(WorldNetDaily.com) -- President George Bush has repeated his belief all religions, "whether they be Muslim, Christian, or any other religion, prays to the same God" – an assertion that caused outrage among evangelical leaders when he said it in November 2003.
Bush made the statement Friday in an interview with Al Arabiya reporter Elie Nakouzi.
Al Arabiya is Al Jazeerah's top competitor in the Mideast.
As the president and Nakouzi walked from the Oval Office to the Map Room in the White House residence, Nazouki asked, "But I want to tell you – and I hope this doesn't bother you at all – that in the Islamic world they think that President Bush is an enemy of Islam – that he wants to destroy their religion, what they believe in. Is that in any way true, Mr. President?"
"No, it's not," said Bush. "I've heard that, and it just shows [sic] to show a couple of things: One, that the radicals have done a good job of propagandizing. In other words, they've spread the word that this really isn't peaceful people versus radical people or terrorists, this is really about the America not liking Islam.
"Well, first of all, I believe in an Almighty God, and I believe that all the world, whether they be Muslim, Christian, or any other religion, prays to the same God. That's what I believe. I believe that Islam is a great religion that preaches peace. And I believe people who murder the innocent to achieve political objectives aren't religious people, whether they be a Christian who does that – we had a person blow up our – blow up a federal building in Oklahoma City who professed to be a Christian, but that's not a Christian act to kill innocent people.
"And I just simply don't subscribe to the idea that murdering innocent men, women and children – particularly Muslim men, women and children in the Middle East – is an act of somebody who is a religious person....
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THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: For the record, the Oklahoma City bomber, Timothy McVeigh, was a self professed agnostic -- not a Christian. McVeigh claimed that he abandoned his Christianity a long time before he committed his act of terrorism (read biography here). So I don't agree with the president's illustration comparing Islamic terrorists with Timothy McVeigh as a "Christian terrorist."
The above story is enlightening though. Apparently, the president has bought into the same heresy that a lot of Americans have bought into. It's the heresy of universalism, which is the idea that all religions ultimately lead to the same God. Bush may be a Methodist by personal affiliation, and I don't doubt the sincerity of his religious tradition, however last time I checked, Methodist Christianity does not teach universalism.
Not all religions are the same, nor do they all lead to the same God. We could argue that Muslims do pray to the same Creator God Christians do, but if we make that argument, than we must simultaneously assert that the Islamic understanding of our God is fundamentally flawed. If Christians and Muslims do pray to the same God, than we as Christians would have to admit that the Muslim understanding of God is a radical departure from our own. We can't both be right.
Now when it comes to religions such as Hinduism, and Shintoism, I honestly don't see how it is even possible to think that they pray to the same God as Christians, since Hindus and Shintos are polytheists and pray to multiple gods. Look, the president has a right to believe whatever he wants. It's still a free country. But when it comes to stuff like this, I think he would be much better off sticking to politics, and leaving the theology to theologians.