Pray for George W. Bush






Below is a copy of email correspondence that disproves the supposed incident in which GWBush spent half an hour leading a teen to Christ. The untrue story was proliferated over the Internet and unfortunately only perpetuates the legend that Christians are easily fooled (and how many Christians were fooled by "Y2K readiness" radio ads in 1999). 

We at love and admire George W. as a man of God.  We do not, however, sacrifice the truth on the altar of wishful thinking. Thanks to Diane Bennett for making this available to (Email addresses altered to protect parties from Spam-spiders)


---------- Forwarded message ----------

Date: Sat, 13 Jan 2001 15:32:43 -0500

From: Roger Vann <>


Subject: C.S.O.P.U.L. and the Bush story


Dear Friends,


I am writing to you as the founding member of the CSOPUL - Committee to Stamp Out the Proliferation of Urban Legends.  (That phrase may be unknown to you if you're new to cyberspace, because it is used to describe forwarded e-mail messages that continue to be forwarded until they develop a life and legitimacy of their own - like the one about Madelyn Murray OíHare and the FCC - even thought from the very outset the message was patently FALSE.)


I am generally reluctant to forward such e-mail messages I have received for fear they might turn out to be urban legends.  Most things you get from me are bona fide reports, manuscripts, personal humor, etc. where I'm confident of the credibility of the source.  A lot of virus warnings turn out to be urban legends, as well. 


There's actually a website -  - where folks can go to check out reports to see if they might be on the "legend list".  For example, the Neiman Marcus cookie recipe hoax is listed...  (My Yahoo search engine found 70 matches, so there are plenty of sites besides the main one I've listed.)


Several days ago I received a forwarded e-mail telling the heart-warming story of our President-elect stopping to pray with a campaign worker's daughter at a victory celebration banquet in Austin.  I was immediately tempted to pass it along to my e-mail groups for their encouragement (at least for the Republicans!) but something in the back of my mind made me think, "This sounds too good to be true."


For the past three days I have been on the trail of the source of this report.  With the kind and patient help of several folks in the chain, I have made good progress.  While I have not reached "the friend of the friend of Jeff Benoit" (and didn't actually expect to!!), I did learn the fellow in the likely Austin church is named Joe Benoit, not Jeff, and that he doesn't know anything about the story... which wasn't really that helpful.


However, I have just received a report that has made me glad I did some cyber-sleuthing.  I repeat the message below in full and want to thank those who helped me track it down.  Most of all, I want to thank Rev. David Dykes (Tyler, TX) for taking the initiative to get relevant facts.  


IMPORTANT:  You have my permission and encouragement to forward this entire e-mail to your friends and groups.  Let's stamp out this false story before it becomes another urban legend and perpetuates the legend that committed Christians are gullible fools.


ALSO:  There is no need to send me a reply.  I don't mind hearing from my "E-team" (you know who you are) but otherwise my mailbox is full enough already!  Thanks.


Yours for getting the Truth out,


Roger Vann


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 ----- Original Message -----

From: David O. Dykes <>


"Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up." (Gal. 6:9)


Dear Friend,


THANK YOU FOR SENDING THE MESSAGE ABOUT GEORGE W. BUSH leading the campaign worker to Christ.  I was going to use the story in a sermon, so, as always, I set out to confirm the validity of the story.  As you know, we can't believe everything that comes through cyberspace.


Based upon the research of a friend of mine who HAS worked on the Governor Bush's staff for the past two years, the story is not true.  Read the letter below. The TRUTH is that GWB is a committed Christian and I believe that he will be a Godly President, but as the body of Christ, we need to be sure that what we share with others is TRUE ... or we lose our credibility.


David O. Dykes, Pastor, Tyler, Texas


> >

> >  check out our site at



 ----- Original Message -----

From: <>

To: "David O. Dykes" <>


Sent: Monday, January 08, 2001 6:50 PM

Subject: Austin update


Hey David --


How are you? Greetings from Austin.  I am doing well...staying busy here In the Governor's Office...what an incredible two years this has been for me and all of us really as a nation.... I got your fax at the office and am now writing you from home.... Unfortunately, the story you received via e-mail is not true. I received it as well over the weekend and made calls to check it out.... I did so, because as a staff member in the Governor's Office and a campaign volunteer, I was not aware of any thank you banquet that was held after the election.  I talked to a few people at the campaign office and they all reconfirmed that unfortunately this is a hoax... for several reasons really:


1.  The campaign did not hold a thank you banquet for staff or volunteers because there was no time after the election due to the Florida recount. Soon after election day many on the campaign's staff went to Florida as observers etc and didn't return until after GWB was declared president-elect... thus, no banquet was held...


2.  A thank you reception was held for volunteers at the Governor's Mansion, however the Governor did not attend.  I DID attend the reception and was there the whole time and GWB or Laura were not in attendance -- I remember that distinctly -- because many volunteers were hoping they would stop in for a few minutes and they were unavailable...( didn't happen at the volunteers reception...)


3.  The president-elect's schedule is so-scheduled that although he may wish to have 30 minutes to visit with a young person, and probably would enjoy it, he wouldn't have had the time to do so and his schedulers wouldn't have allowed it --- so even if he wanted to -- he wouldn't have been able to stop and visit like that...  It's a wonderful story ---- unfortunately -- itís not true.


Now, on a brighter note, you could mention in your sermon that on the Day after GWB was declared the president-elect -- the first thing he did was attend a prayer service at his home church.... I was there and it was quite an honor to be there -- a really moving service at Tarrytown United Methodist Church... The service was only open to gubernatorial and campaign staff members and Bush family members and those of us there were so blessed by the great hymns "Holy, Holy, Holy" and "The Battle Hymn of the Republic," special prayers by Rev. Kirbyjon Caldwell of Houston and the sermon by the Rev. Mark Craig, church pastor... Country western singer Larry Gatlin performed a new song titled "Come Let Us Reason Together" That he composed for the President-elect and First Lady about reconciliation and healing our land... the President-elect had tears in his eyes as he left the service -- I sat right near the aisle and saw the tears myself --- it was such a fitting and wonderful way to begin his first week as president-elect.... If you want -- you could also quote the Prayer of Intercession that we staff members read together at that prayer service


--- (I wrote it in my journal and have a copy of the church program if you need a copy)




Prayer of Intercession:

"Almighty God, by whose mercy we have come to the gateway of a new era for our country.  Grant that we may enter it with humble and grateful hearts; and confirm our resolution to walk more closely in your perfect will and labor more faithfully in your service.  Forgive our shortcomings and our sins; purify our hearts to see and love the truth; give wisdom to our leaders, especially President-elect George W. Bush and Vice President-elect Dick Cheney; and give steadfastness to our people.  In the time of prosperity, fill our hearts with thankfulness and in the day of adversity; do not let our trust in you fail.  Guide us as we seek to do your will.  Amen."



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