It gives me no pleasure to say that the George W. Bush presidency has been an absolute and dismal failure! In fact, the Bush II regime is worse than those of Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter, and even Bill Clinton. The only potential bright spot to his legacy might be a slight swing to the right to life by his two Supreme Court appointments. However, the verdict is still out on that. Take away Bush's Supreme Court picks, and there is nothing left but failure, frustration, fatigue, and futility.
On the domestic front, the Bush presidency leaves us with gargantuan growth of federal spending and meddling. Bush's obsession with spying on American citizens eclipses anything Nixon did or Clinton dreamed of doing. His Patriot Act is taken right out of the Nazi handbook, and his arrogance regarding constitutional accountability is unknown in America since at least the days of Abraham Lincoln.
Concerning foreign affairs, the Bush presidency will forever be linked to the failed and potentially fatal war in Iraq. I say fatal, because the ultimate results of Bush's obsession for war with Iraq are not yet fully realized. One thing is sure: our unconstitutional war in Iraq has created many more enemies than it has eliminated, and the overall impact on the morale of both our troops and the American citizenry rivals the effects of the Vietnam War and perhaps even surpasses them.
In addition, the war in Iraq has done more to aid and assist the militant Islamists throughout the Middle East, especially in Iran, than anything we could have done. After all, we helped Saddam Hussein take control of Iraq, in part because we knew he would help keep the Iranians in check. And Hussein did that with great efficiency.
With Iraq in total disarray, the Iranians hope to seize the opportunity to exert their influence in a way they could never have done without Bush's assistance in toppling Hussein and creating the resulting civil war that currently rages in Iraq. Thank you, President Bush.
With all of that said, however, the worst tragedy of the Bush presidency lies with something even deeper and more permanent (if that is possible). The worst tragedy of the Bush presidency is the damage he has done to the image and influence of Christianity. It is no hyperbole to say that George W. Bush has done more to demean and mitigate the positive influence of genuine Christianity than any single person in American history. And I do not say that lightly.
Because George W. Bush successfully portrayed himself as the ultimate Christian president, his life and policies are indelibly linked to the very definition of what it means to be a Christian in public office. The Religious Right also share in this perception, as they almost universally and totally gave their allegiance to Bush. Hence, as far as most Americans are concerned, George W. Bush is a Christian, and, therefore, his philosophies and ideas are assumed to be Christian as well. THIS IS A TRAGEDY OF UTMOST PROPORTIONS!
For example, Bush has reshaped Christianity to include the acceptance of torture, the launching of unprovoked, preemptive (not to mention undeclared) war, the denial of constitutional rights to American citizens (whose legal status may be redefined at the whim of the President), the doctrine of religious egalitarianism (Bush repeatedly declared, " Christians and Muslims worship the same god"), the neglect and even repudiation of constitutional government (by his repeated refusal to allow the Executive branch to be held accountable to congressional scrutiny or judicial oversight), and the inattention to secure borders and national sovereignty (through his infatuation with providing amnesty to millions of illegal aliens and his unilateral decision to merge America into regional, hemispheric political and commercial entities).
As a result, not only do non-Christians look askance at Christianity, many genuine Christians have had their entire philosophy regarding Biblical principles uprooted and redefined. Worse still, many Christians have, either wittingly or unwittingly, chosen to adopt Bush's brand of Christianity, and in so doing, have abandoned genuine Bible Christianity.
Real Christianity cannot tolerate torture. Real Christianity insists that war is only justified as a last resort, only for defensive purposes, and only when first attacked or when an attack is imminent. Historic Christianity is peace-loving. It is not bloodthirsty or militarily aggressive. The Bush presidency has changed all that.
Genuine Christianity recognizes the inherent rights and freedoms of all its people to live their lives under the authority of but one king, King Jesus. It believes that all authority is subjected to the authority of God and is, therefore, limited.
As a result, real Christians respect the Declaration of Independence, U.S. Constitution, and Bill of Rights. Real Christians understand the propensity of sinful men to accrue power unto themselves and to lord it over other men. For this reason, real Christians value limited government and intrinsically resist the tyrannical tendencies of those in positions of power. The Bush presidency has changed all that.
Furthermore, Christianity acknowledges but one lord, the Lord Jesus Christ. There is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus. There is no other Savior; no other God. Real Christians know that they do not worship the same god as do Muslims. The Bush presidency has changed all that.
In addition, genuine Christianity respects the Biblical principle of nationhood and national boundaries. It recognizes that any attempt at globalism is nothing more than a devilish attempt to erect a modern-day Tower of Babel. As such, American Christians have historically stood for national sovereignty and independence, and any attempts at providing amnesty for illegal aliens or at blurring our national borders have been met with vehement opposition: for spiritual as well as political and cultural reasons. The Bush presidency has changed all that.
Unfortunately, the consequences of the Bush presidency will be felt for many decades to come, not only internationally, but domestically as well. Because most people associate George W. Bush with Christianity, and because they are totally disgusted with Bush, I look for widespread abandonment of Christian philosophy in the public square in the foreseeable future. And regardless of what anyone says, this is a direct fallout of the Bush presidency, and just may be the worst tragedy of all.
Dr. Chuck Baldwin is the pastor of Crossroad Baptist Church in Pensacola, Florida. He hosts a weekly radio show. His website is here.