"Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me. I lift my lamp beside the golden door." The Statue of Liberty (P.S. Please be so kind as to enter through the proper channels and in an orderly fashion)

Location: Arlington, Virginia, United States

Friday, December 07, 2007

A History Of Religious Diversity In Our Presidents

FYI, A general survey of presidential religious affiliations:

4 Baptists: Harding, Truman, Carter, and Clinton

1 Catholic: JFK

1 Congregationalist: Coolidge

3 Disciples of Christ: Garfield, LBJ, Reagan

2 Dutch Reformed: Van Buren, TR

12 Episcopal/American Anglicans: Washington, Jefferson, Madison, Monroe, W.H. Harrison, Tyler, Taylor, Pierce, Arthur, FDR, Ford, Bush 41

1 Jehovah's Witness: Ike (later Presbyterian)

4 Methodists: Polk, Grant, McKinley, Bush 43 (originally Episcopalian)

7 Presbyterian: Jackson, Polk (later Methodist), Buchanan, Cleveland, B. Harrison, Wilson, Ike (originally Jehovah's Witness)

2 Quaker: Hoover, Nixon

5 Deists: Jefferson (sympathetic to Unitarianism), Madison (fraternized Episcopal), Monroe (disputed), Tyler (also Episcopal), Lincoln (disputed)

4 Unitarian (Unitarian Universalism is the religion generally associated today with those whose ideology developed from Deism): Adams, J.Q. Adams, Fillmore, Taft

4 without denominational affiliation: Lincoln, A. Johnson, Grant, Hayes

8 Disputed: Monroe, Van Buren, W.H. Harrison, Tyler, Taylor, Lincoln, Grant, LBJ

Those guys were hardly members of "the same" and "exclusive" Christian Club.

Recall that not too long ago (4 centuries or so) on The Continent, armies of "Papists" (i.e. Roman Catholics") and "Proddy dogs" (i.e. Protestants) were killing each other, and there were plenty of blood-shedding, Lilliputian big-ender and small-ender conflicts among Protestants in Europe that certainly made Episcopalians here raise an eyebrow (or worse) when a Presbyterian like Jackson appeared--not too mention Deists like Jefferson or Unitarians like J. and J.Q. Adams, members of faiths which, it can be argued, are even "less Christian," on this or that point, than Mormonism is (from the perspective of mainline Christanity).

In 1988, a Greek Orthodox (Dukakis) was the Democratic candidate for president.

In 2000, an Orthodox Jew (Lieberman) was the Democratic candidate for Vice President.

After the 2006 midterm elections, a congressman swore his oath of office on a Koran, and Harry Reid--a Mormon--became Senate Majority leader.

Today, a Mormon is in serious contention for the Republican nomination for president.

It's all good.


Blogger Kelly said...

I looked a few times, but can't find an athiest. hmmm

3:50 PM  
Blogger John said...

What? I'm shocked!

5:11 PM  
Blogger nanc said...

this will, quite possibly, be one of the ugliest campaigns and elections in the history of "democracy" - a turning point perhaps...

funny thing - i'd vote for an athiest with the same ideals as mine before i'd vote for another who claimed the "God" card.

i'm sick of people who play to the choir.

you will know them by their fruity, yet bovine flavor (one of my husband's lines...).

10:15 PM  
Blogger John said...

Enjoy the show. :)

2:26 AM  
Blogger Phelonius said...

I am dreading this election year. It is already a circus and promises to get much more involved.

Never-the-less, I have always told my kids that it is our civic duty to vote, so I will participate, of course. I have to agree with Nanc in that I really do not care if a candidate is a church-goer or not as long as their political ideals are ones that I can at least mostly agree to share. The more a politician trumpets religious beliefs rather than political ideals, the more skeptical I become.

2:00 PM  
Blogger Kelly said...


Unfortunately, the media won't let that subject go.

2:08 PM  
Blogger nanc said...

one other item of news i've been noticing is that glenn beck, another mormon, has been having tancredo on his program ALOT lately. which goes to show, religious affiliation is NOT always the key.

glenn is concerned with our weak borders, as is tancredo.

as an evangelical christian, i'm not up on huck - as a matter of fact, i just do not like him - must be that one googlie eye.

face it - the decent candy dates will not make it in this race.

and now we have oprah pimping obama - jeesh.

9:16 PM  

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