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Church & the presidency

  1. Mar 24, 2005 #1
    Is it possible for anyone who isn't seen going to church every Sunday to be elected president?

    When's the last time that happened?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 24, 2005 #2

    Evo

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    Probably safe to say never, religion plays a huge part in presidential elections. I think more now than in the past, perhaps? I haven't read up that much on it, it will be interesting to find out.
     
  4. Mar 24, 2005 #3
    Jefferson probabally was the last one...

    Though I could picture TR going off kayaking or something to find God instead of sitting in some stuffy building.
     
  5. Mar 24, 2005 #4
    I'm pretty sure Lincoln wasn't an every Sunday type of guy, best I can tell he didn't even consider himself a Christian.
     
  6. Mar 24, 2005 #5

    russ_watters

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    The US wants a "Sunday Christian" (protestant): someone who goes to church every Sunday, but only pays lip-service to it. Bush is more religious than most people are comfortable with (thats right, including conservatives). The last President we had with that problem was Kennedy. Kennedy was Catholic, and there was a question raised about his loyalty to the Vatican over the US, but people quickly realized he was just a "Sunday Christian" as well (with his lebido, how could he be anything else?).
     
  7. Mar 24, 2005 #6

    selfAdjoint

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    I think that this is just about right, but I think the last president whose religion bothered the people was Carter, not Kennedy. Once they got used to the fact that a Catholic could be just a "Sunday Christian" too, they had no problems with Kennedy. But "Born Again Jimmy" set everybody's teeth on edge.
     
  8. Mar 24, 2005 #7
    Kennedy's "problem", if that's the right word, was not that he was too religious but simply that he was a Catholic. I think, by the end of your post, that we agree on that. But are you sure that your first sentence is still true today?

    Maybe I'm just becoming over-sensitive to it, but it has seemed that a great deal more importance has been attached to presidential candidates' religiousity in recent elections than used to be. Is this just an invention of the media, a ploy to sell "news". In fact, the media give the impression that American society is becoming more religious in general.

    And yet, surveys like this
    http://www.harrisinteractive.com/harris_poll/index.asp?PID=408
    suggest the opposite.

    So, are you sure that it's still the case that the majority want a president who only pays lip service to religion? If so, is it a stable, growing, or shrinking majority?

    And either way, why do you suppose that an electorate among whom only a minority attend church regularly insists that the president do so.
     
  9. Mar 24, 2005 #8

    russ_watters

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    I didn't know that about Jimmy. He's in that nonexistent era between Nixon and Reagan, where I was too young (or not alive) to remember it and its too recent to teach in history class. :redface:
     
  10. Mar 24, 2005 #9

    russ_watters

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    Well, its certainly true that the majority of Americans don't want someone ultra-religious, but the majority of conservatives -- ehh, thats a little tougher. No, I'm not sure.
     
  11. Mar 24, 2005 #10

    SOS2008

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    This isn't directly about the presidency, but it is about top political leaders (which includes Frist who currently is third on the list of Republican candidates for the 2008 presidential elections). This thread stems from other threads about the media, but in regard to the general topic of the country becoming more conservative and my assertion that there is an agenda to turn our country into Jesusland, here is something I just saw: http://www.au.org/site/News2?abbr=p...ctrl=1241&JServSessionIdr001=xuoqjunqv1.app1b

    Then this article goes on to say:
    An agenda to remove separation of church and state could not be more clear. This should be making everyone, including conservative Republicans more than just a little uncomfortable. :surprised
     
  12. Mar 24, 2005 #11

    russ_watters

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    Please expand: how does any of that infringe on the 1st amendment's establishment clause?

    Or, failing that, could you explain what you mean by "separation of church and state" and explain how that jives with what Jefferson said about it (as I already requested)?

    edit: oh wait, wrong thread. Could you respond in the thread we already have going instead of hijacking this one?
     
  13. Mar 24, 2005 #12
    [responding to SOS2008]:

    That's no secret, but it's not the question I'm trying to address here. You're talking about people who do go to church every week (or who say they do).

    I'm asking why people who do not attend church weekly, and who according to numerous surveys are still the majority, seem to require that their president must do so.
     
  14. Mar 24, 2005 #13

    SOS2008

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    I'm responding by saying it's because these Americans who are fundamentalists (right-wing Christians) who want to remove separation of church and state (i.e., have government alignment with a specific religion, i.e., Christianity) elect presidents like Bush, and probably will therefore support future presidential candidates like Frist. They require this because there is an agenda they want to pursue, such as banning abortion, etc.

    I meant to add: People who support Bush who do NOT go to church, are not as supportive as they use to be, and if they are, they aren't paying attention. This also was addressed under the separation of church and state thread, in which I said that the Republican Party is no longer the party for the weed-smoking, sexually liberal Republicans I know (though they themselves may not know it--at least not yet...).
     
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2005
  15. Mar 24, 2005 #14

    SOS2008

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    Agreed my response may better fit in the thread on Separation of Church and State, however, I feel these topics are all related. The quote above is from Americans United for Separation of Church and State, for which I've gone ahead and explained what I feel is obvious (that these people support political leaders who take their side--i.e., government alignment with their religion).
     
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