George W. Bush

John Gehring 01-09-2017

Image via RNS/Gage Skidmore via Creative Commons

Sessions has long been, in the words of one prominent immigration advocate, the “most anti-immigrant senator in the chamber.” When George W. Bush, a self-styled “compassionate conservative” and born-again Christian, pushed a comprehensive immigration reform bill in 2007 that was supported by many business and law-enforcement officials, Sessions railed against what he called the “no illegal alien left behind bill” and led the charge against the failed effort. “Good fences make good neighbors,” he said at a press conference the year before.

Image via RNS/Reuters/Mike Segar

If President Obama’s appearance at the Notre Dame commencement in 2009 sparked an unprecedented uproar among American Catholics, imagine what inviting President Trump to graduation might provoke.

That concern is making Notre Dame’s president, the Rev. John Jenkins, think twice about making a pitch for the incoming U.S. president to receive an honorary degree, an appearance that almost any school would normally covet — and one that the iconic Catholic university has been more successful than others in securing.

the Web Editors 12-01-2016

By not hiding her HIV-positive status, Princess Kasune—an opposition MP in Zambia—is subverting the stigma of HIV/AIDS in her country, reports BBC News.

In 1997 Kasune tested positive for HIV and defied her husband’s desire to keep her status a secret. For this her church excommunicated her and her family disagreed with her decision.

“I long to see an HIV-free generation and hopefully a day without stigma,” said Kasune.

Image via RNS/Reuters/Brittany Greeson

The American Civil Liberties Union collected more than $11 million and 150,000 new members. The Southern Poverty Law Center’s Twitter account gained 9,000 followers. And the Anti-Defamation League, which fights anti-Semitism and other bigotries, saw donations increase fiftyfold.

In the days since Donald Trump won the presidency, these spikes, in support for groups that defend religious and other minorities, speak to a fear that the president-elect will trample on their rights — or at least empower those who would.

Image via RNS/Reuters/Nancy Wiechec

In the aftermath of this presidential election, I can’t help but see striking similarities between what happened inside the religious cult of my childhood and what played out for us, in the political cult of personality.

Here was the larger-than-life leader drawing followers to himself, despite the facts of his poor character, lack of experience, and even despite the fact that media, pundits, and pollsters claimed he wouldn’t — couldn’t — win.

Image via RNS/Reuters/Mike Segar

Americans voted largely along the lines of race, education, and party identification. Nonwhites strongly preferred Clinton, while whites decisively chose Trump. Compared with past Republicans, the businessman received a stunning surge of votes from non-college-educated white voters.

None of this is surprising.

And yet the result upends so much conventional wisdom. 

Ryan Hammill 07-12-2016

President Obama delivered a lengthy address in Dallas in honor of the five police officers who died in the shooting that occurred in the city last week.

He was joined onstage at the memorial service by President George W. Bush, a resident of Dallas.

“Today the nation grieves,” Bush said, in his relatively short and mostly apolitical speech. “But those of us who love Dallas and call it home have had five deaths in the family.”

Brian E. Konkol 03-10-2014
Katherine Welles/ Shutterstock.com

'If you see something, say something" outside an airport, Katherine Welles/ Shutterstock.com

We clearly live in a world that is filled with risks and dangers, and because the increased availability of modern technology allows for harm to occur at unprecedented rates and levels, one can argue that we live in one of the most treacherous eras of human history. However, while the need for protection from harm is both natural and commendable, we are forced to consider whether protection itself can eventually become harmful, unnatural, and even condemnable. In other words, with such extensive resources invested in the pursuit of safety and security, one is forced to consider: What are the consequences of such “protection?" And what happens when so much time and effort is dedicated toward protecting ourselves from our neighbors that we eventually lose sight of who are neighbors actually are? At what point does the heightened priority of protection lead to the increased inevitability of isolation and ignorance? And finally, in our efforts to build impenetrable walls of protection (often in the name of freedom), do we not eventually incarcerate ourselves from the rest of the world and thus limit what it actually means to live free?

Jim Wallis 04-11-2013

David Kuo was a good friend of mine. After a decade long battle with brain cancer, David passed away last week. He leaves a beloved wife, Kimberly, and two little children. 

Because David’s family situation was similar to my own, our whole family was very aware of David’s pilgrimage over these many years and my two boys would want to pray for “your friend David.”  

When I first met David, he was known as a rising young star among political conservatives. We met in a hotel gym at a conference we were both attending. Over the workout together, we became friends. David was the exemplary “compassionate conservative”  and later joined the Bush White House faith-based office. He was always a truth teller and did that in Tempting Faith: An Inside Story of Political Seduction that warned how politics — on both sides of the aisle — can prevail over and even manipulate faith for political gain. 

David always believed that our faith should shape our politics, not the other way around.

QR Blog Editor 05-03-2012

Over at Salon.com, Jordan Michael Smith tells us, 'The Bushies Are Back':

Republicans lost their popularity on security issues for one reason: George W. Bush’s foreign policy was a disaster. And yet, the party’s nominee, Mitt Romney, has assembled a foreign-policy team composed almost exclusively of individuals with the same war-always mentality and ideology that served Bush — and the United States — so poorly. In some cases, the exact same men responsible for Bush’s catastrophic national security policies are advising Romney.

Read Smith's full article here

Jim Wallis 12-08-2011


I would never have been mistaken as a political supporter of President George W. Bush. But in his early days as president, I was invited to have conversations with him and his team about faith-based initiatives aimed at overcoming poverty, shoring up international aid and development for the most vulnerable, and supporting critical agendas such as international adoptions of marginalized children and the broken domestic foster care system.
 
My invitations to the Bush White House ended when I strongly and publicly opposed the Iraq War. But I continued to support the administration’s efforts to combat poverty and disease, especially Bush’s leadership in combating HIV/AIDs, malaria, and massive hunger in the poorest places in Africa.

That agenda was called “compassionate conservatism” and I was grateful for it. Back then, Republican leaders could be fiscally conservative, favor “small government,” and believe in the free market, for example, but also believe that government should and must partner with the private sector — especially non-profit and faith-based organizations — to help lift people out of poverty, both abroad in the developing world and here at home in the richest nation on the planet. Such a conviction requires two things: A genuine empathy and commitment to the poor, and a more balanced and positive view of government — neither of which were much evident in the GOP’s right-wing quarters, where the compassionate conservative agenda was opposed by party leaders such as Tom DeLay and Dick Armey.

I met people like Mike Gerson, who was then George Bush’s chief speech writer and a policy advisor, and is now a columnist for the Washington Post. I was told it was Gerson and the Bush himself who often were the ones to stand up for the compassionate conservative vision at Oval Office meetings.

Phyllis Bennis 12-01-2011

U.S. troops will finally withdraw from Iraq -- but what about the contractors?

Gareth Higgins 05-11-2009
Yesterday, under the headline 'Obama's Apology Tour', FoxNews.com, in typical sneering style, published http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2009/05/10/world-stage-obama/" href="http://www.fox
James Loney 03-09-2009

"Let's listen in now to the Marine Corps Band," the CNN commentator says. The camera pans across the Washington Mall. People, as far as the eye can see, waiting for the historic moment, the inauguration of the 44th President of the United States of America, the first African American to ever hold this high office.

11-12-2008
A curious thing has happened as Americans were choosing their first black president. Democracy suddenly ceased to be a bad word for many genuine democrats in the Middle East.

Ryan Rodrick Beiler 10-30-2008

Yesterday, Jim posted his response to Focus on the Family....Action's 16-page "Letter from 2012 in Obama's America." They say that though their letter is a "what if?" exercise, that this "does

Frida Berrigan 07-15-2008

Last week, Congress refused - for a second time - to fund the Bush administration's demand for a new nuclear weapon system, the Reliable Replacement Warhead (RRW). However, cutting funding for the RRW is one of those big moves destined to generate little fanfare.

It is a little too technical and incremental to be heralded as a decisive step towards nuclear abolition, and yet the RRW program - which over the next decade or so would have upgraded the core workings of all U.S. nuclear [...]

In the wake of Sen. Obama's proposals on faith-based initiatives, I listened to political pundits characterize this as simply another shift by Obama toward the political "center." All this knee-jerk analysis totally misses the point.

I've followed the development of this idea for years. In September 2000 I was at a breakfast for religious leaders at the White House when President Clinton [...]

Charles Gutenson 06-24-2008

In the late summer of 2004, a seminary colleague and I pondered the possibility of another four years of Bush 43. The polls were very close, and it seemed highly possible that we could be faced with four more years of G.W. Bush, coupled with both houses of Congress under the Republicans. My colleague observed ruefully, "Perhaps unified Republican rule would be the best education for the people to see just how much they don't want it." Before I could respond, he added, "Though, I [...]

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