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By Elizabeth Tenety
George W. Bush’s account of his life in office is scheduled for release on Nov. 9, but Drudge Report Thursday revealed a glimpse into the book’s themes, including that the former president “returned to his faith, time and time again.”
Bush famously told a minister, “I feel like God wants me to run for President. I can’t explain it, but I sense my country is going to need me,” an assertion that drew support from religious conservatives backing their man in the Oval Office.
According to Drudge, the president’s spiritual life and positions on social issues formed the core of his presidency:
In the chapter “Stem Cells”, Bush describes receiving a letter from Nancy Reagan detailing a “wrenching family journey”.
But ultimately, Bush writes: “I did feel a responsibility to voice my pro-life convictions and lead the country toward what Pope John Paul II called a culture of life.”
In the book, Bush describes an emotional July 2001 meeting with the Pope at the pontiff’s summer residence.
Savaged by Parkinson’s, the Pope saw the promise of science, but implored Bush to support life in all its forms.
Later, at the Pope’s funeral — and after a prodding from his wife that it’s a time to “pray for miracles” — Bush found himself saying a prayer for the cancer-stricken ABCNEWS anchor Peter Jennings.
For more on Bush’s “closet Catholicism” read this 2008 story by Daniel Burke.
Former Bush speechwriter Michael Gerson, another evangelical with an affinity for Catholic teaching, says that the key to understanding Bush’s domestic policy is to view it through the lens of Rome.
After reading the excerpts Drudge grabbed from Bush’s upcoming memoir, including mentions of ‘the culture of life,’ that claim seems prescient.
In the video below, Bush calls the decision to quit drinking (a choice that forms the opening scene of his memoir) “a decision I could not have made without faith.”
Does the claim that Bush’s faith formed the core of his presidency shed new light on his politics? What other revelations are you interested in reading?