— George H. W. Bush American politician, 41st President of the United States 1924 - 2018
Attributed by atheist activist Robert I. Sherman, reporting on remarks at a public press conference Bush held at O'Hare Airport on 27 August 1987 just after announcing his candidacy for president. Initially reported soon after the incident, years afterward disputes on the accuracy of the reports arose, as indicated at "Documents at Bush Presidential Library Prove VP Bush Questioned Citizenship and Patriotism of Atheists" (1 April 2006) at RobSherman.com https://web.archive.org/web/20150102092456/http://www.robsherman.com:80/advocacy/060401a.htm. Other journalists present have neither confirmed nor contradicted Sherman's account of the exchange. Sherman cites official correspondence about the incident between Jon Garth Murra, President of American Atheists, and White House Counsel C. Boyden Gray in December 1988, as clearly documenting that this was publicly reported prior to that time, and the accuracy of the remarks not contested, though implications of them in regard to actual stances on civil rights were.
Frequently misquoted as "No, I don't know that atheists should be considered as citizens, nor should they be considered patriots."
[1988, Fall, On the Barricades: Bush on Atheism, GALA Interim, Free Inquiry, 8, 4, 0272-0701, 16]
[1990-10-22, Do We Want Atheist Army?, Tom, Tiede, Waycross Journal-Herald, 73, 250, 3, http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=KltaAAAAIBAJ&sjid=yUwNAAAAIBAJ&pg=4651,702629]