I don't often agree with Bush, and as far as we know, Bush isn't a Freemason, but his statement is factually true.
Assume that God exists, and, as Muslims, Christians, and Jews believe, there is but one God. Logic dictates, then, that no matter who is doing the praying, and no matter what religious label they've taken upon themselves, the prayers are directed to the same Deity.
No matter what name you call him.
My son calls me Dad. My Masonic compatriots call me Brother, or Widow's Son. My parents call me Son. And my ex-wife calls me "you son of a bitch." But no matter what name I'm called, the name refers to me. There's only one me.
Ditto for God, as far as Muslims, Christians and Jews believe. There is only one God.
Why do the Christians who get upset at Bush for saying what he did think they own exclusive rights to "God"?
The Old Testament deity of the Jews was known by many names — El, Elohim, Ehyeh-Asher-Ehyeh, Adonai, Yahweh, etc. And Arabs, who typically believe in Allah, traditionally have their origin in Abraham's son Ishmael.
And of course, Christians co-opted the Jewish god as their own, confused things by also calling him Jesus, and then repeatedly translated most of the names of the deity into "Lord" or "God" when they printed the Bible, thus masking the many names of the Great Architect of the Universe.
"Official" spokesmen for God didn't like what the president said.
Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Convention, the nation's largest Protestant denomination, was quoted in the Baptist Press as saying the president "is simply mistaken."I think Haggard, with his statement about the "personalities" of God, not only shows his ignorance (the Old Testament God rarely exhibited "love" as a trait, but instead was murderous and vengeful), but actually makes a case for the non-existence of God by showing that the traits we attribute to God are man-made. Both individuals and entire cultures create their own visions and versions of what God is to them. We see in God what we want God to be.
According to a Washington Post account, Land said in an interview: “We should always remember that he is commander in chief, not theologian in chief. The Bible is clear on this: The one and true god is Jehovah, and his only begotten son is Jesus Christ.”
The Rev. Ted Haggard, then-president of the National Association of Evangelicals, also contradicted the president in a press statement. "The Christian God encourages freedom, love, forgiveness, prosperity and health," said Haggard. "The Muslim god appears to value the opposite. The personalities of each god are evident in the cultures, civilizations and dispositions of the peoples that serve them. Muhammad’s central message was submission; Jesus' central message was love. They seem to be very different personalities."
In November 2006, Haggard was forced to resign from NAE following allegations of drug use and sex with a homosexual prostitute.
Gary Bauer, former presidential candidate and president of American Values, said Bush's comment was "not helpful to the president. Since everybody agrees he's not a theologian, he would be much better advised to punt when he gets that kind of question."
Perhaps Bush was being Masonic after all in his words, being tolerant of all religious viewpoints.
"What's in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet."
— From Romeo and Juliet (II, ii, 1-2)
Masons | God | George W. Bush | Freemasonry | Religion | Burning Taper | BurningTaper.com