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As President Bush leaves office today, I stand in respect and gratitude for a man who did an enormous amount of good in the last eight years.

I was a part of the recount team in Broward and Palm Beach Counties in 2000. I saw the hanging, pregnant and dimpled chads up close – along with the miracle of God’s grace in giving us President George W. Bush for the last eight years.

Before you itemize a list off all the ways you think he’s let us down, I want to confess that I – that we, the church, have let him down. I told the president that I would pray for him every day and I meant it. But life got in the way and I would go days, sometimes weeks, without remembering to lift him up in prayer. Mr. President, I am sorry.

For eight years, it seems that all he’s heard about is what he’s done wrong. But Mr. President, let me be among the first to say thank you for all the things you’ve done right.

Beginning with yesterday, thank you for commuting the sentences of border agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean. They will finally go free for the “crime” of doing their job and keeping our borders safe from drug smuggling illegal aliens.

Thank you most of all for your incredible and unparalleled legacy for life!

Thank you for reinstating the Mexico City Policy (2001) that requires all non-governmental organizations that receive federal funding to refrain from performing or promoting abortions in other countries.

Thank you for signing into law:

  • the Born Alive Infant Protection Act (2002), which extends legal protection to infants who survive abortions by providing them with the same legal protections as babies who are born prematurely;

  • the Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act (2003) which protects children from being delivered four-fifths of the way, and killed by having their brains sucked out;
  • the Unborn Victims of Violence Act (2004), which defines a child “in utero” at any stage of development as human, with legal rights against death or injury from an outside attacker (except the abortionist);
  • the Hyde-Weldon Conscience Protection Amendment (2004), which prohibits discrimination against health care providers who decline to provide, pay for, provide coverage of, or refer for abortions.

Thank you for sending a letter to the Democratic leaders in Congress (2007) threatening to veto any bill that weakened existing pro-life policy.

Thank you for defining the term “child” from conception to birth in the Children’s Health Insurance Program (S-CHIP) through your former Secretary of Health and Human Services Tommy Thompson in 2002.

Thank you for protecting the freedom of conscience for health care workers (2008), through your Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt who issued a regulation to protect the rights of federally funded health care providers to decline to participate in services to which they morally object, including abortion.

Thank you for twice signing the executive orders that kept human embryos from being used for spare parts and prohibiting federal funds to be used for destructive embryonic stem cell research.

Thank you for appointing two Supreme Court justices who are committed to upholding the United States Constitution: John Roberts and Samuel Alito.

Thank you for your threat of a veto that kept the most dangerous threat to our freedom of speech, religion and association from becoming law: the so-called “hate crimes” bill. It seems to me that those who are so concerned about controlling speech that could be interpreted as being “offensive” should take a look at their own. The mocking, ridicule and hatred against this man is unparalleled. I’d list examples, but they would exceed my column word limit.

Thank you, Mr. President, for standing up against a flood of criticism to do what is right.

Thank you for keeping our country safe from attack since Sept. 11, 2001. The president rightly said in his farewell address: “There is legitimate debate about many of these decisions. But there can be little debate about the results. America has gone more than seven years without another terrorist attack on our soil.” The results speak for themselves. We’ve been safe on our soil while President Bush was at the helm. Thank you, sir.

We went on with our lives as usual after 9/11, but as he stated in his address, President Bush “never did.” And for that I am grateful. Thank you for understanding the battle against a hostile Islamic takeover is the struggle between “two dramatically different systems.” It is not about two equal ideologies we should work to appease. Rather, as he stated in his farewell address, the colliding worldviews are not moral equivalents: “Under one, a small band of fanatics demands total obedience to an oppressive ideology, condemns women to subservience and marks unbelievers for murder. The other system is based on the conviction that freedom is the universal gift of Almighty God and that liberty and justice light the path to peace.”

I am grateful we had a president for eight years with moral clarity. As he said in his last address: “I have often spoken to you about good and evil. This has made some uncomfortable. But good and evil are present in this world, and between the two there can be no compromise.”

You remember eight years ago when people were unable to recognize that highjacking planes and flying them into buildings was something we could uniformly recognize as “evil.” We even had people like Bill Maher confuse that terrorism with an act of “bravery.” What a confused society we have become. And I am grateful for President Bush’s willingness to call evil evil. Woe to those who call evil good.

In that same address, the president also said: “Murdering the innocent to advance an ideology is wrong every time, everywhere.” Of course, “every time” and “everywhere” includes in the womb. It is wrong, and this president stood against it.

So I would encourage my fellow Americans to stop complaining about President Bush long enough to look at the incredible good he’s done. Thank him. Thank God for him. And if you don’t agree with my words, then just brace yourself for what’s to come without him.


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