President Bush said Christian media outlets reach 141 million people every year, and called on them to use their reach to help solve social ills.
"It's been said that 11 a.m. on Sunday is the most segregated hour in America. We all have a responsibility to break down the barriers that divide us," he said in remarks at the NRB convention in Nashville.
He said suburban churches "are often just a short drive away from brothers and sisters who are facing great need, and doing God's work. There's an opportunity here to end artificial divisions and join together in fellowship and service. There's also an obligation."
The president's speech had a strong religious tone. He also used the podium to promote his faith-based initiative.
"I believe government should welcome faith-based groups as allies in the great work of renewing America."
The president saluted American religious broadcasters for "sharing the gospel on the airways. You bring words of truth, and comfort, and encouragement into millions of homes ... You serve with all your heart and soul, and America is grateful." He asked them "to rally the armies of compassion so that we can change America one heart, one soul at a time."
"I welcome faith to help solve the nation's deepest problems," Bush said. "Government must not and will not endorse a religious creed, or directly fund religious worship ... But governments can and should support effective social services provided by religious people, so long as they work and as long as those services go to anyone in need, regardless of their faith."
"The days of discriminating against religious groups just because they are religious are coming to an end," Bush said to applause.
Acknowledging the loss of the Columbia astronauts, he said, "There's no question in my mind they are finding strength and comfort because of your prayers and because of the Almighty God."
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President Bush spoke to religious broadcasters this week.