The Washington Times - December 9, 2008, 09:29AM

This is not going to endear him to religious conservatives. In fact, I already have an e-mail from a former Bush administration official who writes, “This just completely alienated his evangelical supporters.” 

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In an interview with ABC News Monday, President Bush said the Bible is “probably not” literally true.

“I’m not a literalist, but I think you can learn a lot from it,” Mr. Bush told ABC’s Cynthia McFadden.

Here is the entire exchange:

 

MCFADDEN: Is it literally true, the Bible?

BUSH: You know. Probably not … No, I’m not a literalist, but I think you can learn a lot from it, but I do think that the New Testament, for example is … has got … You know, the important lesson is “God sent a son.”

MCFADDEN: So, you can read the Bible…

BUSH: That God in the flesh, that mankind can understand there is a God who is full of grace and that nothing you can do to earn his love. His love is a gift and that in order to draw closer to God and in order to express your appreciation for that love is why you change your behavior.

MCFADDEN: So, you can read the Bible and not take it literally. I mean you can — it’s not inconsistent to love the Bible and believe in evolution, say.

BUSH: Yeah, I mean, I do. I mean, evolution is an interesting subject. I happen to believe that evolution doesn’t fully explain the mystery of life and …

MCFADDEN: But do you believe in it?

BUSH: That God created the world, I do, yeah.

MCFADDEN: But what about …

BUSH: Well, I think you can have both. I think evolution can — you’re getting me way out of my lane here. I’m just a simple president. But it’s, I think that God created the Earth, created the world; I think the creation of the world is so mysterious it requires something as large as an almighty, and I don’t think it’s incompatible with the scientific proof that there is evolution.