Jeb Bush Panders at Liberty University

It has become one of the rites of passage for Republican presidential candidates. You simply must go to Liberty University to kiss the ring of the deceased Jerry Falwell and pay homage to the theocratic desires of the Christian right in America. Jeb Bush, not exactly a favorite of the wingnut class, gave it his best try.

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush on Saturday condemned the Obama administration’s use of “coercive federal power” to limit religious freedom as he courted Christian conservatives at a Liberty University commencement ahead of a likely presidential run.

Charging that “the Christian voice” isn’t heard enough in the world, the Republican White House prospect lashed out at the Democratic president’s administration for “demanding obedience in complete disregard of religious conscience.”

“The present administration is supporting the use of coercive federal power. What should be easy calls in favor of religious freedom have instead become an aggressive stance against it,” Bush told an estimated 34,000 gathered for a graduation ceremony.

“Somebody here is being small-minded and intolerant, and it sure isn’t the nuns, ministers, and laymen and women who ask only to live and practice their faith,” he said. Bush was speaking inside a packed football stadium at Liberty University, an institution founded by the late conservative culture warrior, Rev. Jerry Falwell.

Yeah, if there’s one thing we don’t have enough of in this country, it’s the “Christian voice.” They only have more than 90% of all elected officials at every level of government, dozens of Christian TV stations, hundreds of Christian radio stations and a bazillion newspapers, magazines and websites. But since they’re not the only voice being heard, they’re obviously being oppressed and marginalized. Any relationship between their persecution complex and reality are entirely non-existent. But congratulations, Jeb, your merit badge for pandering is on the way.

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  • Michael Heath

    Jeb Bush:

    Somebody here is being small-minded and intolerant, and it sure isn’t the nuns, ministers, and laymen and women who ask only to live and practice their faith[.]

    This is Jeb Bush attempting to demonstrate that he too is a devoted Liar for Jesus®.

  • grumpyoldfart

    Any relationship between their persecution complex and reality are entirely non-existent.

    There’s probably a hundred million American Christians who would disagree with that statement.

  • Larry

    Must be them gays who are small-minded and intolerant, expecting to live their lives and love whomever they want without the godly interference from those like y’all who know whats best for everyone. Or them intolerant womens who only ask to live their lives and make their own choices without us politicians dictating what is best for their unborn children.

    Lordy, how I hate these people and those who pander to them.!

  • colnago80

    I would argue that it ain’t much worse then pandering to Sheldon Adelson or the Koch brothers.

  • tbp1

    Jeb Bush panders at Liberty University wherever he happens to be at the moment.

  • eric

    Somebody needs to tell this guy that “running as the moderate” will require him to actually distinguish his views from those of the other candidates.

  • busterggi

    Poor Christians, persecuted into not being able to exterminate everyone who doesn’t agree with them.

    Including other Christians who aren’t ‘real’ Christians.

  • raven

    Jeb Bush: I would have invaded Iraq

    The Guardian‎ – 16 hours ago

    Presumed Republican presidential hopeful tells Fox News … Former governor Jeb Bush said Hillary Clinton would have approved the mission, too.

    This isn’t even close to the craziest thing Jeb Bush has said.

    1. Yesterday he said he would have invaded Iraq.

    That right there should cost him the next election he runs in. Except maybe the GOP primary, which is a clown circus.

    2. He still has a chance to invade Iraq. Or if not him, the next GOP president.

    Iraq is still in play. It barely exists any more as a unified country but there is fighting among various factions all over it. We can always go back to help one or more of them.

    Because of course, the last Iraq War was such a great success.

  • http://www.pandasthumb.org Area Man

    “Somebody here is being small-minded and intolerant, and it sure isn’t the nuns, ministers, and laymen and women who ask only to live and practice their faith,” he said.

    Even granting that the trivial things they whine about (e.g. having to make wedding cakes for homos, providing employee health insurance that includes birth control) even qualify as religious liberty issues at all, in no case do they consist of someone just “ask[ing] only to live and practice their faith”. In every case they’re deliberately inflicting harm or humiliation on groups they regard as sinful. If they did just ask only to live and practice their faith, we’d all be perfectly happy to ignore them and let them act like jerks in private.

  • sigurd jorsalfar

    “In every case they’re deliberately inflicting harm or humiliation on groups they regard as sinful.”

    That’s how they define ‘practising their faith.’

  • StevoR

    @8. raven : Pretty sure there’s already war in Iraq in which the US (& Australia) are fighting Daesh (IS-IL/S) Jihadists* and not so sure its going that well either – but at least a genuine threat of terrorism and true evil. Mind you, Saddam Hussein and his sons were murderously evil tyrants too – but a lot of the other justifications for that war turn out to be very wrong. The 2004-2011 Iraq-Coalition of the Willing War are I think quite a bit more complicated than a lot of people make it sound (it wasn’t just waged for oil – after all we can always buy that – and it wasn’t necessarily “lies” that were told but certainly untruths we’re expressed and believed) but there’s little doubt now invading Iraq was a colossal mistake that could and should have been avoided.

    @6. eric :

    Somebody needs to tell this guy that “running as the moderate” will require him to actually distinguish his views from those of the other candidates.

    Thing is, someone’s no doubt also told him if he doesn’t sound similar to the Teablaggard extremists he’ll have no hope of winning his campaign to become the Repub candidate for the main event..

    * See : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American-led_intervention_in_Iraq_(2014%E2%80%93present)

  • StevoR

    Somebody here is being small-minded and intolerant, and it sure isn’t the nuns, ministers, and laymen and women who ask only to live and practice their faith,” he [Jeb Bush] said.

    If only that *was* all the religious right Christian folks were doing. If only. I don’t have any problem with letting them live their lives and practice their faith as they please – as long as they don’t insist the rest of us have to do what they wish and demand and insist on imposing on us as well!