Bush: Religious freedom a choice between 'Little Sisters and Big Brother'
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Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush said Saturday freedom of faith was a choice between the laws of man and the laws of God.
“From the standpoint of religious freedom, you might say it’s a choice between the Little Sisters and Big Brother,” Bush said at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va.
“I’m going with the Little Sisters,” he added, throwing in his support for the Little Sisters of the Poor, a Catholic religious institution for women which has clashed with the government over healthcare requirements in the past.
Bush, a likely 2016 GOP presidential candidate, spoke as Liberty University’s commencement speaker. He charged Saturday that government sought to control matters of the spirit much like they did matters on Earth.
“Somebody here is being small-minded and intolerant,” Bush said of the battle between church and state.
"It sure isn’t the nuns, ministers and preachers who are practicing their faith,” he added.
Bush said secularism had pigeon-holed religion as old-fashioned and stale. This description, he argued, was a falsehood.
“How strange it is in our time to hear of Christianity spoken of as a backwards or oppressive force,” Bush said.
“It is an unfair criticism,” he added. “It is not only untrue, but a little ungrateful, to dismiss the Christian faith as an obstacle to progressive thought.”
“It strikes me that most of the criticism of our faith today is drawn from hostile characterization,” Bush said.
Bush urged Liberty University’s 2015 graduates to live actively in their faith upon leaving campus. Their spirituality, he said, was sorely needed amid the failures of the secular world.
“So much has been tried and the need is still so vast,” he said.
“We can take it as a personal challenge to live the most dynamic and joyous news to ever enter into this world,” Bush said of Christianity.
“No place that the message reaches, no heart that it touches, is ever the same again,” he added.
Bush has not yet made his 2016 decision public. Should he run, he would seek the same office once held by his brother, former President George W. Bush, and his father, former President George H.W. Bush.