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NEWS BRIEF: Associated Press reports (1/15/04) in a speech at a New Orleans church, Bush told the crowd that God works through many of the world's religions. "Miracles happen as a result of the love of the Almighty, professed, by the way, taught, by the way, by religions from all walks of life whether it be Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu," Bush said. The president went on to say that there is nothing better than a faith-based program to provide hope: "Again, I don't care what religion it is -- there's nothing more hopeful than the word." It was not clear from the report what "word" President Bush was talking about. [Fred Jackson/AP]
"We can learn from the experiences of other countries when it comes to a good program to prevent the spread of AIDS, like the nation of Uganda," Bush said. "They've started what they call the ABC approach to prevention of this deadly disease. That stands for: Abstain, be faithful in marriage, and, when appropriate, use condoms."
I don't think we should deny people rights to a civil union, a legal arrangement, if that's what a state chooses to do," the president stated. "[S]tates ought to be able to have the right to pass ... laws that enable people to, you know, be able to have rights, like others."
On Aug. 15, in an interview with CNN's Larry King, the president was talking about his support for a federal marriage amendment when King asked him, "What about the union of gays?"
Mr. Bush said, "Well, that's up to the states, you know. If states choose to do that, in other words, if they want to provide legal protections for gays, that's great! That's fine!"
"I don't think we should deny people rights to a civil union, a legal arrangement, if that's what a state chooses to do so. ...
"I view the definition of marriage different from legal arrangements that enable people to have rights. And I strongly believe that marriage ought to be defined as between a union between a man and a woman.
"Now, having said that, states ought to be able to have the right to pass laws that enable people to be able to have rights like others," Bush told ABC's Charlie Gibson in an interview broadcast Tuesday on "Good Morning America."
"So the Republican platform on that point, as far as you're concerned, is wrong?" Gibson asked the president, to which Bush replied: "Right."
"American officials in Iraq are well aware of al-Rubaie's ability to navigate in both worlds; when President Bush landed in Baghdad for Thanksgiving dinner, clearly he'd been briefed. As al-Rubaie remembers their encounter, the president pointed at him and said, 'Dr. al-Rubaie, I want you to convey this message to Mr. Sistani. Tell him that I pray to the same god he prays to... Tell Sistani I have nothing but praise for your religion. I have many millions of Muslims in my country back home.' "
President Bush is proposing the largest budget increase in 20 years for the controversial National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), and pro-family groups are less than thrilled with the idea.
The NEA sponsors everything from opera, to modern dance, to art — including many projects through the years that have had a decidedly obscene or anti-Christian bent.
That's why American Family Association President Tim Wildmon has qualms about Bush's plan to bump the NEA's budget by $18 million, to $140 million, in taxpayer funds.
"Federal spending has increased roughly 24 percent since George W. Bush took office," he said. "Taxpayers certainly don't need to fund a federal Ministry of Culture, whether that's through Public Television or NPR or the National Endowment for the Arts."