George W. Bush Presidency Research Proposal

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Bush Christian

The Bush Administration's Politicization of Christianity

State and Church are, by constitutional law, intended to remain separate. And yet, where America's electoral patterns are concerned, it is quite clear that voters tend to respond in one way or another to the presence and invocation of religion or issues related to religious value systems. So would this be proven in 2004, when President George W. Bush sought and gained reelection against challenger and Massachusetts Senator John Kerry by focusing primarily on the religious value system which he claimed to share with many of his supporters. To the point, the Bush Administration would, more than most every late 20th century president before him, place a great and continuing emphasis on his Christianity as a defining factor in his life, his work and his political orientation. His presidency, truly defined by the quagmire which he stimulated in Iraq, and perhaps also by the economic crises which would shadow his waning days in office, would nonetheless be also commandeered under a shroud of Christian piety that would result in his vocal and controversial stand on such issues as gay marriage, stem cell research and faith-based initiatives. These areas would show Bush to be dedicated even to the extent of weathering harsh criticism by civil rights groups and constitutional advocacy groups to imposing his Christian values on Americans through his office.Download full Download Microsoft Word File
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TOPIC: Research Proposal on George W. Bush Presidency Assignment

Increasingly, political parties are demonstrated to have a clear relationship to religious proclivities. As the Campbell (2007) text denotes, "instead of religious denomination, the parties are divided by religious devotional style -- that is, a way of being religious. People who are more devout -- regardless of denomination -- are more likely to favor the GOP." (Campbell, 1) it is almost as if this would be the primary electoral consideration providing for Bush's policy priorities and courtship of constituency. Uniquely, the relationship described by Campbell between religious and political affiliation tends to allow those in the devout category to overlook such considerations as suitability to office and performance effectiveness in favor of common religious value systems.

Such would be the circumstance which helped him to win reelection in 2004 in spite of the widespread discontent among many Americans over the job he had done to that juncture. In many ways, Bush was a very unpopular sitting president, with perceptions that his economic policies were tilted to benefit the wealthy and with views that he had mishandled the process of entering and the period of fighting the war in Iraq helping to make him a seemingly vulnerable candidate in 2004. This seemed even more to be the case when he began the process of pushing in early 2004 for the creation of an amendment that would ban gay marriage. Bush's policy position on this subject would come as no surprise to the American public, which had long known him both as a social conservative and as one at least in verbal orientation fully dedicated to the doctrines of Christianity.

The emphasis placed there within on family values appeared to resonate with the president, who "said he fears that states allowing gay marriage and "activist judges" who are "presuming to change the most fundamental institution of civilization," are threatening the sanctity of marriage. He claims that marriage between a man and woman promotes stability for the sake of children." (Albu, 1) Naturally, this perception would come not from a place of fact or social research but from a belief system constructed by modern Christianity and its close consorts within the political establishment. Chief among these consorts, republican power figures such as President Bush would become crucial in pushing forward a Christian political and social agenda. The implications to the political landscape would be quite significant as well, with the minority population impacted by a proposed constitutional ban on gay marriage far outnumbered by the Christian right-wing populations which voiced so strong a support for this ban. Thus, with respect to the proposed ban, it should be considered of importance in evaluating the civil rights implications of the suggested amendment that here the will of a selected and discriminated few would be determined by the imposition of a larger and more empowered political entity. Naturally, this would be directly antithetical to the intentions of the Constitution to protect equal rights in the eyes of the law.

This would also represent a clear and intentional public diversion by the Bush Administration, which seemed focused on bringing up a constitutional amendment with literally no practical chance of receiving congressional passage as a means to changing the subject of political conversation with the approach of an election. Indeed, the propsed ban would insight a considerable amount of oppositional firepower from Democratic lawmakers, who viewed this both as an attack on individual state rights and on civil rights. More than that, few in the political realm were fooled by a misdirection that would work on the public. For instance, in consequence of the proposed ban, "U.S. Sen. Mark Dayton . . . blasted a proposed constitutional amendment to ban gay marriages, saying President Bush is pushing the initiative to "change the subject" from the economy and the war in Iraq. Speaking in Minneapolis at the ninth annual Rainbow Families Conference, the nation's largest annual event for parents who are gay or lesbian, the Democratic senator said the controversial amendment essentially would legalize discrimination." (SPPP, 1) This is a view that would be shared by civil rights advocacy groups and quite a great many lawmakers, but which would fall on deaf ears where Bush's Christian voting base would be concerned. To this group, there did appear to be an importance in sending a signal to Washington that protection of gay rights would not be tolerated. To his discredit, this is a signal that Bush utilized to his own political advantage and, simultaneously, to the stimulation of the type of prejudice and hatred that are implied by the elevation of this issue.

The degree to which the Bush Administration would, on the basis of religious observation, prove itself out of step with American social progress with the issue of gay marriage may well be only further magnified by his position on stem cell research. Indeed, with the important decision this past month removing the ban which had previously applied to federal funding of stem cell research, President Obama placed himself firmly on the side of science while simultaneously reopening the debate which has persisted between medical and religious communities. To the point, as this discussion will denote, the ban which had initially been put into place was motivated by a sense of the correlation between Christianity, abortion and stem cell research. Today, the divide between camps on this issue seems largely to revolve on the very same axis which separates pro-life and pro-choice Americans. Accordingly, Bazinet (2009) tells that "anti-abortion advocates oppose the research because it involves the use of human embryos, and some fear it could ultimately lead to human cloning. They, along with Bush, instead support the study of pluripotent stem cells, which does not use or destroy human embryos." (Bazinet, 1) as a result, the issue remains deeply entangled with aggressive views on the issue of stem cell research both in its manifestation and in the legal slippery slope which it has seemed to imply concerning federal policies concerning abortion practice and funding.

That notwithstanding, the response to Obama's decision has been uniformly positive amongst those in the medical and scientific community as well as with many sectors of the public. The belief help by many Americans and by many other modern, industrialized nations is that stem cell research may potential unlock the secrets to treating devastating neurologically and physically degenerative diseases, lengthening an improving the quality of life for individuals suffering with a host of ailments which will be addressed hereafter. With this in mind, "stem-cell researchers around the country are celebrating President Obama's decision to reverse restrictions on embyronic stem-cell research, a move they say could lead to dramatic advances in the understanding and treatment of conditions like diabetes, heart disease and Alzheimer's. For years, scientists have been frustrated by the restrictions imposed by President George W. Bush in 2001." (Kalb, 1)

Discussions over the implications of genetic alteration, modification, manipulation and cloning have long crowded the bioethical discourse, long before legal considerations would be considered relevant. In 1997, the debate over the concept of stem cell research as a means to treating genetic disease took on a new element of significance, which continues to the present day to be an apt characterization of the level of commitment to the advance of causes on both sides of the issue. This was sparked by the stunning announcement in Edinburgh, Scotland, that genetic scientists had successfully cloned an entire sheep, Dolly, from adult cells, rendering an exact genetic copy. This presented a new realm of possibilities within the framework of cloning, helping us to potentially transcend the debate over embryonic stem cell research, which brings to bear the… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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