The Psuedo-Religious President

From Holden:

Amy Sullivan has a nice article in TNR about Bush’s church-going habits, or lack thereof:

What most–including many of the president’s fiercest supporters–don’t know, however, is that Bush doesn’t go to church. Sure, when he weekends at Camp David, Bush spends Sunday morning with the compound’s chaplain. And, every so often, he drops in on the little Episcopal church across Lafayette Park from the White House. But the president who has staked much of his domestic agenda on the argument that religious communities hold the key to solving social problems doesn’t belong to a congregation.


[A]fter the flood of coverage around Bush’s first–and only–visit to a neighborhood church during inauguration weekend in Washington, D.C., no one has bothered to report on the president’s whereabouts on Sunday mornings.


The first excuse conservatives provide is that Bush can’t possibly be expected to have time to go to church, what with being leader of the free world and all. Yet, during Jimmy Carter’s four years in the White House, he found time not only to attend a Baptist church in the Washington, D.C., area, but to teach Sunday school there as well. For a presidential delegator like Bush–who has freed up enough time to spend approximately one-third of his presidency on vacation–finding a few hours for church should be a snap.

But, even if Bush had the time for church services, supporters protest, the security precautions necessary for a presidential visit would drive congregants away.


As it happens, I attended Foundry United Methodist Church for several years during the late ’90s when the Clintons were members there. The only imposition was the extra ten seconds it took to walk through a metal detector. Parishioners did not leave the church in droves; on the contrary, many were pleasantly surprised to find that the Clintons played an active role in church life, particularly while Chelsea was involved in the choir and youth group.


“I really don’t get it,” one prominent Bush partisan told me. “There’s no reason why the president couldn’t find a church around here if he wanted to.”


When Bush moved to Washington in early 2001, many religious observers bandied about the question of which church the incoming president would attend. Four years later, the answer is hidden in plain sight: The emperor has no church.

If Bush had not shoved his “religion” into everyone’s face for the past four years this would not be an issue. But he has, and fundies are the core of his base.

Yet the man does not go to church, has been somewhat cryptic in explaining what his beliefs actually are, routinely fumbles any attempt to quote scripture, and has taken many actions that directly contradict his supposed Christian beliefs.

One can only conclude that he affects a born-again air in order to hoodwink the fundies, and it has worked well for him. It’s time to call him on it.