What did Jesus think of people who boast of their piety the way George W. Bush does? Here's what the Man said:
Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess. And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted. (Luke 18:10-14, KJV)
Now, here's Bush, as seen in Howard Fineman's Newsweek cover story "Bush and God":
As he prepared to run, in 1999, Bush assembled leading pastors at the governor’s mansion for a “laying-on of hands,” and told them he’d been “called” to seek higher office. In the GOP primaries, he outmaneuvered the field by practicing what one rival, Gary Bauer, called “identity politics.” Others tried to woo evangelicals by pledging strict allegiance on issues such as abortion and gay rights. “Bush talked about his faith,” said Bauer, “and people just believed him—and believed in him.”
You can't blame Bush, in a way -- even though Jesus urges humility and self-abnegation in Bible passage after Bible passage, an awful lot of American Bibles seem to be missing those passages. As a result, America is lousy with Pharisees, people who endlessly boast of their own godliness. Fineman's article makes clear that Bush and his döppelganger, Karl Rove, figured out how to appeal to these people many years ago. Of course, Fineman's article is part of that permanent campaign.