On whether all religions worship the same God. Evangelicals are angry that President Bush once again affirmed that all religions pray to the same God.
Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Convention, the nation's largest Protestant denomination, was quoted in the Baptist Press as saying the president "is simply mistaken."
According to a Washington Post account, Land said in an interview: "We should always remember that he is commander in chief, not theologian in chief. The Bible is clear on this: The one and true god is Jehovah, and his only begotten son is Jesus Christ."
The Rev. Ted Haggard, then-president of the National Association of Evangelicals, also contradicted the president in a press statement. "The Christian God encourages freedom, love, forgiveness, prosperity and health," said Haggard. "The Muslim god appears to value the opposite. The personalities of each god are evident in the cultures, civilizations and dispositions of the peoples that serve them. Muhammad's central message was submission; Jesus' central message was love. They seem to be very different personalities."
In November 2006, Haggard was forced to resign from NAE following allegations of drug use and sex with a homosexual prostitute.
Gary Bauer, former presidential candidate and president of American Values, said Bush's comment was "not helpful to the president. Since everybody agrees he's not a theologian, he would be much better advised to punt when he gets that kind of question."
Bush's notion may not be an authentically Christian belief, but it is an authentically American belief. After all America's key founders -- the first four Presidents, Ben Franklin, and a few other leading lights -- believed exactly this. As Presidents, Washington, Jefferson and Madison (perhaps Adams, I haven't found his quotations yet) prayed to the Native American's pagan "Great Spirit" God. At least Allah claims to be the God of Abraham. The Great Spirit makes no such claim!
I now send my best wishes to the Cherokees, and pray the Great spirit to preserve them.
-- George Washington, August 29, 1796