Obama holier than Bush?

I suppose, if invoking “Jesus Christ” is an indication. Most of you probably already know that Politico is reporting that President Obama has mentioned “Jesus Christ” more frequently in high-profile speeches than George W. Bush. This is likely as much political as it is a personal confession. I think that in many ways the fact that Bush’s Christianity was so overtly a part of his identity probably kept him from invoking Jesus as frequently, but why do you suppose it is acceptable for Obama to do so?

“I don’t recall a single example of Bush as president ever saying, ‘Jesus’ or ‘Christ,’” said Tony Perkins, president of the conservative Christian group Family Research Council. “This is different.”

To Perkins, Obama’s overtly Christian rhetoric is a welcome development from an administration that he largely disagrees with on the issues, though Perkins sees a political motive behind it, as well.

“I applaud that. It gives people a sense of comfort,” Perkins said. “But I think it’s a veneer, a facade that covers over a lot of policies that are anti-Christian.” That includes, in his view, Obama’s stance in favor of abortion rights.

The Rev. Barry Lynn, the executive director of the group Americans United for Separation of Church and State, doesn’t like the trend with Obama: “I don’t need to hear politicians tell me how religious they are,” Lynn said. “Obama in a very overt way does what Bush tended to do in a more covert way.”

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