Jeb Bush Panders at Liberty University

Jeb Bush Panders at Liberty University May 11, 2015

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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