Should Presidents Be Religious?
It’s said that the United States is based on Judaeo-Christian concepts. Religious beliefs that were brought to our land by British immigrants and used to create the US Constitution.
While the Constitution is not a religious document it is a document detailing the same freedoms that most known religions follow.
Freedoms outlined in the Declaration of Independence: life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
The Idea of The Founders
The founders believed that if people were allowed to follow their dreams, through faith in themselves, and faith in a higher power, a great country would evolve.
The founders didn’t lock themselves in a room somewhere and hope that some divine power would come down from on high to direct them.
But they did hope that Judaeo-Christian beliefs and directions would influence their ideas and desires for the new nation.
The Most Exclusive Club In The World
Forty-four men have had the privilege of belonging to the most exclusive club in the world — being president of the United States.
Have they all been religious men? And does that carry any importance?
People who believe in a higher power would like for the President to have a belief that there is something bigger than they are.
Others who do not believe in a higher power would like their president to make decisions based on fact and information — not wishing on a star.
The Confusion Begins
When John F. Kennedy was elected president a significant segment of society believed that Kennedy would be controlled by the Catholic Church and the Pope because his Catholic upbringing.
Many people were concerned about Mitt Romney being president and his relationship with the Mormon Church.
What about an atheist president? Would that be a deal breaker for some voters? Would no faith, or being an agnostic, be a benefit or detriment to being president?
It’s very hard to predict how religion would or would not affect the actions of a president. Most people pray in private.
So we may never know how much weight any president gives to their religious beliefs when it comes to guiding the US to prosperity.
A common refrain from political circles often asks, “What would Jesus do?” Unfortunately none of us know what Jesus would do.
We like to think we do but in most cases we bring out own beliefs into that argument that might skew the Jesus decision.
Some Final Thoughts
Faith is usually a private reflection. It’s a private direction motivated by personal experience and religious teachings.
There is no real definition of religion that is acceptable to all. Some religious teachings are followed verbatim and others are dismissed as not fitting current circumstances.
In other words many people make religion fit.
I would find it hard to believe that a president would ask for guidance on how to defeat ISIS. I find it easy to believe that a president might ask for strength and resolve to be the best president possible.
In many cases that’s a self-fulfilling prophecy. Faith often allows the discovery of inner strength we didn’t know we had.
Should presidents be religious? Or would you prefer a non-believer in the Oval Office?