Interesting article from Kit. It appears the Taliban Christians here don't
like thinking Christians and Muslims worship the same God.
Bush's Remark About God Assailed
By Alan Cooperman
Evangelical Christian leaders expressed dismay yesterday over President
Bush's statement that Christians and Muslims worship the same god, saying it had
caused discomfort within his conservative religious base. But most predicted
that the political impact would be short-lived.
At a news conference with Prime Minister Tony Blair in England on Thursday,
a reporter noted that Bush has often said that freedom is a gift from "the
Almighty" but questioned whether Bush believes that "Muslims worship the same
Almighty" that he does.
"I do say that freedom is the Almighty's gift to every person," the
president replied. "I also condition it by saying freedom is not America's gift to
the world. It's much greater than that, of course. And I believe we worship the
Bush's remarks sent immediate shock waves through Christian Web sites and
radio broadcasts. A Baptist Press report quoted Richard D. Land, president of
the public policy arm of the Southern Baptist Convention, the nation's largest
Protestant denomination, as saying that Bush "is simply mistaken."
"We should always remember that he is commander in chief, not theologian in
chief," Land said in a telephone interview yesterday. "The Bible is clear on
this: The one and true god is Jehovah, and his only begotten son is Jesus
The Rev. Ted Haggard, president of the National Association of Evangelicals,
also issued a statement contradicting Bush.
"The Christian God encourages freedom, love, forgiveness, prosperity and
health. 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," Haggard said.
But both Land and Haggard, who are frequent visitors to the White House,
doubted that the remark would cost Bush votes in 2004.
"This president has earned a lot of wiggle room among evangelicals," Land
said. "If he had said that Islam is on a par with Christianity, it would be a
more serious case of heartburn. This is just indigestion."
Gary Bauer, president of American Values, a conservative public policy
group, said it is unclear what the ultimate fallout will be. "But the one thing
that's for certain is, it's 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," Bauer said.
The Rev. Brenda Bartella Peterson, executive director of the Clergy
Leadership Network, a new organization of left-leaning clergy that seeks to counter
the Christian right, declined to say whether she believes Christians and Muslims
worship the same god.
"I would rather you not quote my theology," she said. "But I have to say
that I'm very pleased that President Bush wants to be so inclusive, and I think
his inclusiveness in this particular comment speaks well for who we have been
as a nation theologically. Not all of his policies and his actions have been as
Sayyid M. Syeed, secretary general of the Islamic Society of North America,
responded to Bush's statement with a single word: Alhamdullah, Thanks be to
"We read again and again in the Koran that our god is the god of Abraham,
the god of Noah, the god of Jesus," he said. "It would not come to the mind of a
Muslim that there is a different god that Abraham or Jesus or Moses was