Tuesday, January 29, 2008

There was the notion that somehow that there needed to be a clear separation of church and state

Today Bush visited something called the Jericho Program, an Episcopalian program that works with ex-prisoners, or, as Bush kept calling them, souls: “There’s no more important goal than to help good souls become -- come back to our society as productive citizens.”

He was there to talk about the importance of the government funding such religious groups (I’m not clear if the Jericho Programs gets such funding) and the importance in general of religion, the practice of which, as we know, had been banned by the Clinton Administration: “When I came into office, the nation’s traditions of religious freedom and equal opportunity were facing unnecessary obstacles. ... There was the notion that somehow that there needed to be a clear separation of church and state”.

IN OTHER UNHOLY WORDS: “Unfortunately, in some instances where there was an interface with government, people were told that in order to interface you have to take the cross off the wall, or take down the Star of David. In other words, you had to abandon the very principle by which you existed in the first place.”

EFFECTIVENESS: “If a program was effective because they were willing to recognize a higher power, if a program was effective because people responded because they felt a call from a higher power, than to deny the higher power really reduced the effectiveness of the program.”

LORD LOVE A DUCK: “That’s, after all, one of the key tenets of faith: Love a neighbor like you’d be -- like to love -- be loved yourself.”

“As you might remember, I drank too much at one time in my life.” And if you do remember, or have some of those missing police records, you might tell him about it, because his twenties and thirties are kind of a blur.

(Update: the WaPo reports that when one of the men told Bush that more mentoring and counseling programs were needed in west Baltimore, Bush, who probably isn’t a big viewer of The Wire, told him, “There are programs like that all over the city; they are called churches,” then started in piously about “the notion that there is a higher power that will help people change their thinking.” The man agreed that there is a higher power. The WaPo writes, “‘Step One, right?’ Bush said, alluding to Alcoholics Anonymous’s second step.”)

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