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View Diary: A President for Hindus and non-believers as well (46 comments)

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  •  Lots of non-churchgoing Presidents (1+ / 0-)
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    George Washington was a non-communicant lay leader of the Church of England. (That he rarely if ever took communion despite being a Vestryman has never been adequately explained.)

    John Adams was required to be a member of his local parish church in Massachusetts because that state had compulsory religion until 1833. During his lifetime, though, the church switched from Puritan to Unitarian (to the evident approval of Adams).

    The next President known for certain to have been a member of a non-heretical Christian church at the time of his election was Benjamin Harrison, a Presbyterian elder. John Quincy Adams and Millard Fillmore were active Unitarians. Abraham Lincoln and Andrew Johnson are known never to have belonged to any church at any time in their lives (although Lincoln did attend services quite often).

    But in the past 100 years....

    William Howard Taft was a very active Unitarian, once serving as President of the American Unitarian Association.

    Woodrow Wilson was a Presbyterian elder and the son of a Presbyterian minister.

    Warren Harding was a Trustee of the Trinity Baptist Church in Marion, Ohio, a Northern Baptist church, now part of American Baptist Churches, USA.

    Calvin Coolidge was a member of Congregational churches that are now part of the United Church of Christ.

    Herbert Hoover was a Quaker.

    Franklin Roosevelt was an Episcopalian.

    Harry Truman was a Southern Baptist.

    Dwight Eisenhower joined a Presbyterian Church a few weeks after becoming President. He had grown up in the Jehovah's Witnesses but I'm aware of no evidence that he was associated with that sect as an adult.

    John Kennedy was Catholic.

    Lyndon Johnson was a member of the Disciples of Christ.

    Richard Nixon was a (very) lapsed Quaker, the last President not to have been a church member as an adult.

    Gerald Ford was an Episcopalian.

    Jimmy Carter was a Southern Baptist.

    Ronald Reagan was a member of a Presbyterian Church as an adult; he had grown up in the Disciples of Christ.

    George H. W. Bush was an Episcopalian.

    Bill Clinton was a Southern Baptist but usually attended his wife's United Methodist Church while President.

    George W. Bush was a Methodist.  

    Barack Obama was a member of a United Church of Christ congregation until resigning during the Presidential campaign.


    Is the US really more religious in recent years than in its early history?

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