Better Angels

"...all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature." ---Abraham Lincoln, First Innaugural Address

Saturday, May 29, 2004

Bush Meets the Media

...the Christian media, that is. Baptist Press reports that W. met with Christian journalists at the White House in a "wide ranging" conversation. He spoke about his stance on Isreal, gay marriage and abortion.
“Father Richard [Neuhaus] helped me craft what is still the integral part of my position on abortion, which is: Every child welcomed to life and protected by law,” he said. “That is the goal of this administration.”

For those of you keeping score at home, Neuhaus is editor of the journal "First Things," President of the Institute of Religion and Public Life, board member of the Ahmanson-funded Institute on Religion and Democracy, the Foundation for Community and Faith-Centered Enterprise and the Ethics and Public Policy Center. Along with George Weigel and Michael Novak, Neuhaus serves on the Faculty of the Tertio Millennio Seminar, run by the EPPC.

This week's World Magazine, the Christian newsweekly published by Marvin Olasky (and sponsor of the infamous "World Journalism Institute") has an Olasky-penned cover story on the interview, featuring such notable quotes as this:
President Bush also wants to influence Iraqi culture: Iraqis "haven't developed the habits of free people yet," but he believes they will, because "freedom is the Almighty's gift to every person in the world."
and this:
"We will stand side by side with Israel if anyone tries to annihilate her."

Olasky has a long history with Bush. It was he, after all, who coined the phrase "compassionate conservative" and inspired Bush to create the office of Faith-Based Programs. He also has a long history with Howard Ahmanson and Christian Reconstructionists. Olasky belongs Redeemer Prsebyterian Church in Austin, TX. Redeemer is a member of the Presbyterian Church in America, a "reformed" church. Reformed churches are Calvinist in nature, believers in Biblical inerrancy and proponents of the idea of "limited grace" meaning that only the elect are pre-destined to be saved by God's grace, and the rest, try as they might, can't do a damn thing about it. One of the leaders of the Reformed movement was R.J. Rushdooney, whose Chalcedon Foundation enjoyed Ahmanson's generosity and membership for many years.

Ahmanson also funded the "Christian Worldview" book series, which Olasky edited and contributed to as an author. Olasky describes Ahmanson as a "dear friend."

Nice to know these are the people Bush listens to, eh?