The third and perhaps most important reason Bush is hated is his faith, which is genuine. Bush believes God exists objectively and that He has spoken unambiguously to those who would pay attention. Unlike Clinton, who puts on religion when it helps him politically but takes it off when it interferes with his appetites, Bush wears his faith in his heart.
He is humble about it, always noting how far he falls short of the ideal to which he subscribes. I remember a lunch we had in the governor's mansion in Austin the year before he announced for president. I had heard he read through the Bible once a year, and I asked him to quote from memory some of his favorite verses. He quoted three, and not the most familiar ones. That is the mark of a person who takes faith seriously.
The mostly secular or theologically squishy left doesn't mind one being "religious" so long as that religion underscores a secular agenda. A religion that constantly "baptizes" the liberal catechism of bigger government, higher taxes, more abortions, same-sex marriage and anything else the secular left wishes to promote is the kind of "faith" it will tolerate.
But someone who believes God is not an idea of Man, but rather Man is God's idea and He gets to make the rules, is viewed as harmful to those who wish to create their own version of heaven on earth through the secular god of big government and the capitulation to our lower nature.
Some on the religious and secular right are critical of the president's immigration and education policies. But they don't hate him for them. The hatred from those on the left is personal, because what the president stands for, however imperfectly, is a rebuke to their impersonation of the French, who stand for nothing. If they had a TV show, it could be called "Black Eye for the Bush Guy."
Cal Thomas is co-author (with Bob Beckel) of the book, "Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War That is Destroying America".
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