Religion doesn’t have a place in government. However, that doesn’t mean that the president has to give up his First Amendment rights when he takes office.
In times of tragedy, President George W. Bush uses his religious background as a way to soothe America’s grief.
For example, after the Sept. 11 attacks, Bush said, “We carried our grief to the Lord Almighty in prayer.” After the Columbia tragedy, Bush turned to religion and a quotation from the book of Isaiah to help console the nation.
Though turning to religious faith is a way for some people to deal with grief, Bush must remember that there is a portion of the population that doesn’t rely on religion in times of need.
In times of the nation’s sadness, it’s fine that Bush realizes that he alone will not be able to console the nation and tell people of faith that a higher power may provide better answers than he possibly could. He should continue to do this, as long as he doesn’t allow his religious beliefs to interfere with or influence how he runs the government.
When Bush mentions God or prayer or anything religious, he should be careful and stay neutral in his words. He shouldn’t specify which God anyone should pray to or what prayer American people should perform. Also, he should not suggest that the only way to deal with a problem is through religious means.
When Bush ran for president, he made everyone aware of the fact that he is a Christian, so people should not be shocked by his display or discussion of his faith. However, he must remember that he cannot make everyone else follow his beliefs.
University Wire — Northern Illinois University