Thursday, September 15, 2005

Bush's speech: the combination of Church and State

Is it just me or was there an over-abundance of religious references in speech?

I will leave it to others to assess whether the significance of this fact. But usually there is a "God bless America" at the end or possibly one "touched the face of God" metaphorical reference, but not this degree of integration of government action with religious organizations...haven't heard anyone commenting on this yet...

(These quotes are taken from the speech, but were not stated concurrently...with emphasis added)
Religious congregations and families have welcomed strangers as brothers and sisters and neighbors.
...Across the Gulf Coast, among people who have lost much and suffered much and given to the limit of their power, we are seeing that same spirit: a core of strength that survives all hurt, a faith in God no storm can take away, and a powerful American determination to clear the ruins and build better than before.
...It is the armies of compassion -- charities and houses of worship and idealistic men and women -- that give our reconstruction effort its humanity. They offer to those who hurt a friendly face, an arm around the shoulder and the reassurance that, in hard times, they can count on someone who cares.
...The cash needed to support the armies of compassion is great, and Americans have given generously.

For example, the private fundraising effort led by former Presidents Bush and Clinton has already received pledges of more than $100 million.

Some of that money is going to the governors, to be used for immediate needs within their states. A portion will also be sent to local houses of worship, to help reimburse them for the expense of helping others.
...This evening, the need is still urgent, and I ask the American people to continue donating to the Salvation Army, the Red Cross, other good charities and religious congregations in the region.
...And I challenge existing organizations -- churches and Scout troops or labor union locals -- to get in touch with their counterparts in Mississippi, Louisiana or Alabama and learn what they can do to help.
...These trials have also reminded us that we are often stronger than we know -- with the help of grace and one another. They remind us of a hope beyond all pain and death -- a God who welcomes the lost to a house not made with hands. And they remind us that we are tied together in this life, in this nation, and that the despair of any touches us all.
...The churches of Alabama will have their broken steeples mended and their congregations whole.
Again, not certain what to make of this stepped up religiosity and whether it is appropriate for a President - or whether given the circumstances it is justified.