Presidents and Their Faiths

Friday, April 13, 2012

Steve Shaw, political science professor at Northwest Nazarene University, and Darrin Grinder, chair of the English department at Northwest Nazarene University, are co-authors of The Presidents & Their Faith: From George Washington to Barack Obama. They look at how the relationship between religion and the presidency has played out in history.


Darrin Grinder and Steve Shaw

Comments [19]

My standard:


Apr. 13 2012 11:45 AM

John A., Nick from UWS ~

Thank you for saving me the trouble.

Apr. 13 2012 11:42 AM

HAve we ever had an aetheist president? Could we ever?

Apr. 13 2012 11:41 AM
Sheldon from brooklyn

Obama is probaly an agnostic, he just has to pretend he is a "believer"

Apr. 13 2012 11:41 AM
The Truth from Becky

Really Cathy? from Katonah How many times does he have to tell u people, that he is a Christian?

Apr. 13 2012 11:41 AM
DarkSymbolist from NYC!

So...the most agnostic leaning president was also our best and possibly most moral president

yup...that sounds about right

Apr. 13 2012 11:41 AM
John A.

"The national obsession with this ridiculous hocus pocus has got to stop."

OK. I'm not going to the next Harry Potter movie. Ticket sale lost.

Apr. 13 2012 11:38 AM
Rebecca from Manhattan

Do you think any of the presidents were really atheists? And do you believe that any future presidential candidate could admit he/she was an atheist.

Apr. 13 2012 11:36 AM
DarkSymbolist from NYC!

I'm glad you corrected your statement Brian...the thought that most Presidents thought they had a direct line to god was incredibly scary and embarrassing...glad it isn't true

Apr. 13 2012 11:35 AM

Of course Obama has spoken more about his personal faith. His religious affiliation has been questioned more than any other president in recent memory -- more than Kennedy I would say. Romney is now accusing him of having no religious belief at all. Contrast that with Reagan who was credited with great religiosity but rarely attended church or professed his personal faith -- and yet his religious practice was never questioned.

Apr. 13 2012 11:32 AM
Cathy from Katonah, NY

In this country it's very, very difficult to win elective office as an atheist and I think that's a terrible shame. I'm not the only one to say this, but I suspect Obama is an atheist, given that he was raised by an atheist mother. It's time to keep religion out of the voting booth!

Apr. 13 2012 11:30 AM
John A.

Should we pander to the the crowd on this one?
There Are many people would be interested in the authors opinion of the most nontheistic trending president.

Apr. 13 2012 11:30 AM
Jay from New York

Has there ever been a president that was a conscientious objector as President?
Did Mitt Romney get a dispensation as a Mormon?
What do Mormon's beliefs about waging war?

Apr. 13 2012 11:30 AM
Alex from White Plains

Wasn't Thomas Jefferson was a diest? he did draft is own bible anymore information on him?

Apr. 13 2012 11:29 AM
mick from Inwood

How do they characterize Jefferson's faith or lack thereof? Do they mention that Jefferson rewrote the New Testament leaving out all references to the supernatural such as the miracles attributed to Jesus?

Apr. 13 2012 11:29 AM
DarkSymbolist from NYC!

@ Nick from UWS

I was going to write about how backwards we are as a society and how embarrassing it is and how anyone who thinks he's talked to god is not fit to be a leader but you summed up my thoughts perfectly

Apr. 13 2012 11:29 AM
Chris from Manhattan

Is it true Lincoln was an agnostic?

Apr. 13 2012 11:27 AM
Nick from UWS

The national obsession with this ridiculous hocus pocus has got to stop. I think a presidential candidate who is religious should be disqualified from the race, since it is plain evidence that his ability to perceive reality is impaired and that he has been exposed to brainwashing. I don't want anyone who "talks to God" with his finger anywhere near the button.

America was founded in part to escape religious persecution. I think it's now time to re-found it, in order that those of us who wish to move the human race beyond this useless primitivism can escape persecution FROM religion. Religion has now severely contaminated every aspect of the national dialogue.

Apr. 13 2012 11:12 AM
Joe Mirsky from Pompton Lakes NJ

From my book Ornamentally Incorrect, second edition, Bijoux and Beyond.

Freedom from Religion
“Hold fast to the Bible. To the influence of this Book we are indebted for all the progress made in true civilization and to this we must look as our guide in the future.”

“Leave the matter of religion to the family altar, the church, and the private school, supported entirely by private contributions. Keep the church and state forever separate.”
— Ulysses S. Grant

Apr. 13 2012 10:29 AM

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