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.” 

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.