• Source: Liberty University/YouTube
  • Jeb Bush: If Elected, I Promise My Christian Faith Will Influence How I Govern (Video)

    In a speech at a Christian university Jeb Bush – in vast contrast to a speech delivered by fellow Catholic JFK – said he would let his religious beliefs influence how he governs.

    It is perhaps a stunning marker on the timeline of religious control of the United States.

    Fifty-five years ago then-Senator John F. Kennedy, facing a nation fearing religious control of the White House and a nation that had never elected a Roman Catholic as president, was forced to deliver a speech to the Greater Houston Ministerial Association to reassure the Protestant ministers, and American voters, that he was a strong believer in the separation of church and state and that he would never let his faith govern him as he governed the country.

    WATCH: At Jerry Falwell's Liberty University Jeb Bush Takes Subtle Aim At Same-Sex Marriage

    "I am not the Catholic candidate for president. I am the Democratic Party candidate for president who also happens to be a Catholic. I do not speak for my Church on public matters – and the Church does not speak for me," Kennedy told the solemn and skeptical audience. 

    "I believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute, where no Catholic prelate would tell the president (should he be Catholic) how to act, and no Protestant minister would tell his parishioners for whom to vote; where no church or church school is granted any public funds or political preference; and where no man is denied public office merely because his religion differs from the president who might appoint him or the people who might elect him," Kennedy promised.

    I believe in an America that is officially neither Catholic, Protestant nor Jewish; where no public official either requests or accepts instructions on public policy from the Pope, the National Council of Churches or any other ecclesiastical source; where no religious body seeks to impose its will directly or indirectly upon the general populace or the public acts of its officials; and where religious liberty is so indivisible that an act against one church is treated as an act against all.

    For while this year it may be a Catholic against whom the finger of suspicion is pointed, in other years it has been, and may someday be again, a Jew— or a Quaker or a Unitarian or a Baptist. It was Virginia's harassment of Baptist preachers, for example, that helped lead to Jefferson's statute of religious freedom. Today I may be the victim, but tomorrow it may be you — until the whole fabric of our harmonious society is ripped at a time of great national peril.

    Finally, I believe in an America where religious intolerance will someday end; where all men and all churches are treated as equal; where every man has the same right to attend or not attend the church of his choice; where there is no Catholic vote, no anti-Catholic vote, no bloc voting of any kind; and where Catholics, Protestants and Jews, at both the lay and pastoral level, will refrain from those attitudes of disdain and division which have so often marred their works in the past, and promote instead the American ideal of brotherhood.

    That is the kind of America in which I believe. And it represents the kind of presidency in which I believe — a great office that must neither be humbled by making it the instrument of any one religious group, nor tarnished by arbitrarily withholding its occupancy from the members of any one religious group. I believe in a president whose religious views are his own private affair, neither imposed by him upon the nation, or imposed by the nation upon him as a condition to holding that office.

    Compare those now almost sacred words to the promise Kennedy's fellow Roman Catholic Jeb Bush made today, while speaking also to a religious group: Jerry Falwell's Liberty University, where he delivered the keynote address at this morning's commencement.

    "I am asked sometimes whether I would ever allow my decisions in government to be influenced by my Christian faith,” Bush told the group of 34,000. "Whenever I hear this, I know what they want me to say. The simple and safe reply is, 'No. Never. Of course not.' If the game is political correctness, that’s the answer that moves you to the next round. The endpoint is a certain kind of politician we’ve all heard before – the guy whose moral convictions are so private, so deeply personal, that he even refuses to impose them on himself."


    Image: Screenshot via Liberty University/YouTube

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    • commented 2015-05-10 15:46:41 -0400
      The Christian Dilemma:

      The greatest threat to America, and indeed to the rest of world, at this point in history, comes from the staunch advocates of right wing ideology, and I must submit this warning to you: There is a grave problem with the right wing movement, in that; they seem to possess a distorted sense of entitlement. They’ve set themselves apart, and seem to think that their faith gives them the right to view the world from a platitude of conceit, through condescending eyes, and with a false sense of superiority. They actually believe themselves to be superior beings, with a manifest destiny and some strange notion that God is on their side. A people with a desire to conquer, under the false guise of Christianity, seeking to dominate in the name of Christ, their view of humanity being reduced to nothing more than a matter of “us” and “them”.

      What they fail to realize is; if the Christ you believe in leads you to view other humans as lesser beings, then you are a follower of the anti-Christ. The plain truth is; God doesn’t have a religion and God doesn’t discriminate. Any religion that professes to be the only true religion,or that they‘re special in the eyes of God preaches false doctrine. If the Spirit of God is truly with you, it will only be known by acts of “unconditional” love and charity. No religion can claim exclusive rights to God. He belongs to all that He has created, and to foster a belief in “us” and“them” is to divide humanity, not unite it.

      And so it will be, in The End, that those who have set themselves apart from their fellow man will find that they have set themselves apart from God. The worth of a soul will only be measured by how much it has loved, nothing more, nothing less. Woe to those who have taken the widow’s mite and built castles and empires in His name. They have incurred a great accountability, their suffering will be unending.

      Even Jesus will not claim to be Christian, but will only proclaim the glory of the Father. And when He returns they will shout: “Here we are Lord!” And He will respond: “I never knew you”. They have forsaken the Word and have become prisoners of the Numbers.

      Those who have put themselves first will be last.

    • commented 2015-05-10 15:43:07 -0400
      The Separation Of Church And Hate:

      There is a good reason why Church and State must always remain separate. Let’s get something straight, right from the start: A theocratic state is not a free state, and never will be. I’m sure it was never Jesus’ intention nor His will, that anyone should be dominated in His name, the name of Christ. That is the will of men. To be accurate, the concept in itself is anti-Christian. You can only follow Christ by choice, not by legislation.

      It seems some people are more intent on casting stones at perceived sinners than propagating the love of Christ. ~ “Above all else, I command you love one another”. ~ This was the message that Jesus preached, and as far as I can see, the worth of a soul will only be measured as such. But I can assure you of one thing, when your time of judgment comes, you won’t be asked to recite scripture, but rather, if anything, the question will be; did you get the message and live by it?

      For all of you people out there on the religious right, you should try to remember that looking for sins to condemn, and people to persecute in the name of God, is just Satan’s way of keeping you from seeing what is good and praiseworthy. It’s Satan’s favorite means of deceit; getting people to hate and kill each other in the name of Jesus and God. Twisting scripture to incite hatred and division.

      Understand this; that by doing so, you are defaming the name of Christ, associating Jesus with bigotry and hate. Jesus was never cursed with these feelings, these sins that you commit in His name. It’s widely agreed that He rose above it all, and to use His name for the justification of spreading contempt and hatred for anyone is true heresy. It isn’t Pro-Christ by any means, but clearly Anti-Christ.

    • commented 2015-05-10 06:20:11 -0400
      I am pretty sure Jeb Bush is not Catholic. His brother wasn’t.

    • commented 2015-05-10 01:45:04 -0400
      He didn’t explicitly say it, but it’s not a secret that Texas Republican leaders want to make the US a Christian theocracy. It may not be illegal to be “influenced” by your religion in politics, but it really should be. Certainly should be legal to take someone out of the running the second they imply their religion is their platform.

    • commented 2015-05-10 01:17:23 -0400
      Pleading for Jesus votes like in the Arab world they come to power with Allah votes – Muslim parties. Sad after all the effort Europe put to come out of age of faith to age of reason, these guys are trying to take the world to age of faith and possible conflict between Christianity and Islam.

    • commented 2015-05-09 21:11:08 -0400
      If he’s going to let his Christian Faith influence how he governs does this mean he will stop funding the military and donate that money to the poor, the sick, the elderly? What would Jesus have done?

    • commented 2015-05-09 20:58:40 -0400
      They just can’t help themselves from pandering to the religious right. Its like Christian Tourettes .

    • commented 2015-05-09 20:44:42 -0400
      Jeb is ignoring ArticleVI of the Constitution, as well as the First Amendmant.

    • commented 2015-05-09 20:21:27 -0400
      Ronnie MC – your response is a bunch of s**t! The key word that makes it so is “influence.” If you used the word “require” or “coerce,” you might be coming closer to the truth, but, frankly, it would be a violation of the first amendment to prevent someone’s faith (or lack thereof) from influencing how they tried to govern or what they emphasized in their governing. What’s the sense in having the freedom to practice our religion (or, again, our lack thereof) if it isn’t allowed to influence how we act in the world. JFK said the Catholic Church would not “dictate” public policy, but he did not say his faith would not influence how he governed. Yes, you included the government in your screed, and it would, indeed, be unconstitutional for the government to impose religious requirements on folks of any or no faith. But even there, we have plenty of good laws that originally came out of religious sentiments, which government (legislatures, executives, etc.) found to be worth putting and/or keeping in place,
      I hate it when liberals (and I’m a life-long liberal) say that religion ought not to be a part of the dialogue “because of separation of church and state.” Whatever factors cause a candidate to choose one path over another ought to be completely out there in the open for the electorate to judge. Jeb Bush ought to put out there all of his inane ideas that he believes are generated by his Christian faith so some of us other Christians can proceed to tear them apart, using scripture, long-standing tradition, and changing understandings of our faith.

    • commented 2015-05-09 16:48:30 -0400
      This is a violation of the first amendment and treason. It is illegal for the United States Government and the President of the United States to use his/her faith to influence how he/she governs and enforces laws that apply to Americans not of the same faith as him/her and cannot be forced to adhere to his/her faith and its definitions and rules. I will not be forced to adhere to his “God” through law and I will put down all who try.

    • commented 2015-05-09 15:50:06 -0400
      I belonged to a “born again Christian” church during the time Pat Robertson ran and they VERY MUCH DID INFLUENCE THEY WAY THE THEN CONGREGATION VOTED! OH YES THEY DID!

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