Saturday, October 02, 2004

Catholic Digest interview with President Bush

Here is the interview (pdf file) and a highlight:

CD: Why should a Catholic vote for you?

BUSH: Every American has a responsibility to look at the candidates, and to look at the issues, and decide which candidate they like best. That’s an important responsibility, and I don’t want anyone to take that responsibility lightly.

I know where I stand, I know my principles and beliefs, and I think the voters understand, too. They know I am a man of my word. They know I take very seriously my primary job, which is to keep them safe. They know I want America to be a hopeful, prosperous place. And they know that I want America to be welcoming to all people, of all faiths and backgrounds. And they can see that we’ve made great progress in all these areas over the past few years.

I believe that a review of my record will show that I support the same values and policies that have been at the heart of Catholic life in America: protecting life, defending human dignity, promoting policies that support marriages and families, and compassion for a neighbor in need.

My administration was the first to provide health coverage for prenatal care and delivery to mothers and their unborn children through the State Children’s Health Insurance Program. This helps to ensure low-income mothers have healthy pregnancies and their babies are born healthy and strong.

I am working to build a culture of life because every person, no matter how frail or vulnerable, young or elderly, is a blessing. I signed the partial birth abortion ban, and my administration is defending it aggressively in the courts. I signed the Unborn Victims of Violence Act, also known as the Laci and Connor Law, and the Born Alive Infants Protection Act. I also support the Abortion Non-Discrimination Act.

Human life is not a commodity, and I do not believe that it should be created for the sole purpose of destroying it. I support a total ban on human cloning. My administration will also continue to oppose euthanasia laws, because life should be protected at all stages.

In addition, I will continue to support crisis pregnancy centers, adoption incentives, and parental notification laws. These are just some of the steps I have taken toward building a culture of life.

I support a constitutional amendment to preserve the sanctity of marriage. For ages, in every culture, human beings have understood that traditional marriage is critical to the well-being of families. And because families pass along values and shape character, traditional marriage is also critical to the health of society. Our policies should aim to strengthen families, not undermine them. And changing the definition of traditional marriage, forced upon our country by a few activist judges and local officials, will undermine the family structure.

These are important times, and America depends on strong leadership — here in Washington, but also in our state capitals, our city halls, our schools, our houses of worship, and our community centers. And that’s why elections are so important. Every four years, the people get to decide if their president is making America stronger, safer, more prosperous. I think I’m doing those things. I’m confident America will say the same thing.

And I’m looking forward to a good vigorous debate. Something positive is happening in America. When I’m traveling the country, people say different things than they did four years ago. And the thing they say different now than four years ago is, “Mr. President, we pray for you.” It happens a lot.

It’s not, “Good luck; I hope you go tear down your opponent,” it is,“My family prays for you.” That is an incredibly sustaining part of the job of president. Americans want leaders who want the best for America — who want to meet new challenges, who see America as a special place. We’ve been through some tough times. Enemies came from far away to commit mass murder in our cities. They thought this would show some weakness in our character. But their plots only showed our strength. I’ve been proud to be president these past few years. It’s been a great honor to serve such a great nation. And I’m ready to lead it for four more years.

So are we!

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