Theocracy Alert: In a significant foreign policy claim, Republican presidential hopeful Jeb Bush says the “Christian voice” is not heard enough around the world, implying that it is the U.S. government’s responsibility to be a global evangelist for Christ.
Giving the commencement address at Liberty University, a notoriously conservative Christian fundamentalist school in Lynchburg, Virginia, the former Florida governor and likely GOP presidential candidate offered a defense of Christian principles while attacking the Obama administration for supposedly failing to preserve religious freedom.
In his remarks at Liberty University, Bush shamelessly pandered to to conservative Christians as he prepares to compete against a field filled with politicians also intent on courting the conservative Christian base of the GOP.
At one point, while trying to defend Christianity, Bush said:
How strange, in our own time, to hear Christianity spoken of as some sort of backward and oppressive force.
Sometimes the truth hurts. For the record, Christianity is a backward and oppressive force.
Bush railed against the Obama administration, claiming:
For the Christian conservatives Bush is championing, ‘freedom’ means the ability to discriminate against gays and women by denying LGBT people the right to marry who they love, and by preventing women from having access to appropriate reproductive health care services.
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. … Federal authorities are demanding obedience, in complete disregard of religious conscience — and in a free society, the answer is ‘no.’
Christians made the same sort of “coercive federal power” argument when it came to freeing the slaves, ending Jim Crow, and dismantling prohibitions against interracial marriage.
In short, with his speech at Liberty University, Bush goes all in with the other religious zealots leading the Republican party.
As for foreign policy, in another significant development, Bush cited his brother, former President George W. Bush, as one of his main advisers on the Middle East in a private meeting in Manhattan on Tuesday.
Bottom line: Bush fails.