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The 21st Century is Producing the Miracle of a Turning to God
Reflections in Society of the Turning to God
Western Artists Turn to God
News in the Media
World Leaders Express the Importance of the Turning to God in the New Millenium
The Turning to God in the Western Scientific World

WORLD LEADERS EXPRESS THE IMPORTANCE OF THE
TURNING TO GOD IN THE NEW MILLENIUM

In their election campaigns, the leaders of the world's most prominent nations have noted the turning to God at prime ministerial ceremonies and in speeches, and have called on God's name at every available opportunity. These leaders, who realize that lack of belief, which is a product of materialist philosophy, has led to disasters such as war, starvation, cruelty and genocide, are now encouraging their peoples to return to God and spiritual values.

The next few pages will consider the religious identity of some of these people in their own words.

Former US president Bill Clinton

Major steps towards a return to religion were taken during Bill Clinton's presidency. For example, the ever first Ramadan feast for Muslims at the White House was given in 1996. In 1997, a decree put forward by Clinton saw great progress made on the issue of freedom of belief.(1) Following these developments, people from all sections of society openly announced they were turning to God. Politicians, members of the armed forces, scientists, artists, sportsmen, and people from all walks of life are openly declaring their belief in God. Here are some of Bill Clinton's words in praise of God:

Date: Sept. 12, 1998

"I was up rather late last night thinking about and praying about what I ought to say today... I must have God's help to be the person that I want to be… The children of this country can learn in a profound way that integrity is important and selfishness is wrong, but God can change us and make us strong at the broken places... A couple of days ago when I was in Florida, a Jewish friend of mine gave me this liturgy book called Gates of Repentance. And there was this incredible passage from the Yom Kippur liturgy. I would like to read it to you: Lord help us to turn, from callousness to sensitivity, from hostility to love, from pettiness to purpose, from envy to contentment, from carelessness to discipline, from fear to faith. Turn us around, O Lord, and bring us back toward you… I ask you to share my prayer that God will search me and know my heart, try me and know my anxious thoughts, see if there is any hurtfulness in me, and lead me toward the life everlasting… I ask that God give me a clean heart, let me walk by faith and not sight… God bless you." 2

Date: Dec. 19. 1998

Subject: The Ramadan feast

"We have the most profound admiration for Islam." 3

Date: Jan. 10, 2000

Subject: Ramadan celebration message

"Over the weekend, along with Muslims all over the world, you celebrated the end of the holy month of Ramadan. The month of daily fasting is not only a sacred duty, it is also a powerful teaching, and in many ways a gift of Islam to the entire rest of the world-reminding not simply Muslims, but all people, of our shared obligation to aid those who live with poverty and suffering. It reminds us that we must work together to build a more humane world… The Koran also teaches, in addition, to the fact that we should do unto others as we wish to have done to us, and reject for others what we would reject for ourselves, but we should also make a commitment to live in peace. There is a new moon that has risen at the end of Ramadan and a new millennium marked in many nations. And again, I say to you as we leave, in addition to your prayers and work for peace and understanding and reconciliation within the United States, I ask especially for your prayers for the current mission of peace in the Middle East." 4

Date: Jan. 12, 2000

Occasion: At the White House

"Let me say, also, that there is much that the world can learn from Islam… And I thought it was particularly moving that Imam read the passage from the Koran that said that Allah created nations and tribes that we might know one another, not that we might despise one another… Indeed, I remember that our daughter took a course on Islamic history in high school and read large portions of the Koran, and came home at night and educated her parents about it, and later asked us questions about it." 5

Date: June 27, 2000

Subject: A statement to the whole world following the announcement of the Human Genome Project

"Today, we are learning the language in which God created life; we are gaining ever more awe for the complexity, the beauty, the wonder of God's most divine and sacred gift." 6

Date: Dec. 28, 2000

Subject: Ramadan celebration

"On behalf of the American people, it is my honor to congratulate Muslims around the world on the occasion of the Eid Al-Fitr. Whether native-born or immigrants from Africa, the Middle East, Asia, or Europe, Muslims now represent an increasingly important element in the tapestry of American society. Because of the growth of Islam in our country, American citizens of all faiths are coming to appreciate the significance of Ramadan as Muslims fast, pray, and rededicate themselves to the teachings of the Qur'an." 7

"There is special significance this year as the three Abrahamic faiths all celebrate holidays in the span of the same week. As Jews celebrate Hanukkah, Christians celebrate Christmas, and now Muslims celebrate Eid Al-Fitr. The Qur'an, the Bible, and the Torah all call on believers to love ones neighbours and to welcome strangers. The Qur'an tells us that we are all People of the Book and that we share a common humanity and dignity." 8

Date: Jan. 19, 2001

Subject: Clinton's farewell presidential address

"…God bless you, and God bless America..." 9

Al Gore, vice president during Clinton's term in office and presidential candidate during the 2000 elections, concluded a speech following the court decision regarding the elections with the words, "… May God bless you and may God bless our country." 10


MADELEINE ALBRIGHT, Former US Secretary of State

In 2001 an Islamic section was for the first time opened up on the official U.S. State Department website. Secretary of state Madeleine Albright's statement on that page regarding the rise of Islam in America included some striking information:

"I am pleased that since last year the State Department has inaugurated a new website entitled, 'Islam in America.' Its purpose is to help people everywhere learn more about the positive force that Islam has become in American life…" 11


US President George W. Bush

George W. Bush, who was elected president after Bill Clinton, revealed the policy he would follow with the great rise in the number of people turning to God. In one important move in the increase in belief, President Bush criticized the teaching of the theory of evolution is state schools, and insisted on the importance of young people being given moral education. Here are some examples from George W. Bush's speeches at the beginning of the 21dst century calling on people to turn to God:

"I had always been a 'religious' person, had regularly attended church…But that weekend my faith took on a new meaning. It was the beginning of a new walk where I would commit my heart to Jesus Christ… I have also learned the power of prayer. I pray for guidance… My faith gives me focus and perspective. It teaches humility. is an important part of my life… I believe it is important to live my faith, not flaunt it. America is a great country because of our religious freedoms. I could not be governor if I did not believe in a divine plan that supersedes all human plans…y faith teaches that life is a gift from our Creator. In a perfect world, life is given by God and only taken by God." 12

Date: Aug. 4, 2000

Occasion: A speech made by George W. Bush after being elected president

"When I put my hand on the Bible, I will swear to not only uphold the laws of our land, I will swear to uphold the honor and dignity of the office to which I have been elected, so help me God… I believe in a God Who calls us not to judge our neighbors but to love them…God bless. God bless America." 13

Date: Jan. 20, 2001

Occasion: Presidential inauguration ceremony.

The new U.S. President George W. Bush concluded his inaugural address with the following words:

"… And some needs and hurts are so deep they will only respond to a mentor's touch or a pastor's prayer. Church and charity, synagogue and mosque lend our communities their humanity, and they will have an honored place in our plans and in our laws… God bless you all, and God bless America." 14

Prayers full of entreaties to God were also made by two different priests at this ceremony. These prayers at the U.S. presidential inauguration ceremony, which was watched live by the whole world, revealed to everyone that there is an intense belief in God in the West. The contents of these prayers, which all the guests stood up to listen to, were as follows:

"Blessed are you, O Lord, our God. Yours, O God, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the majesty and the splendor, for everything in heaven and earth is yours. Yours, O Lord, is the kingdom. You're exalted as head over all. Wealth and honor come from you. You are the ruler of all things. In your hands are strength and power to exalt and to give strength to all... We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of heaven. We have been preserved these many years in peace and prosperity. We have grown in numbers, wealth and power as no other nation has ever grown. But we have forgotten God. It behooves us then to humble ourselves before the offended powers, to confess our national sins and to pray for clemency and forgiveness… We pray that You'll help them bring our country together so that we may rise above partisan politics and seek the larger vision of Your will for our nation. Use them to bring reconciliation between the races, healing to political wounds, that we may truly become one nation under God… Now, O Lord, we dedicate this presidential inaugural ceremony to you. May this be the beginning of a new dawn for America as we humble ourselves before you and acknowledge you alone as our Lord, our Savior and our Redeemer." 15

These are some examples from speeches before the election, in which President Bush expressed his belief in God:

"… I believe that God decides who goes to heaven…" 16

"When the Republican candidates were asked to name their favorite political philosophers, Mr. Bush replied: 'Christ, because he changed my heart… When you turn your heart and your life over to Christ, when you accept Christ as the Savior, it changes your heart. It changes your life. And that's what happened to me.'" 17

Date: Aug. 11, 1999

Occasion: George W. Bush made his position on the teaching of religion in schools clear in an article published on the Internet

Presidential candidate George W. Bush made a most important speech at Gorham on the campaign trail. Bush made clear his view that character training, and in particular religious education, should be wider taught in American state schools. 18

The following appeared in the New York Post on Nov. 5, 1999 regarding the president's views:

"Teach about God in Class… George W. Bush says schools should expose kids to the belief that God created the world-as well as the scientific theory of evolution. "I have absolutely no problem with children learning different forms of how the world was formed." Bush told a crowd…He said local school boards should decide curriculum on evolution and creationism." 19

These words appeared in an article in the New York Times on Oct. 29, 2000:

"Mr. Bush…does not believe in evolution." 20

Date: Jan. 30, 2001

Subject: The White House, the setting up of a "Social Initiative Based on Belief"

President Bush shows the importance he attaches to religious and moral education in America with the initiatives he has begun to set aside considerable sums in special funds for religious organizations.

"On Jan. 29, surrounded by leaders of many faiths, President Bush announced that he intends to make federal funds available to "faith-based" organizations." Government cannot be replaced by charities, but it can welcome them as partners," said Bush, repeating almost word-for-word a 1999 campaign speech. "We must...work in fruitful partnership with community-serving and faith-based organizations..." 21

Date: Jan. 30, 2001

Occasion: A speech by President Bush at the National Prayer Breakfast

President Bush told attendees of the annual National Prayer Breakfast this morning that his faith influences nearly every aspect of his life, and that he believes demonstration of his deeply held religious beliefs will bring a new era of civility to the nations capital. Bush said, opening his brief remarks. "No matter what our background, in prayer, we share something universal, a desire to speak and listen to our maker, and to know his plan for our lives…Yet, I have found my faith helps me in the service to people. Faith teaches humility…Faith is also important to the civility of our country. It teaches us not merely to tolerate one another, but to respect one another, to show a regard for different views and the courtesy to listen." 22


Date:
Nov. 2, 1999

Subject: From George W. Bush's 'The True Aim of Education' speech in New Hampshire

In a speech he delivered in 1999, US President George W. Bush stressed that children must be left free to live by their religious beliefs and that religion guides them in their lives:

"…Most of our kids are good kids…Nearly all believe in God, and most practice their faith…Religious groups have a right to meet before and after school." 23

That is the situation in America, and it is no different in Great Britain, another of the major powers in the West. Prime Minister Tony Blair, known for his religious nature and Prince Charles both express the importance of the turning to God in the west.


TONY BLAIR, British Prime Minister

Tony Blair Calls on Britain to Reach out for more Understanding of Islam

Date: Mar. 2000

"Many newspapers reported on Mr. Blair's statement that he has read a translation of the Qur'an and even owns two copies. He is said to be studying the Qur'an and other religious texts as part of a personal ecumenical drive to include Britain's multi-faith community in policymaking. The Prime Minister is said to have already read the Qur'an three times, and has impressed the British Muslim community by the depth of his knowledge and understanding of their faith." 24

Date: Mar. 30, 3000

"Islam is a deeply reflective, a very beautiful religion," stated British Prime Minister Tony Blair, in an interview with the Muslim News, a United Kingdom based newspaper… The Prime Minister stated that "If you read the Qur'an it is so clear, the concept of love and fellowship as the guiding spirits of humanity." 25

The Prime Minister stated that he "owns two copies of the Qur'an and carries one with him whenever he can," a habit he picked up from Chelsea Clinton. He also expressed his respect for Islam by saying that he "draws inspiration from it. If you read the Qur'an it is so clear, the concept of love and fellowship as the guiding spirits of humanity." 26

Date: Oct. 9, 2001

"I read the message of the Koran, in so far as it can be translated. And I read about Islam and I enjoy doing that. And I think that I have learned things about the Koran that I never knew before and I think a lot of Christians would be interested." 27


PRINCE CHARLES

In the first months of 1997, Prince Charles criticized materialism and said that Islam gave the best answer to the materialist point of view:

"Islamic culture in its traditional form has striven to preserve this integrated, spiritual view of the world in a way we have not seen fit to do in recent generations in the West. There is much we can learn from that Islamic world view in this respect." 28

On a visit to the first official Islamic school in West London, Prince Charles stressed that the benefits of religion to society were very important,

"I believe that Islam has much to teach increasingly secular societies like ours in Britain." 29


HELMUT KOHL, Former German chancellor

Former German Chancellor Helmut Kohl made this suggestion in a letter to the European Union in 1997:

"Chancellor Kohl wants a reference to God in any future European Union constitution. The German constitution already refers to God and campaigners in Bavaria hope this will serve as a model for the EU. But in a letter this week to Harald Hässler, in Nuremberg, Mr Kohl observes that two other EU members, Ireland and Greece, also refer to God in their constitutions… Mr. Kohl's support was welcomed yesterday by Mr. Hässler and other campaigners. "It is absolutely delightful," said a Member of the European Parliament for the Christian Social Union. "For me, Helmut Kohl is the greatest architect of Europe's future." 30


VICENTE FOX, President of Mexico

The Catholic Vicente Fox, who defeated the National Revolutionary Party, which had been in power for 71 years, took up office on Dec. 1, 2000, and has stressed in his speeches the importance of a return to religious values in state schools.(31) The new prime minister's election victory on July 2 was described by a Mexican official as being like "the tearing down of the Berlin Wall,"(32) and the following words on the subject of the good news of a turning towards religion appeared in the Jan. 8, 2001 edition of Newsweek:

"[Bishop José de Jesús Martínez Zepeda says:] 'President Fox's faith draws attention because of the contrast to past (Mexican) presidents. I remember that President Clinton, when he had his judicial problems, appeared in the news various times leaving the church, arm-and-arm with his wife, Hillary, and his daughter. For a long time here, politicians and religion have had nothing to do with each other, and so in the moment that a politician makes a religious act, the press blows it out of proportion. A person has the right to express his faith.'

… He opened his campaign standing in front of a flag of Our Lady the Virgin of Guadalupe, has said he believes homosexuality is wrong and, promised to promote 'the right to life from the moment of conception,' strengthen the family unit, allow churches to spread their message through the media, and expand the church's access to public health centers, prisons and orphanages.

… Vicente Fox, the most openly Catholic president in more than century, wins the presidency and promises to expand religious freedom. He denies that he will impose church doctrine on society." 33

1. “Clinton: Give Federal Workers Religious Freedom,” All Politics, August 14, 1997; http://edition.cnn.com/ALLPOLITICS/1997/08/14/clinton.religion/
2. “The ‘Broken Spirit’ Speech,” September 12, 1998; http://www.freep.com/news/clinton/qspeech12.htm
3. “Anti-US, UK anger Rises”, BBC, December 19,1998; http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/events/crisis_in_the_gulf/latest_news/238436.stm
4. “Remarks by President William Clinton at event commemorating end of Ramadan,” Presidential Hall, January 10, 2000; http://www.amaana.org/ISWEB/ramadan.htm
5. “Remarks by President William Clinton at event commemorating end of Ramadan,” Presidential Hall, January 10, 2000; http://www.amaana.org/ISWEB/ramadan.htm
6. President Clinton, at the White House announcement, Monday, June 26, 2000; “Quote-Unquote,” Discovery, June 2000
7. “President Clinton Congratulates Muslims On Eid Al-Fitr,” December 23, 2000; http://usembassy.state.gov/islamabad/wwwh00122303.html
8. “President Clinton Congratulates Muslims On Eid Al-Fitr,” December 23, 2000; http://usembassy.state.gov/islamabad/wwwh00122303.html
9. “Clinton, in farewell, says nation is in great shape,” CNN, January 18, 2001; http://www.cnn.com/2001/ALLPOLITICS/stories/01/18/clinton.farewell/index.html
10. MTV.com; http://www.mtv.com/news/chooseorlose/features/feature2_1121.html
11. “Remarks by Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright at Iftaar Dinner,” December 19, 2000; http://usinfo.state.gov/usa/islam/s122000.htm
12. Jim and Pat Sanders, “President Geroge W. Bush’s Personal Testimony;” http://www.fcph.us/bushtestimony.html
13. http://www.telegraph.co.uk:80/et?ac=004209710555050&rtmo=aC4JJKdJ&atmo=rrrrrrrq&pg=/et/00/8/4/wrep504.html
14. “Inauguration Day,” PBS online News Hour; http://www.pbs.org/newshour/inauguration/inauguration_day.html
15. Prayer at Bush’s inauguration ceremony, January 2001
16. http://www.georgebush2000.com
17 . http://www.geocities.com/CapitolHill/3750/religion.htm
18. http://christianity.about.com/religion/christianity/library/weekly/aa082100.htmrnk=r1&terms=
Bringing+God+Back+to+School
19. New York Post, November 5, 1999
20 . New York Times, October 29, 2000
21. Jimi Izrael and Andy Lang, “Bush's faith-based initiative a ‘mixed blessing,” March 2001; http://www.ucc.org/ucnews/mar01/faith.htm
22. http://www.christianity.com/CC/article/1,1183,PTID2546|CHID|CIID133310,00.htm
23. http://www.georgewbush.com/News/speeches/110299_education.htm
24. BMMS, vol. VIII, no. 3, March 2000, p. 11/12
25. “Tony Blair Calls on Britain to Reach out for more Understanding of Islam,” May 2000; http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Parthenon/4482/tblair.html
26. “Tony Blair Calls on Britain to Reach out for more Understanding of Islam,” May 2000; http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Parthenon/4482/tblair.html
27. Prime Minister Tony Blair’s Interview with Al-Jazeera, October 9, 2001
28 . Abdul Qater Tash, “Prince Charles Presents Muslims an Opportunity That May Not Come Again,” March 1997, pg. 12; http://www.washington-report.org/backissues/0397/9703012.htm
29. “Prince joins Ramadan ceremony,” BBC, November 23, 2001; http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/1671797.stm
30. Andrew Gimson, “Constitution of EU ‘should refer to God,’” Electronic Telegraph, January 31, 1998
31. “Mexico’s political earthquake,” Christian Century, July 19, 2000; http://www.findarticles.com/cf_0/m1058/21_117/63904085/p2/article.jhtml?term=
32. “Mexico’s political earthquake,” Christian Century, July 19, 2000; http://www.findarticles.com/m1058/21_117/63904085/p1/article.jhtml
33. Newsweek, January 8, 2001

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