The Magazine

Church of State

How is the Almighty treated when He's a guest in the White House?

Sep 7, 2009, Vol. 14, No. 47 • By WILLIAM MCKENZIE
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Finally, we should recognize that presidents particularly play a different role than the rest of us. Balmer tees off against George W. Bush time and again for using torture and other means against terrorists while maintaining a public embrace of Christianity. Fine, accuse him of hypocrisy; but if you're president, and you have to make tough calls, you may find it impossible to act consistently with your faith. You may find yourself having to make nasty decisions for the larger good.

As much as I was disappointed in Balmer's reporting, his two main points are worth considering. We're getting very close to straying too far from that Kennedy speech, and maybe we voters need to be more realistic when we pull the lever. A dose of reality will save us a lot of disappointment in the end.

William McKenzie writes a column for the Dallas Morning News and is moderator of Texas Faith at