When our lame outgoing president suggested teaching intelligent design alongside evolution in science classes back in (I think) 2005, I like many was outraged. But Bush’s recent comments in one of his outgoing legacy saving interviews put the issue in a somewhat different light:
MCFADDEN: Is it literally true, the Bible?
BUSH: You know. Probably not … No, I’m not a literalist, but I think you can learn a lot from it, but I do think that the New Testament, for example is … has got … You know, the important lesson is “God sent a son.”
MCFADDEN: So, you can read the Bible…
BUSH: That God in the flesh, that mankind can understand there is a God who is full of grace and that nothing you can do to earn his love. His love is a gift and that in order to draw closer to God and in order to express your appreciation for that love is why you change your behavior.
MCFADDEN: So, you can read the Bible and not take it literally. I mean you can — it’s not inconsistent to love the Bible and believe in evolution, say.
BUSH: Yeah, I mean, I do. I mean, evolution is an interesting subject. I happen to believe that evolution doesn’t fully explain the mystery of life and …
MCFADDEN: But do you believe in it?
BUSH: That God created the world, I do, yeah.
MCFADDEN: But what about …
BUSH: Well, I think you can have both. I think evolution can — you’re getting me way out of my lane here. I’m just a simple president. But it’s, I think that God created the Earth, created the world; I think the creation of the world is so mysterious it requires something as large as an almighty, and I don’t think it’s incompatible with the scientific proof that there is evolution.
So Bush is not a “fundamentalist”: He doesn’t read the Bible literally, he doesn’t believe evolution and religion are incompatible.
None of this excuses his stance on the teaching of intelligent design–which, most assuredly, was political pandering. And I agree: He was, indeed, a “simple president.”
Still, when it comes to reconciling science and religion, Bush is apparently like much of America–he accepts both.