QUESTION: Mr. President, recently the head of the Family Research Council said that judicial filibusters are an attack against people of faith. And I wonder whether you believe that, in fact, that is what is nominating Democrats who oppose your judicial choices. And I wonder what you think, generally, about the role that faith is playing, how it's being used in our political debates right now.I knew he would say that.
BUSH: I think people are opposing my nominees because they don't like the judicial philosophy of the people I've nominated. And some would like to see judges legislate from the bench. That's not my view of the proper role of a judge.
Speaking about judges, I certainly hope my nominees get an up-or- down vote on the floor of the Senate.
BUSH: They deserve an up-or-down vote. I think, for the sake of fairness, these good people I've nominated should get a vote. And I'm hoping that will be the case as time goes on.
Role of religion in our society? I view religion as a personal matter. I think a person ought to be judged on how he or she lives his life or lives her life. And that's how I've tried to live my life: through example. Faith plays an important part in my life individually. But I don't ascribe a person's opposing my nominations to an issue of faith.
QUESTION: Do you think that's an inappropriate statement? And what I ask is...
BUSH: No, I just don't agree with it.
QUESTION: You don't agree with it?
BUSH: No. I think people oppose my nominees because of judicial philosophy.
QUESTION: Sir, I asked you about what you think of...
BUSH: No, I know what you asked me.
QUESTION: ... the way faith is being used in our political debates, not just in society generally.
BUSH: Well, I can only speak to myself. And I am mindful that people in political office should say to somebody, You're not equally American if you don't happen to agree with my view of religion.
As I said, I think faith is a personal issue. And I take great strength from my faith. But I don't condemn somebody in the political process because they may not agree with me on religion.
The great thing about America is that you should be allowed to worship any way you want. And if you chose not to worship, you're equally as patriotic as somebody who does worship. And if you choose to worship, you're equally American if you're a Christian, a Jew, a Muslim.
And that's the wonderful thing about our country and that's the way it should be.