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George H.W. Bush

Faith, Presidency, and Public Theology

Kjell Lejon

This book is the first to explore the religious dimension of President George H. W. Bush. Also, the author re-conceptualizes the common use of civil religion in order to understand more fully the religious dimension of Bush’s presidency, and thus argues for the need to highlight the religious rhetoric of President George H.W. Bush as a public theology, or more specifically, a presidential public theology.
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Chapter 6: Foreign Policies: Moral and Religious Arguments for War


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Chapter 6 Foreign Policies: Moral and Religious Arguments for Military Intervention and the Iraq War

This chapter deals with the religious aspects of Bush’s foreign policy, including ethical arguments. Relevant and significant statements made by Bush on the end of “the communist experiment” are included. For example, Bush pointed out that prayer and worship services had been tools in the struggle for freedom in the Communist nations. The development demonstrated a departure from the so called Vietnam Syndrome. Military interventions were again possible. Two stand out during the presidency of Bush. The intervention in Panama, labeled “Just Cause,” and the Operation Desert Storm, the military intervention in the Iraq-Kuwait Crises in the Persian Gulf. In both cases, ethical reasoning was important. In the latter case, the religious rhetoric was overall abundant and for many observers astonishing. The interesting argument of a just war, brought up by Bush, is presented and discussed.

The End of the Communist Experiment

Bush named his long time Episcopalian friend James A. Baker III (b. 1930) Secretary of State. Baker, who was a lawyer by training and had practiced law in Houston for more than twenty years, served from January 1979 to May 1980 as National Chairman of the George Bush for President Committee. He had earlier worked in the Gerald Ford administration as Under Secretary of Commerce and in the Reagan administration as Chief of Staff and Secretary of the Treasury.669

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