George Washington to George W. Bush with Commentary and Primary Sources
This book challenges the idea that the mixing of religion and presidential politics is a new phenomenon. It explores how presidents have drawn on their religious upbringing, rhetoric, ideas, and beliefs to promote their domestic and foreign policies to the nation. This influence is evident in Washington's decision to add "so help me God" to the presidential oath, accusations by Adam's supporters that Jefferson was an infidel, Lincoln's biblical metaphors during the Civil War, and FDR's call to fight against Nazi totalitarianism on behalf of Judeo-Christian civilization. It is also apparent in Truman's support for Israel, Eisenhower's Cold War decision to add "In God We Trust" on American currency, the debate over JFK's Catholicism, Jimmy Carter's born-again Christianity, Reagan's "Evil Empire" speech, Clinton's public repentance, and George W. Bush's "crusade" against Islamic terrorists.
This volume explores these issues of religion and power in the presidencies of Washington, Jefferson, Madison, Lincoln, FDR, Truman, Eisenhower, JFK, Carter, Reagan, George H. W. Bush, Clinton, and George W. Bush through scholarly interpretations, primary sources, and illustrations.
This interesting book balances presidential professions of faith with acknowledgment of private sins and the objections of nonbelievers to explicit religious demonstrations in public life.
Among its strengths is the inclusion of a considerable amount of newsworthy material for the thirteen presidents whose religious views are examined.
Immediately, one can imagine the value of this book in attempts to teach undergraduates something about religion and politics in American history.
Chapter 1. Religion and the Presidency of George Washington, by Daniel L. Dreisbach and Jeffry H. Morrison
Religious Writings of George Washington
Chapter 2. Religion and the Presidency of Thomas Jefferson, by Thomas E. Buckley
Religious Writings of Thomas Jefferson
Chapter 3. Religion and the Presidency of James Madison, by Garrett Ward Sheldon
Religious Writings of James Madison
Chapter 4. Religion and the Presidency of Abraham Lincoln, by Andrew R. Murphy
Religious Writings of Abraham Lincoln
Chapter 5. Religion and the Presidency of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, by Gary Scott Smith
Religious Writings of Franklin Delano Roosevelt
Chapter 6. Religion and the Presidency of Harry S. Truman, by Elizabeth Edwards Spalding
Religious Writings of Harry S. Truman
Chapter 7. Religion and the Presidency of Dwight D. Eisenhower, by Jerry Bergman
Religious Writings of Dwight D. Eisenhower
Chapter 8. Religion and the Presidency of John F. Kennedy, by Thomas J. Carty
Religious Writings of John F. Kennedy
Chapter 9. Religion and the Presidency of Jimmy Carter, by Kenneth E. Morris
Religious Writings of Jimmy Carter
Chapter 10. Religion and the Presidency of Ronald Reagan, by Paul Kengor
Religious Writings of Ronald Reagan
Chapter 11. Religion and the Presidency of George H. W. Bush, by Kjell O. Lejon
Religious Writings of George H. W. Bush
Chapter 12. Religion and the Presidency of William Jefferson Clinton, by Gastón Espinosa
Religious Writings of William Jefferson Clinton
Chapter 13. Religion and the Presidency of George W. Bush, by David Aikman
Religious Writings of George W. Bush
List of Contributors