Roundtable with a President by James M. Kushiner

Roundtable with a President

by James M. Kushiner

Roundtable participants:
Sheryl Henderson Blunt (Christianity Today)
James V. Heidinger II (Good News)
Deal Hudson (Crisis)
James M. Kushiner (Touchstone)
David L. Mahsman (The Lutheran Witness and Reporter)
Richard J. Neuhaus ( First Things)
Marvin Olasky (World)
Russell Shaw (Catholic writer)
Stephen Strang (Charisma)

Early on the afternoon of May 26, 2004, after passing through a metal detector, sending my portfolio through an x-ray machine, and being wanded twice by a security guard, I entered the White House grounds and was escorted with several others into the foyer of the West Wing. Two days earlier, I and eight other Christian publishers and journalists had been invited to a meeting at the White House with the president.

After 30 minutes, we were invited into the Roosevelt Room, but asked to leave our luggage and bags outside.

War & Questions

Once inside, I admired a Nobel Peace Prize mounted on the wall, given to Theodore Roosevelt in 1906 for his role in brokering peace in the Russo-Japanese War. Teddy the Rough Rider had a reputation as a gung-ho warmonger, but the peace prize balances that out.

And TR certainly came to know the cost of war himself, and not only from his own experiences as a soldier. Losing a son in World War I left him a deeply grieving father, heart-broken and sobered by the death war brings.

After a few minutes, President Bush, our own warmongering president—if you believe the newspapers—arrived on schedule, shook everyone’s hand, and sat down across the table to tell us “a little bit” of what was on his mind. “Obviously Iraq’s on my mind,” he began. (See?)

He spoke about the difficult process of “transferring full sovereignty and freedom” and promoting democracy in Iraq, since “these are people who have lived in tyranny; they haven’t developed the habits of free people yet.” He mentioned his belief in a “clash of ideologies,” and the need to fight terrorists intent on using “the corruption of religion to suit their purposes.”

He then shifted into war rhetoric:

We will use every asset to prevent an enemy from attacking us again. . . . I will not yield to them, to their blackmail, to their murder, to the fear they try to cause through death.


James M. Kushiner is the Director of Publications for The Fellowship of St. James and the former Executive Editor of Touchstone.

calling all readers

Please Donate

"There are magazines worth reading but few worth saving . . . Touchstone is just such a magazine."
—Alice von Hildebrand

"Here we do not concede one square millimeter of territory to falsehood, folly, contemporary sentimentality, or fashion. We speak the truth, and let God be our judge. . . . Touchstone is the one committedly Christian conservative journal."
—Anthony Esolen, Touchstone senior editor

Support Touchstone

• Not a subscriber or wish to renew your subscription? Subscribe to Touchstone today for full online access. Over 30 years of publishing!


personal subscriptions

Purchase Print &
Online Subscription

Get six issues (one year) of Touchstone PLUS full online access including pdf downloads for only $39.95. That's only $3.34 per month!


RENEW your print/online
subscription

Purchase
Online Subscription

Get a one-year full-access subscription to the Touchstone online archives including pdf downloads for only $19.95. That's only $1.66 per month!


RENEW your online subscription

gift subscriptions

GIVE Print &
Online Subscription

Give six issues (one year) of Touchstone PLUS full online access including pdf downloads for the reduced rate of $29.95. That's only $2.50 per month!


RENEW your gift subscription

Transactions will be processed on a secure server.

bulk subscriptions

Order Touchstone subscriptions in bulk and save $10 per sub! Each subscription includes 6 issues of Touchstone plus full online access to touchstonemag.com—including archives, videos, and pdf downloads of recent issues for only $29.95 each! Great for churches or study groups.

kindle subscription

OR get a subscription to Touchstone to read on your Kindle for only $1.99 per month! (This option is KINDLE ONLY and does not include either print or online.)

Your subscription goes a long way to ensure that Touchstone is able to continue its mission of publishing quality Christian articles and commentary.


more from the online archives

32.3—May/June 2019

Editing Jesus

on the Implications of Changing the Pater Noster by John M. McCarthy

20.6—July/August 2007

The Anglo-Saxon Evangel

The Beowulf Poet Was a Shrewd Christian Apologist by Douglas Wilson

32.1—January/February 2019

The Life of Sean

on Down Syndrome & the Lives That Matter by David F. Watson

00