09 January 2007

Right action

Via DeLong—who has some, uh, pointed things to say on the subject—I learn about a recent interview of the President by Brit Hume. DeLong and others have commented on how Bush dismisses the value of his father's policy advice in the interview.

True, and maddening, but something else jumped out at me, as someone who's been interested in the effect of Bush's religion on his Presidency.

I don't think people are—at least the ones I run into, I had a bunch of our buddies from Texas up here this weekend and they're kind of—they look at you and go, man, how come you're still standing? It's not so much the presidency on the shoals because of a difficult decision I made, it's more the weightiness of this thing must be impossible for anybody to bear.

And I tell them it's just not the case, that I am inspired by doing this job. I believe strongly in the decisions I have made. I firmly believe that we are responding to this initial challenge of the 21st century in proper fashion.
I also remind them, Brit, that Laura and I are sustained by the prayers of millions of people. Now that's hard for some to—I guess chew on.
I feel it .... because the load is not heavy, I guess is the best way to describe it. “Look,” somebody said to me, “prove it.” I said, “You can't prove it, all I can tell you is I feel it.” And it's a remarkable country when millions pray for me and Laura. So therefore I am able to say to people that this is a joyful experience. Not a painful experience. And yeah it's tough, but that's OK. It's tough times. And there's a lot of big issues.

And to what extent does your faith—what role does your faith play in your good spirits in the face of all these difficulties?

I think that—I know that my relationship with an Almighty provides comfort and strength during difficult times, just like it provides comfort and strength during difficult times for others, as well. And so prayer matters to me ...

Inspired by his job. The load is not heavy. Facing adversity is a joyful experience. My spiritually-minded readers should recognize this voice.

So this is hard for me to chew on, as Bush says, but not for the reason he imagines. It's not that I don't believe in the calm and certainty experienced by someone who is acting in alignment with their divine purpose. It's that I do. So what kind of divinity is the President aligned with?

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