, January 29, 2002

"Those of us who have lived through these challenging times have been changed by them. We've come to know truths that we will never question: evil is real, and it must be opposed."

 

+ Remarks to the Nation, Ellis Island, September 11, 2002

"Ours is the cause of human dignity; freedom guided by conscience and guarded by peace. This ideal of America is the hope of all mankind. That hope still lights our way. And the light shines in the darkness. And the darkness will not overcome it."

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posted april 29, 2004

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