The Jesus Factor [home]
homeview onlinepresident and his faithevangelicalsdiscussion
 photo of the president and first lady reading from the bible
  join the discussion: What are your  thoughts on President Bush's religious faith and its impact  on his life and  political leadership?


I really enjoyed the program, thank you for presenting the facts. I know many people think that G.W.B is very out spoken about his faith and somehow think this is someting new in American presidents, its not! read the writings and speeches of some early presidents I.E. Abrham LInclon..

ray narcisse
santa ana , ca


I think the report over-emphasizes the religious element in Bush's decision-making. The WAr on Terror can be seen as an attempt to make the world and the country safer by eliminating the forces of international terrorism. The war in Iraq can be seen as a strategic part of that larger struggle. I do happen to think that terrorism, the targeting of innocent civilians, is evil, but it is also an actual, material threat to all civilized societies on this earth. One does not need to be a religious crusader to fight against Osama or Saddam.

A courageous atheistic president might well have done most of the things Bush has done - including giving religion-based social service agencies access to government funding for non-religious activities. I'm sure Bush's faith is a part of his decision-making, but let's be careful not to see it as the only element in his thinking.

Tom Carnicelli
York Harbor, Maine


Thankyou for your insightful thought proviking program.

The irony of the fanatical evangical views with those of our supposed "terrorist" enemies is striking.

Seek to understand before trying to be understood.

What if there was no God, no Alah, no Buddha. What if this is all a genetic predisposition. A means for the survival of our species. To believe in a higher power is obviously an instinctual survival mechanism. In our modern age of frighteningly destructive weapons, we collectively have chosen to use these "tools" to make our religious statements. If love and unity was anyone's message in the past it certainly has been twisted and disorted by our political leaders for their own personal advancement.

John Howard


This man, this administration, is frightening. I fear the Muslim world may be right: Bush believes he is fighting a religious war. I was merely suspicious before, but now am certain: George Bush is the antichrist.

Wade Keenon
Wilsonville, OR


Thank You for a most fair depiction of President refreshing! In todays biased reporting it is most difficult to discern the truth. If only the networks realized how we long for this type of broadcasting.
Someone said "America was founded upon freedom of religion." Isn't it also true that America was founded to guarantee religious freedom? That means the freedom to believe in God and follow His commandments or to have no faith or somewhere in between....

Give me a man who isn't afraid to speak what he believes and who doesn't pick and choose among those articles of faith required to follow Christ and he will have my vote. All other "so called Christians" may be imposters. Jesus said, " The road is narrow and few there are that find it." President Bush has been allowed by God to be President...his job is to be as wise as a serpent, humble, loving, caring and forgiving. Our job is to pray for him.

And please don't forget that all of our major colleges, universitys and hospitals were founded by Godly men.. our country was strong because of their hard work and caring. Washington and Lincoln were God fearing men...and God blessed America. Do we want God out of our lives and our seems we are progressing down a slippery slope and we could reap the whirlwind!

Ann White
Dayton,, Ohio


An excellent program and web based follow-up. Judging from the "spirited" discussion, the program was balanced and clearly stimulated the important discussion of the interplay of religion in political leaders (e.g. the Bush Presidents) and how a democracy accepts or rejects them.

What better way to show the power of our democracy than to highlight the competing views of what religious freedom is and whether it can be separated from the individual who is elected to govern.

Well done!

Garen Wisner
Cincinnati, Ohio


Thank you for airing this program. I am always amazed at how 10 people can see the same incident but still have such different views of what actually went on. (In this case millions)

I do thank God for our President. Because we live in America we can agree to disagree about our President without someone coming to take us away to never be seen. But see here is the point. President Bush is a Christian. No matter where you are in the world no one wants you to say anything about Jesus Christ!(Except Christians) That is the real issue. You can pray to anything and worship anyone but don't say anything about Jesus and how He can change your life. I appreciate President Bush and I appreciate you for the time you spent giving a balanced report.

BriGette McCoy
Atlanta, Georgia


It disturbs me greatly that in trying to make "the right choices", George Bush and perhaps the Evangelicals he seems to champion, disinfranchise the millions of other Americans whose concept of "the right choices" is not only equally as valid, but equally as beneficial to the public.

It is certainly contrary to the U.S. Constitution, biased and a disservice to our way of life to offer funds only to faith based Christian social programs.I would have championed such intiatives had you not pointed that bias out to me in your program. Thanks you for shedding that much needed light into this arena.

Nancie Clark
Savannah, GA


wow, i usually post negavie comments about bush in my local public online forums... but i am impressed with bush tonight..

i suppose its because i better understand bush.

David Rosenthal


Should it be obvious that our government's policies are shaped by religion? It deeply saddens me to think the seperation of church and state was too idealistic of an idea to survive. Maybe one day an objective view will dominate our political spectrum. Until then we will have to settle for PBS, NPR and the hope of a Kerry Mcain ticket to help us out.

Dan Bromberg
Burlington, Vermont


I appreciated the program and I like GW Bush more after watching it.

I don't think "evil" will ever be eradicated by war and don't believe you can come to that idea from Jesus' words. Things are terribly complicated. We would like to export our understanding and blessings of freedom and democracy, but it doesn't seem to work everywhere --

Opal Denk


Knowing that this country has a president who considers the bible to be his guide restores my faith in this country.

I have been down on Bush until I saw the Jesus factor. We need desperately to get back on the right track and Bush is leading us in the right direction. Though he has made mistakes, he is only human. I believe that all faiths should be considered though; most do have the bible in common no matter what the interpretation.

Lora England
Alpharetta, GA


I couldnt figure out if you were trying to whip up support for George W or scare us to death.

You certainly scared the willies out of me. Anyone who puts their God before people or who considers themselves able to know what their God wants them to do should not be allowed to govern and this is what GWB seems to do. He is on a crusade. Crusades kill people. How many religious people around the world are already killing other people because they dont believe in the same God or even in the same God in a different way? We do not need the leader of the most powerful nation in the world to be amongst their ranks.

Mark Bremer


I find it very frightening to think that someone in such authority as Pres. Bush believes God has chosen him to be President of the United States. It inhibits any sense of balance in action because no one can argue with someone's God.

The most immediate recollection I have of someone claiming the same right to authority is Oliver Cromwell in 17th century England. That was not a joyful period in the history of that country.

The non-partisan approach of Frontline in all its reporting must be commended.

David Snable
Toronto, Ontario,Canada


I found it strange that in the interviews [published on your web site] with the evangelicals, they attempted to distance themselves from fundamentalists. I still do not see the big difference. Both are intollerant of those who do not sign on to their religious beliefs. I've lived in Texas most of my life and have encountered these types often. They are all smug and very self-righteous.

The fact that non evangelicals have been denied money for their faith-based programs should be a glaring clue as to Jr's real motivations. I wonder if any of the evangelical / fundamentalists Bush supporters have ever given any thought to the fact that the September 11, 2001 attacks on the USA were faith-based initiatives on the part of another man who thinks he was appointed by God.

Vic Farrow
austin, Tx


home · introduction · president and his faith · america's evangelicals · interviews
view online · discussion · producer's chat · links & readings · press reaction · tapes & transcripts
credits · teacher's guide · privacy policy
FRONTLINE home · wgbh · pbsi

posted april 29, 2004

FRONTLINE is a registered trademark of wgbh educational foundation.
photo copyright © brooks kraft/corbis
web site copyright 1995-2014 WGBH educational foundation