A A wind in. the Bush Alan Pogue OBSERVATIONS Questions for George W. BY RONNIE DUGGER AN A TEXAS JEW GO TO HEAVEN? GEORGE W. BUSH Says ‘NO” What is such an inflammatory headline doing tacked onto the refrigerator in the kitchen of my gentle friends Eileen and Michael Shapiro in Littleton, Colorado? Well, the Shapiros lived in Houston for many years and have subscribed to Houston’s Jewish newspaper, the Jewish Herald Voice, ever since. They clipped that headline out of the November 2, 1994, edition of the Herald Voice, which had printed underneath it, by way of explanation, this excerpt from the Houston Post of October 2, 1994, a month earlier: “One decision of which Bush is certain is that heaven is open only to those who accept Jesus Christ.” Until Bush backed off this position after Billy Graham told him it was a decision for God, not governors, it was unsettling news for Jews, Muslims, and believers in any faiths other than the Christian perhaps even for backsliding Christians. But there are plenty of additional questions fractious reporters might ask George W. Bush in any of the hundreds of press conferences he now faces. As Governor, George W. has asked a federal appeals court to reverse itself and approve the policy adopted by a public school district near Houston, that publicschool students are to be permitted to vote to authorize an invocation and benediction nor, is the First Amendment protection of freedom of religion subject to suspension by a majority vote by students in a public majority win or would there be propora high school’s students voted to have a Muslim invocation and a Jewish benediction, would that violate the rights of the Christian students? Albert Hunt, a writer for the Wall Street Journal, suggests two questions reporters might ask Bush. Concerning Bush’s “financial killing” from his $600,000 investment in the Texas Rangers, “What is the nature of his relationship with Tom Hicks, who bought the club at a handsome ‘price?” And, Hunt continues, “Going back a decade ago, when he was a director of Harken Energy Co., what was the exact nature of his dealings with shadowy Middle Eastern figures, including some involved with the outlaw Bank of Credit & Commerce International?” What other questions might the Republican frontrunner for President be asked, either altogether seriously, or just to liven up the day’s news? George W. supports a constitutional amendment to outlaW abortions except in cases of rape or incest or where the life of the woman is at stake. The executive director of the National Right to Life Committee said in a news release that George W. “has a pro-life record and has taken a pro-life position,” and the committee’s PAC director added that since the Governor’s position would eliminate 98 percent of all abortions it certainly is “a pro-life position.” The director of Phyllis Schlafly’s Republican National Coalition for Life finds calling Bush’s position pro life to be “shocking.”‘ What is the Governor’s position on this controversy? is it correct to call him pro-life? He has also said, “America is not ready to overturn Roe v. Wade because America’s hearts are not right.” If, Governor, as the National Right to Life Committee says, your position on abortion is pro-life, how is it that the hearts of Americans who are not ready to overturn Roe v. Wade are not right? Since, by the polls, roughly two-thirds of the American people seem to oppose reversing Roe v. Wade, will you explain to them during your campaign why their hearts are not right? Opposing adoptions by gays or lesbians, Governor Bush has said “children ought to be adopted in families with a woman and a also, then, that adoptions by single heterosexual men and women should be prohibchild abuse is likelier to occur in homes with gay or lesbian parents than in those with het 22 THE TEXAS OBSERVER MAY 14, 1999
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