Bush’s Faith

George W. Bush was interviewed recently and said some things about his faith that have generated a bit of a buzz. Some of the fuss, I’ll be honest with you, I just don’t understand. For example, he said he believed that God created the universe but he also believed in evolution. Generally speaking, you have three camps of people on this subject. One, some people believe that the earth is 6,000-10,000 years old and it was created by God. Two, some people—like Bush—believe the earth is very old and it was created by God. Three, some people believe that the universe, earth included, came about on its own without any involvement from God. This last group is probably the smallest here in America, based on percentages I’ve seen in news articles. Only about 6-12% of Americans (depending on the poll cited) don’t believe in a Higher Power of some sort.

Now, I’m not a scientist. Well, okay, actually I am—a social scientist. But I really don’t understand all of the scientific arguments about the existence of the universe and the complexities of things herein. I have read that even the simplest substances (cells, amino acids, etc.) are pretty complex, so I don’t understand how they could form on their own or become even more complex, especially given the law of entropy (which is that systems break down over time).

So Bush believes that God created the universe. Who is surprised by that? Most people agree with him, and all along he said he was a Christian.

Also, the President said he doesn’t take all of the Bible literally. To be honest, I’m not sure I’ve ever met anyone who did. Jesus said something to the effect of “If your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out.” Who has done that? People don’t take that as a literal command; people who follow the Bible’s teachings view that particular bit of advice as a hyperbole (an exaggeration to make a point). The point is that we shouldn’t stare at bad stuff.

Bush believes God created us and loves us. Bush, according to his interview by Cynthia McFadden, believes that our actions cannot earn God’s love, but because Christians appreciate His love for us, we try to act in ways that please Him. In Christian terms, Bush is saying that people are saved by grace and they repent of their sins. Based on these excerpts of the interview, there just doesn’t seem to be anything controversial about this. Some people will disagree with Bush’s views, but this is who we thought Bush was eight years ago. Where’s the story here? Did I miss something?