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The old adage, "never discuss religion and politics," is roundly rejected in this incisive exploration of presidential history and religious faith. This newly updated 2016 edition of "The Presidents & Their Faith" is a fascinating and informative look at how all U.S. presidents exercised their personal faith, exerted presidential power, and led a religiously diverse nation. The old adage, "never discuss religion and politics," is roundly rejected in this incisive exploration of presidential history and religious faith. This newly updated 2016 edition of "The Presidents & Their Faith" is a fascinating and informative look at how all U.S. presidents exercised their personal faith, exerted presidential power, and led a religiously diverse nation. Has there ever been a stranger prayer than Truman's, offered upon America's successful development of the atom bomb: "We pray that He may guide us to use it in His ways and for His purposes"? At the nation's founding, Northeast Presbyterians demanded explicit mention of Jesus in the Constitution. George Washington refuted them, saying that religious piety "was a matter best left between an individual and his God; religious instruction was the responsibility of religious societies, not the civil state." What drove Washington to make that argument, and what if he had lost? Who wouldn't feel like the exasperated FDR when he said, "I can do almost everything in the 'Goldfish Bowl' of the President's life, but I'll be hanged if I can say my prayers in it. It bothers me to feel like something in the zoo being looked at by all the tourists in Washington when I go to church...No privacy in that kind of going to church, and by the time I have gotten into that pew and settled down with everybody looking at me, I don't feel like saying my prayers at all." But even more importantly, what's real, what's a show, and why does it matter when it comes to faith and politics? These questions and more are unpacked and examined, leading to a whole new understanding of how religion and politics interfaced through America's history, and how they will play out in our future. In this climate of religious and political tensions, "The Presidents & Their Faith" casts a civil, entertaining and insightful spotlight on the unique mix (and frequent mix-ups) of politics and religion in America.


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The old adage, "never discuss religion and politics," is roundly rejected in this incisive exploration of presidential history and religious faith. This newly updated 2016 edition of "The Presidents & Their Faith" is a fascinating and informative look at how all U.S. presidents exercised their personal faith, exerted presidential power, and led a religiously diverse nation. The old adage, "never discuss religion and politics," is roundly rejected in this incisive exploration of presidential history and religious faith. This newly updated 2016 edition of "The Presidents & Their Faith" is a fascinating and informative look at how all U.S. presidents exercised their personal faith, exerted presidential power, and led a religiously diverse nation. Has there ever been a stranger prayer than Truman's, offered upon America's successful development of the atom bomb: "We pray that He may guide us to use it in His ways and for His purposes"? At the nation's founding, Northeast Presbyterians demanded explicit mention of Jesus in the Constitution. George Washington refuted them, saying that religious piety "was a matter best left between an individual and his God; religious instruction was the responsibility of religious societies, not the civil state." What drove Washington to make that argument, and what if he had lost? Who wouldn't feel like the exasperated FDR when he said, "I can do almost everything in the 'Goldfish Bowl' of the President's life, but I'll be hanged if I can say my prayers in it. It bothers me to feel like something in the zoo being looked at by all the tourists in Washington when I go to church...No privacy in that kind of going to church, and by the time I have gotten into that pew and settled down with everybody looking at me, I don't feel like saying my prayers at all." But even more importantly, what's real, what's a show, and why does it matter when it comes to faith and politics? These questions and more are unpacked and examined, leading to a whole new understanding of how religion and politics interfaced through America's history, and how they will play out in our future. In this climate of religious and political tensions, "The Presidents & Their Faith" casts a civil, entertaining and insightful spotlight on the unique mix (and frequent mix-ups) of politics and religion in America.

30 review for The Presidents & Their Faith: From George Washington to Barack Obama

  1. 4 out of 5

    Anna

    I loved the way this book was structured - just a few pages devoted to each of our Presidents. There was enough detail to keep me interested and educate me, but not so much that I grew bored or overwhelmed. I also learned a lot of really interesting tidbits that had nothing to do with religion. It was fascinating to see how the role of religion in politics has evolved since George Washington took office. Fast, easy read full of great information!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Chrisp18938

    I read this book with a men's study group. I liked it because this type of survey of US presidents gave me insights into their beliefs and character. I enjoyed reading between the lines to get a sense of the author's own opinions on each president's legacy. Perhaps the author will provide an update after #45? I'd recommend this book to a person who is historically curious. I read this book with a men's study group. I liked it because this type of survey of US presidents gave me insights into their beliefs and character. I enjoyed reading between the lines to get a sense of the author's own opinions on each president's legacy. Perhaps the author will provide an update after #45? I'd recommend this book to a person who is historically curious.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Warren

    This is a very generalized overview of the faith of the U S presidents that is OK in the early going, presenting a few interesting factoids drawn from writings, speeches and letters. Judgement, as it should be, is reserved for the most part. Unfortunately, the authors, in true liberal form, hold our early leaders to 21st century standards and "politically correct" pop culture values. The leftist propaganda truly rears it's ugly head as the authors (both liberal college professors) review the pr This is a very generalized overview of the faith of the U S presidents that is OK in the early going, presenting a few interesting factoids drawn from writings, speeches and letters. Judgement, as it should be, is reserved for the most part. Unfortunately, the authors, in true liberal form, hold our early leaders to 21st century standards and "politically correct" pop culture values. The leftist propaganda truly rears it's ugly head as the authors (both liberal college professors) review the presidents from the latter half of the 20th centurey forward. Dwight Eisenhower is called a "racist" even though he integrated the schools in Little Rock and was a major player in the American civil rights movement. Lyndon Johnson is labelled a murderer because he tried, at one point, to win the Viet Nam war. The treatment of Barrack Obama is a joke. These guys try to assure us that there is no doubt that Obama is a born again Christian is spite of his war against Christians, his advocacy of abortion, his death panels in Obamacare, his racism, and his total dishonesty at all levels. The writers ignore the fact that Obama is a Marxist and Alinskyite....two ideals that embrace atheism abd clearly trash Christianity. Jeremiah Wright and his Trinity "church" is offered as "proof" of Obama's salvation. Pure leftist propaganda and revisionist history. Waste not your time reading it nor your money buying it.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Kim Henry

    There are a few surprises in this book.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Chris Pachuta

  6. 5 out of 5

    Marina

  7. 5 out of 5

    Chris Poli

  8. 5 out of 5

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  9. 4 out of 5

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  10. 5 out of 5

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  11. 5 out of 5

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  12. 4 out of 5

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  13. 5 out of 5

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  14. 5 out of 5

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  15. 5 out of 5

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  16. 4 out of 5

    Ross W.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Julie

  18. 4 out of 5

    Duane

  19. 5 out of 5

    Doris Mcclung

  20. 4 out of 5

    Todd

  21. 5 out of 5

    Samantha

  22. 5 out of 5

    Garry Wilmore

  23. 4 out of 5

    Mark B. McFadden

  24. 4 out of 5

    Bambi Coppler

  25. 5 out of 5

    Molly

  26. 4 out of 5

    Elevate Publishing

  27. 4 out of 5

    Taylor

  28. 5 out of 5

    Sean Walsh

  29. 4 out of 5

    Deeann Tinkle

  30. 4 out of 5

    Caleb

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