A friend read yesterday's entry and sent me this note:
I'm remaided of a conversation I had with this Canadian lib-chick on a business trip in an Ottawa area restaurant this spring. She was "going off" on how religious Americans seem to be from her vantage point North of the border. Though she'd never actually been here, she was able to vouch for the fact that we're really all a bunch of Christian crack-pots. Disagreeing, I stated that Americans are actually quite secular as well as is our president. We just hold God in higher regard than Canadians seem to. You might say she didn't buy it. Her real bee-in-the-bonnet was Mr. Bush's well spoken words on "the C-guy (Christ)". She was not even able to bring herself to say "Christ" and the closer we got to either the word "Jesus" or "Christ" the more upset she became. I thought it better to digress from the subject as they say it's better to avoid religion and politics at the dinner table even though I was tempted to do a little evangelization. Suffice it to say, I don't think it would have gone over that well!!!
This little story is instructive on several levels. For one thing, Americans truly are more religious in a general sense that nearly any other Western country. We are a nation of true believers even if we can't agree on what we believe in. We don't need to apologize for our country's abiding faith in God. It's part of our strength. Second, my friend is exactly right. It's not politics that bugs a lot of people about President Bush; it's his strong faith in Jesus Christ. They can't conceive of a man in high office who actually reads the Bible and prays. Last week I heard about one of his aides who is assigned to handle phone communications for the President. Early one morning he arrived at the Oval Office only to find the door closed. Thinking no one was inside, he opened the door slightly, only to find the President with his head bowed in prayer. There are not many other world leaders who begin their days like that. God bless the President for having that sort of humble faith in the Lord.
And we shouldn't be suprised when secular people get uncomfortable and even angry with stories like that. Why are they so bothered? If someone said that President Bush read Aesop's Fables every day, no one would be bothered. After all, they're just fables, right? But the Bible is no fable. It's the Word of God. We've been so brainwashed with the notion of the separation of church and state that we've morphed it into the separation of God and our leaders. And that's a genuine tragedy.
Three thousand years ago, Solomon declared that "righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people" (Proverbs 14:34). God bless President Bush for seeking that very righteousness. Our nation is stronger because he is in the White House.
To sign up for Pastor Ray's free weekly sermon email list, click here. You can find his daily weblog, online sermons, travel schedule, and other resources at www.keepbelieving.com. You can write Pastor Ray at email@example.com.