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President George W. Bush, in a rare on-the-record session with religion editors and writers on Wednesday, said his job as president is to "change cultures."

In wide-ranging comments inside the Roosevelt Room, Bush spoke passionately about his resolve to establish a free Iraq, his desire to promote cultural change in the United States through his faith-based initiative, and his belief in the power of prayer. Appearing relaxed and self-assured, the President also reaffirmed his support for a Federal Marriage Amendment, urging the American people to become more involved.

Taking a firm line on the Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse scandal, Bush said that while he was sorry for those who had been humiliated, and has said so publicly, "I never apologized to the Arab world."

The on-the-record session included a period where the nine Christian editors and writers (including two who have served as Bush advisors) asked questions.

Writers and news executives included CT senior news writer Sheryl Henderson Blunt; James V. Heidinger II, president and publisher of Good News; Deal Hudson, editor of Crisis Magazine; James Kushiner, editor of Touchstone magazine; David L. Mahsman, Director of News and Information and Executive Editor for The Lutheran Witness and Reporter of The Lutheran Church Missouri Synod; Father Richard John Neuhaus, editor-in-chief, First Things;World Magazine editor Marvin Olasky; Catholic writer Russell Shaw; Stephen Strang, founder of Strang Communications.

Following is an edited transcript of the May 26, 2004, session.

President Bush:

Let me just tell you a little bit of what's on my mind. Obviously Iraq's on my mind. We are in the process of transferring full sovereignty and eventual freedom—full sovereignty and freedom—to the ...

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