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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Marty counsels humility

In a Newsweek essay (March 10), ELCA pastor and historian of U.S. religion retired from the University of Chicago, Martin Marty, examined President Bush's "God talk."

Bush's faith is sincere and deep, Marty suggests, but adds: "Christian theologians are wary when [he] uses the words of Jesus to draw neat lines and challenge the whole rest of the world: if you are not for us, or with us, you are against us. ... [But] the demonization of the enemy — an 'us and them' mentality — can inhibit self-examination and repentant action, critical components of any faith."

Favorably quoting Abraham Lincoln's words: "The Almighty has His own purposes," Marty suggests that the president and religious leaders alike need to recognize, "These purposes may not always match our own."


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