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Fire, Brimstone and Bush's Religious Rhetoric24:50
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photoSeventeen years ago, President Bush had a "spiritual awakening." He found God, gave up drink, and embraced Christian faith. That embrace endeared him to millions of fundamentalist voters across the country. Now, with the war drums beating, the President's faith and religious rhetoric are taking on extra fire and brimstone. "God is not neutral," he has told the nation — and the world. He invokes religious language and imagery to support policy at home and abroad. American presidents are no strangers to religion, and this president is not the first "Born Again" head of state. Jimmy Carter claims that spot. But there is also a tradition of secular space around the presidency. In leaving that behind, George Bush's language sometimes edges eerily close to that of the Middle Eastern "Evil Ones" he condemns. But with God Guiding the President, who can argue? Tonight On Point: God, War and the President.

Guests:

Melissa Rogers, Executive Director of the Pew Forum on Reglion and Public Life

Harvey Cox Jr., Harvard Divinity School Professor and author of "Common Prayers: Faith, Family, and a Christian's Journey Through the Jewish Year."

John Esposito, Professor of Religion, International Affairs and Islamic Studies at Georgetown University and Director of the Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding at Georgetown

Richard Land, President and CEO of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention.

This program aired on March 5, 2003.

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