How shall I pay a tribute to the George W. Bush Presidential Center?
The Southern Methodist University (SMU) in Dallas Texas was founded in 1911 by the Methodist Episcopal Church South. Today the University is owned by the South Central Jurisdiction of the United Methodist Church. 12'000 students mostly conservative oriented are presently doing their studies at SMU, thereof 17 percent are Methodist.
In 2008 the University entered into an agreement to establish the George W. Bush Presidential Center (Library, Archive and Museum) on the campus. Connected to it is a private Policy Institute. The Library is one among eleven other Libraries of SMU but is rather dominant in the panoramic view of the main quadrangle.
For the dedication of the new Library George W. Bush invited all the former US Presidents and they arrived and celebrated with him: Jimmy Carter (88), Bill Clinton (66), and father Bush (88) as well as President Obama. The library and museum will be administered by the National Archives and Records Administration while the institute will be privately maintained.
There was a discussion in the United Methodist Church if the University should allow this project to be realized on their campus. The decision to do so was welcomed mostly by the conservative branches of Methodism, but also strongly criticized by the more liberal ones.
The Presidency of George W. Bush was for the international Methodist family often a burden and gave here and there a bad reputation to the brand of Methodism. So are f. e. the Methodists in Europe looking rather critically at the monument, which is now erected on the campus of SMU.
It was reported, that Bill Clinton said among friends: this Library may be the last example in the fights of former presidents to re-write their history.