TV evangelist Pat Robertson criticized President Bush last week for acting as a religious leader and causing confusion about the real nature of Islam.
“He is not elected as chief theologian,” Robertson told The Washington Times.
When the president said that “Islam is a religion of peace,” he was speaking religiously and his comments are “leading to needless confusion,” Robertson said.
Earlier in November, Bush distanced himself from religious right leaders who have made repeated controversial remarks about Islam. While Bush did not name Robertson, Jerry Falwell and Franklin Graham, his aides reportedly told journalists to whom the president was referring.
Following Bush’s distancing remarks in a White House meeting with U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, Robertson said on “The 700 Club” that he was not throwing rocks at the president and implied that the president did not understand Islam. Robertson called Bush’s comments “a minor disagreement among friends.”
Other Christian fundamentalist leaders continued to criticize Bush’s stance on Islam.
Joe Glover, leader of the Family Policy Network, told Family News in Focus that Bush was hurting himself among evangelicals.
“I think a lot of people I’ve spoken to are scratching their heads and wondering what the born-again Evangelical nature of Bush’s life is really—when is that going to come out?” Glover said.
“His remarks are consistent with his behavior,” Glover said. “He’s holding and hosting Ramadan Iftar services in the White House to celebrate Islam, and yet the best we can get having to do with Christianity is a tree on the White House lawn.”
AgapePress criticized the White House last Tuesday for its failure to condemn remarks by an American Muslim leader who compared religious right leaders to Osama bin Laden.
“Although President Bush and Secretary of State Colin Powell have been quick to condemn Christians who criticize Islam, it appears they do not have a problem when the reverse occurs,” AgapePress said. “The White House has not condemned the Muslims’ remarks even though Bush did condemn remarks made by some evangelical leaders who said Islam is not a religion of peace.”