Nation

Bush: ‘I Am a Lowly Sinner’

President George W. Bush referred to the Bible “every day” since he has been president to help guide his decisions, but he also knows that he is a “lowly sinner seeking redemption,” according to an excerpt of an interview he gave to his sister Doro Bush Koch.

The interview was conducted at the White House on Nov. 12 as part of StoryCorps, the national oral history initiative.

Bush told his sister he “has been in the Bible every day since I’ve been the President, and I have been affected by people’s prayers a lot. I have found that faith is comforting, faith is strengthening, faith has been important….”

“I would advise politicians, however, to be careful about faith in the public arena,” Bush said. “In other words, politicians should not be judgmental people based upon their faith. They should recognize — as least I have recognized I am a lowly sinner seeking redemption, and therefore have been very careful about saying (accept) my faith or you’re bad. In other words, if you don’t accept what I believe, you’re a bad person.”

Bush also said “one of the significant achievements of my Administration” has been the disastrous No Child Left Behind policy he signed into law in 2002.

A study conducted earlier this year by Rice University and others concluded that “the model for the national No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB), directly contributes to lower graduation rates” in the state of Texas.

Moreover, Jamie McKenzie, a former teacher and author, who maintains the website NoChildLeft.com, said the No Child Left Behind law “is so badly flawed, it cannot be fixed.”

“It is a wreck. It is un-American in its basic principles, relying upon fear, intimidation, threats and punishments in ways that would make Stalin happy. NCLB is the very kind of big government “state planning” that we were taught would be the downfall of the Soviets,” McKenzie wrote on his website last year detailing the 17 reasons why the law should be abolished.”We need a new law with a focus on capacity building and encouragement rather than testing, fear and punishment.”

Bush, proving he has not paid attention to the negative response of his foreign policy decisions in Iraq and Afghanistan, that he has the lowest approval rating of any president in U.S. history, and that he is widely viewed by people throughout the world as someone who approved torture, told his sister he would like to be remembered as a president “who liberated 50 million people and helped achieve peace.”

“I would like to be a person remembered as a person who, first and foremost, did not sell his soul in order to accommodate the political process,” Bush said. “I came to Washington with a set of values, and I’m leaving with the same set of values. And I darn sure wasn’t going to sacrifice those values; that I was a President that had to make tough choices and was willing to make them.”

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