President Bush addressed the Southern Baptists via satellite from the Whitehouse during the evangelical denomination’s annual meeting in Indianapolis, Indiana, June 15.
As with his satellite-broadcasted speech to the National Association of Evangelicals earlier this year, Bush’s speech was peppered with political intonations but embroidered with faith.
“Laura and I are thankful for your prayers. We have felt them at crucial hours,” said Bush as he began his speech to the largest denomination in the nation.
Bush went onto speak of the events in Afghanistan and Iraq, and emphasized that “Freedom is the almighty God’s gift to every man and woman who lives in this world,” as he vowed to continue on the fight.
The core of his speech was centered around building “a culture of life in America.” He mentioned the progress he had already made by signing the Born Alive Infants Protection Act and the Unborn Victims of Violence Act.
"Common sense and conscience tell us that when an expectant mother is killed, two lives are ended, and the criminal should answer for both crimes," he said as he mentioned the fact he added the partial birth abortion ban last November as well.
"This law is not only valid and constitutional, it is compassionate and urgently needed, and my administration will fight to uphold it," he said amid loud cheers and applause.
Moving on, Bush said his administration will continue the support for crisis pregnancy centers, incentives for adoption and parental notification laws.
"I propose to double federal funding for abstinence programs in schools and community-based programs," Bush said. "And I will work with Congress to pass a comprehensive and effective ban on human cloning. Life is a creation of God, not a commodity to be exploited by man."
The highlight of his speech centered on the sanctity of marriage.
"The union of a man and woman is the most enduring human institution, honored and encouraged in all cultures and by every religious faith. And government, by strengthening and protecting marriage, serves the interests of all,” said Bush, who mentioned that his administration would choose defend marriage against activist courts.
“So I am calling for funding for healthy marriage programs, and I support a constitutional amendment to protect marriage as a union of a man and a woman,” he said.
Bush closed his 12-minute long statement with words of hope:
"These years have brought trials we did not ask for and challenges we never expected to face," he said. "We have worked together, and we are rising to meet the duties of our time. Now we look forward with confidence and faith toward greater security and wider prosperity and a stronger culture of life. We pray always for God's guidance and strength in our lives and for this great nation."
To watch the broadcast, visit the SBC annual meeting homepage at: www.sbcannualmeeting.net.