Did I over-react? It’s worth looking at the full quote as produced by the Washington Times:
“I fully understand that the job of the president is and must always be protecting the great right of people to worship or not worship as they see fit. That’s what distinguishes us from the Taliban. The greatest freedom we have or one of the greatest freedoms is the right to worship the way you see fit. On the other hand, I don’t see how you can be president at least from my perspective, how you can be president, without a relationship with the Lord.”
Now notice that Bush is explicitly qualifying his defense of religious freedom (or the freedom to have no religion at all) by saying that the presidency, in his view, should nevertheless be reserved for people with a relationship of a personal nature with “the Lord.” He isn’t simply saying that he doesn’t see how he could have endured the presidency without faith; he is asserting that he cannot see how anyone could be president without a “relationship with the Lord.” Now I can see how this might be simply a slip of the tongue: just a projection of his own experience with nothing more to be inferred from it. But given how this administration has consciously eroded the distinction between church and state – fusing the two with federal funds, using religious groups as its political base, incorporating religious leaders into policy-making, and defending public policy decisions on purely religious grounds (calling civil marriage licenses “sacred,” for example) – this is worrying. To put it bluntly, on the separation of church and state, I don’t trust these guys.
The President stated three things in that remark:
1.) He has a very strong relationship with his Lord.
2.) He believes a chief responsibility of the President is to protect the right to worship freely
3.) He does not understand how someone can be president without a deep faith.
He did not, as the jackass Sullivan asserts:
1.) Explicitly qualify his defense of religious freedom. He made it clear that the role of the President is to defend all those who wish to worship, and in whatever manner. Just a blatant lie on your part, Sullivan.
2.) He did not make a slip of the tongue, he meant what he said- from his perspective, he does not understand how anyone could be President without having a similar deep faith. He did not say they couldn’t or shouldn’t be allowed to, he said “I don’t see how you can be president.” Words mean thing, you silly Brit.
It all boils down to this, the only honest thing Sullivan has stated in several weeks regarding the President and this administration:
To put it bluntly, on the separation of church and state, I don’t trust these guys.
Which is why you are willfully misinterpreting this quote. Goodness, you have fallen.