June 16, 2009

WE WOULDN'T ELECT THEM OTHERWISE:

Presidents act religious even when they are not (Rich Barlow, June 17, 2009, Boston Globe)

Pop quiz: Which president "asserted frequently that God directed history, considered himself to be God's agent, and insisted that the United States would prosper only if its citizens sought divine guidance and followed biblical principles?"

Those who have followed the news only since last Tuesday, and even the more attentive, could be forgiven for guessing George W. Bush. In fact, the believer-in-chief referred to in that sentence from "Religion and the American Presidency" is Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

Progressive icon FDR, his un-Christian extramarital fling with Lucy Mercer notwithstanding, believed his New Deal and antifascist policies reflected religious teachings, privately advised a correspondent that prayer would "overcome every obstacle," and even interrupted Cabinet meetings to take phone calls about the New York Episcopal church where he served as senior warden.

Posted by Orrin Judd at June 16, 2009 1:20 PM
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