Bypassed for PCUSA honors, Rice is new secretary of state
By John H. Adams, The Layman Online, November 16, 2004
In naming Condoleezza “Condi” Rice as the nation’s new secretary of state, President George W. Bush chose an evangelical Presbyterian who has never mustered a mention in the denomination’s selections for Women of Faith Awards.
Condoleezza RiceHow Rice, who turned 50 on Nov. 14, became a Presbyterian in the first place is a story that resonates with the Presbyterian Church (USA)’s attempt to increase its minority membership. But, despite her deep faith, her public service for President Bush and his father and her tenure as provost at Stanford University, she has been bypassed for honors within her own denomination.
Instead, the Women’s Program Area has chosen to present its annual award to women such as Janie Spahr, a lesbian activist; retired U.S. House member Eva Clayton, an ecumenical activist who represented the denomination at meetings of the World Reformed Alliance (the organization that recently condemned capitalism); feminist theologians; and advocates of abortion.
How did Condoleezza Rice become a Presbyterian and why does she eventually want to become commissioner of the National Football League? See “‘Condi’ Rice: Presbyterian with faith, political mettle,” Nov./Dec. 2000, Layman. The awards have reflected a consistent advocacy of liberal social and political views in a denomination in which more than half of the members are Republicans, according to the denomination’s polling arm, the Presbyterian Panel.
During President George H.W. Bush’s administration, Rice served for two years as assistant to the president for national security affairs and senior director for Soviet affairs at the National Security Council. She has been President George W. Bush’s national security adviser for four years.
When she served as provost at Stanford University, Rice worshipped at Menlo Park Presbyterian Church, a 4,500 member congregation. In Washington, she attends National Presbyterian Church along with another woman who is prominent in national politics, U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Dole, a former presidential candidate.
Dole also has never mustered a mention as a Women of Faith recipient.