Gosh, how surprising:
One of the defining aspects of George W Bush’s presidency is his professed belief in God. Yet what really are his religious beliefs? The question, which seems central to understanding his presidency, never receives a satisfactory answer. Indeed, one religious figure close to him soon after his conversion was shocked to find that he talked about sex rather than theology and says that a lot of his faith seemed to be politically calculated.
Bush’s religion has often been described as evangelical. But unlike most other evangelicals, he blithely uses profanity and as governor of Texas he would play poker. He doesn’t pay tithes, he doesn’t try to convert others – one of the central obligations in most evangelical denominations. And he didn’t raise his daughters in the faith.
What Bush clearly does believe in is the personal, transforming and sustaining power of belief in God. Having a personal relationship with God, praying and reading the Bible daily were the tools he used to get control of his life more than 20 years ago.
The man is a politician, after all.
But cynicism aside, that looks a lot more like religion the Alcoholics Anonymous way than it does the evangelical way.