Karl Rove, seeking out a sympathetic audience, arranged for George W. Bush to give the commencement address at evangelical Calvin College. Unfortunately, Rove did not count on actual Christians that might be hidden among the students and faculty.
On the day of the address, about a third of the faculty took out an ad in the Grand Rapids Press, saying that "we seek open and honest dialogue about the Christian faith and how it is best expressed in the political sphere," and that "we see conflicts between our understanding of what Christians are called to do and many of the policies of your administration."
The letter asserted that administration policies have "launched an unjust and unjustified war in Iraq," "taken actions that favor the wealthy of our society and burden the poor, " "harmed creation and have not promoted long-term stewardship of our natural environment," and "fostered intolerance and divisiveness and has often failed to listen to those with whom it disagrees." It concluded: "Our passion for these matters arises out of the Christian faith that we share with you. We ask you, Mr. President, to re-examine your policies in light of our God-given duty to pursue justice with mercy...." One faculty member told a reporter, "We are not Lynchburg. We are not right wing; we're not left wing. We think our faith trumps political ideology."
On graduation day, about a quarter of the grads wore a "God is Not a Republican or Democrat" button on their robes.