Bush: Pledge ruling 'out of step' with America
CALGARY, Alberta (CNN) -- President Bush said Thursday that the United States "is a nation that values our relationship with the Almighty" and said the judges that ruled that voluntary recitals of the Pledge of Allegiance in schools is unconstitutional are "out of step with the traditions and history of our country."
Bush delivered his reaction during a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin before Thursday's official G-8 session in the western Canadian Rockies. Putin is an atheist, but is credited by the U.S. administration for allowing religious freedoms across Russia.
Bush said the ruling from a panel with the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in California ignored the fact that the Declaration of Independence acknowledged "we receive our rights from God." He said the court's decision was proof of the need for "common-sense judges" who "understand we derive our rights from God."
Bush said that when he visited Arizona to see families displaced by wildfires he was searching for something comforting to say and said he settled on telling them "there is a God who loves them. ... I believe that is the case."
The Justice Department is reviewing its options, and officials traveling with Bush said one likely path is to file a brief supporting the expected appeal of the ruling.
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