The Lamp

Where truth can be shared.

A Tale of Two Speeches

Posted by thelamp on February 1, 2007

On Jan. 20, 2001, George W. Bush stood before the nation as the newly elected president and delivered the inaugural address that initiated transfer of authority from the morally challenged Clinton administration. President Bush spoke of affirming old traditions and grand ideals, such as “hope and order in our souls,” private character, civic duty and family bonds.

“I will bring the values of our history to the care of our times,” the president said in his first inaugural speech, which also acknowledged that “some needs and hurts are so deep they will only respond to a mentor’s touch or a pastor’s prayer. Church and charity, synagogue and mosque lend our communities their humanity, and they will have an honored place in our plans and in our laws.”

Click here to send President Bush an e-mail asking him not to give up on restoring traditional ideals and values.

The sad reality is, that was then and this is now.

“Notably absent from the State of the Union Address that President Bush delivered Jan. 23 was an assessment of the values and tradition he pledged to restore,” said Pastor Rod Parsley, founder and president of the Center for Moral Clarity. “After six years in office, for example, the president has tried – but failed – to lead the federal government in protecting the institution of marriage. Certainly, that’s a tradition Americans expected him to affirm, but members of Congress haven’t done their part. Despite the president’s efforts, laws that would have defended the sanctity of life, strengthened family bonds, developed private character and restored ‘hope and order in our souls’ have fallen by the wayside.”

At the start of his tenure, the president said that churches and pastors would have a place in America’s laws and plans. Christians now know that “place” is at the defendant’s table in a courtroom, fighting a lawsuit. On Jan. 23, the president urged Congress to pass his faith-based initiative in an effort to “transform America, one heart and soul at a time.” The president owed Bible-believing Christians more than this one sentence. After helping to send him to the Oval Office – twice – it seems they deserved steadfast assurance that securing the principles espoused by America’s Founding Fathers remains a national priority.

In the speech that charted the course of his legacy, President Bush bemoaned the proliferation of prisons. It would have been wonderful if President Bush could have touted the benefits of faith-based reentry programs in his State of the Union speech by noting how they are increasing the odds that those leaving incarceration will not return. However, legislation making that possible – the Second Chance Act – has not successfully cleared Congress.

Simply put, the state of the union can be assessed by comparing the president’s first and most recent speeches to America. Toward the end of this year’s State of the Union address, President Bush said, “Adversity has revealed the character of our country, to the world and to ourselves.” Whether Bible-believing Christians are content with the revelation of that character will determine the course of action for the remainder of the Bush administration.

Click here to send President Bush an e-mail asking him not to give up on restoring traditional ideals and values.


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