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Author Topic: RNC: A Wife's Faith in Her Husband, a Nation's Faith in God  (Read 1027 times)
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« on: September 02, 2004, 11:29:03 PM »

by Jody Brown
September 1, 2004

(AgapePress) - Faith was a major topic of the speeches heard in Madison Square Garden on Tuesday night. Delegates to the Republican National Convention heard First Lady Laura Bush speak of her faith in her husband to continue to lead the nation effectively and to protect it from terrorists. But they also heard an evangelist offer a clear presentation of the gospel message, and a North Carolina senator testify of her personal relationship with Christ.

Mrs. Bush, who was introduced via satellite by her husband, recounted memories of campaigning alongside him early in his political career -- experiences she said gave her opportunity to learn so much about him. Then, trying to answer the question, "Why do you think we should re-elect your husband as president?" -- she said: "As you can imagine, I have a lot to say about that."

The First Lady alluded to several of the president's policy decisions since taking office in January 2001 -- the No Child Left Behind Act, tax relief programs, and his bi-partisan program to provide prescription drug coverage under Medicare. Then she launched into his handling of what she described as the "most important [issue] for my own daughters, for all of our families, and for our future: George's work to protect our country and defeat terror so that all children can grow up in a more peaceful world."

After acknowledging that war deals a great toll on military families and thanking them for their sacrifices, Mrs. Bush recalled the post-9/11 decision to respond to the terrorists' attacks on the nation.

"No American President ever wants to go to war," she said. "Abraham Lincoln didn't want to go to war, but he knew saving the Union required it. Franklin Roosevelt didn't want to go to war -- but he knew defeating tyranny demanded it. And my husband didn't want to go to war, but he knew the safety and security of America and the world depended on it."

She said she was there when the president had to make that decision. "Once again, as in our parents' generation, America had to make the tough choices, the hard decisions, and lead the world toward greater security and freedom," she said. "And because of President Bush's leadership and the bravery of our men and women in uniform, I believe our children will grow up in a world where today's terror threats [like threats during the Cold War] have also become a thing of the past."

Also during her speech, the First Lady described her husband as a man who will "always tell you what he really thinks," as a man who can be counted on -- "especially in a crisis" -- and as someone whose values do not change.

"These are times that require an especially strong and determined leader," she stated in conclusion. "And I'm proud that my husband is that kind of leader."

A Call to Repentance
The evening began, however, with delegates hearing discussion of a different kind of faith: a faith in God and His promises for a nation that exalts Him. Southern California pastor and evangelist Greg Laurie offered an invocation that trumpeted a call to repentance -- and recognized that America has turned its back on God.

"We've forgotten the sanctity that you place on human life and the value You have placed on the family unit. But we are grateful, Lord, You have not forgotten us," Laurie prayed. "We're reminded in scripture that righteousness exalts a nation, but sin brings a reproach to it. Lord, we want to see righteousness exalting America again. We want to see a spiritual awakening in our land."

And he acknowledged the country has sinned against God. "We've sinned against You. Yet You loved us so much that you sent Your Son, Jesus Christ, to voluntarily die on the cross for our sins. And if we will put our trust in Him, we can be forgiven. Thank you, Lord, for second chances."

Referring to II Chronicles 7:14, the senior pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship in Riverside said it is time for America to repent. "You told us in scripture that if we would humble ourselves, and pray and seek Your face and turn from our wicked ways, that You would hear from heaven and forgive our sin and heal our land," he said. "We humble ourselves tonight, Lord; we ask You to heal our land. We need You in America this night."

Rev. Laurie concluded with an acknowledgment of President Bush's personal faith and reliance on God. "Thank you for the fact that our president, George W. Bush, looks to You for wisdom each and every day. Thank you for giving him that wisdom and guiding his steps. May You continually guide him into the center of Your will for his life and our country. And please, God, bless the United States of America." He then ended his prayer in Jesus' name.

The Party of Religious Liberty
Later in the evening, North Carolina Senator Elizabeth Dole described Republicans are the party of religious liberty. "We believe in the treasured life of faith," Dole said. "Two-thousand years ago, a man said: 'I have come to give life, and to give it in full.' In America, I have the freedom to call that man Lord -- and I do."

The GOP, she said, stands against efforts to remove faith from public life. "In the United States of America, we are free to worship without discrimination, without intervention -- and even without activist judges trying to strip the name of God from the Pledge of Allegiance, from the money in our pockets, and from the walls of our courthouses," she said.

Senator Dole also pledged that the Republican Party under President Bush will continue to oppose abortion and efforts to redefine traditional marriage. "Marriage between a man and a woman isn't something Republicans invented, but it is something Republicans will defend," she stated.

Rally for Conservative Religious Leaders
Meanwhile, the Bush-Cheney campaign held a closed-door rally in New York for hundreds of religious conservatives. Leaders who were introduced at the "Faith, Family & Freedom Rally" included Rev. Jerry Falwell, conservative activist Gary Bauer, and Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council.

The campaign also distributed written endorsements from Christian leaders including Rev. Jack Graham, former president of the Southern Baptist Convention, and Dr. James Dobson of Focus on the Family. President Bush appeared on video, emphasizing his opposition to abortion and homosexual marriage. Also speaking was Rabbi Daniel Lapin, whose Toward Tradition group aims to build ties between Jewish and Christian conservatives. Lapin said Christian values have made America safe for Jews.

Associated Press contributed to this story.



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