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Presidents And Their Faith

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    Available in PDF - DJVU Format | Presidents And Their Faith.pdf | Language: ENGLISH
    Darrin Grinder and Steve Shaw(Author)

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PRODUCT DESCRIPTION:
The old adage "never discuss religion and politics" is roundly rejected in this incisive exploration of Presidential history and religious faith.

The Presidents & Their Faith is a fascinating and informative look at how every U.S. president 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 'Gold–fish 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, yet entertaining, and insightful spotlight on the unique mix (and frequent mix–ups) of politics and religion in America.

ABOUT THE AUTHORS:
Dr. Darrin Grinder is Chair of the English Department at Northwest Nazarene University and Associate Professor of American Literature. He has a Doctorate of Arts in English from Idaho State University. He and his wife attend Cathedral of the Rockies United Methodist Church in Boise, Idaho.

Dr. Steve Shaw is Professor of Political Science and Director of the University Honors Program at Northwest Nazarene University. He holds the PhD degree in Political Science from the University of Oklahoma. He has taught at NNU since 1979, and he and his wife attend Holy Apostles Catholic Church in Meridian, Idaho.


Dr. Darrin Grinder is Chair of the English Department at Northwest Nazarene University and Associate Professor of American Literature. He has a Doctorate of Arts in English from Idaho State University. He and his wife attend Cathedral of the Rockies United Methodist Church in Boise, Idaho. Dr. Steve Shaw is Professor of Political Science and Director of the University Honors Program at Northwest Nazarene University. He holds the PhD degree in Political Science from the University of Oklahoma. He has taught at NNU since 1979, and he and his wife attend Holy Apostles Catholic Church in Meridian, Idaho.

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Review Text

  • By Jennifer Chase on February 23, 2012

    This book is very timely for 2012, when we are confronted almost daily with discussion of the religions of presidential candidates. As one wholely unfamiliar with the faiths of most presidents, I found this to be a concise and clear introduction to all 44 US presidents. The summaries were short and stayed on point, with only salient external details to give context to a president's frequency of church attendance, for example. After reading it quickly (I really couldn't put it down!) I feel like I have a baseline picture of faith in US presidency.... virtually all with religious upbringing/training, varying degrees of Christian orthodoxy or church attendance, and, until recent times, most were adamant about separating the office of the president from their own religious practices or convictions. I would have been willing to read more than the average of about 5pg/presidentIt really put today's issues in a broader light for those of us who are not intending to become presidential scholars but want real, scholarly cliff notes on which to draw current conclusions.

  • By mona on September 15, 2017

    This is a very interesting book. I cannot believe the research that went into this book. It is very detailed with a long list of references. While I haven't completed the book, it's hard to express how I felt reading it. Sadly, I felt most didn't have a strong faith and were rather weak in their spiritual lives.

  • By DM FOUST on December 6, 2016

    I originally bought this for a class on Religion and the American Presidency. I enjoyed it so much that I found myself reading sections that weren't assigned. An interesting aspect of politics and presidential character. Easy to read and informative. Food for thought.

  • By B. Dixon on January 26, 2017

    Excellent book. Great insight into our presidents. Highly recommend it.

  • By Dan DeFilippo on October 31, 2014

    Great book! An insightful look at the Presidents and the beliefs that helped shaped their decision making. I would recommend this book to anyone who loves history and especially is interested in the personal lives of our Presidents.

  • By trey lovett on December 5, 2012

    Bought this book during the recent election. Very entertaining and full of insights into the political influence of religion, and the perception of faith by the electorate. Easy to read and will no doubt be quoted endlessly by future political science students.

  • By Nancy L. Brewer on March 4, 2015

    I was extremely disappointed by the lack of objectivity in this supposedly factual book . For example the chapters on the nation,s first and current presidents are written so as to cast doubt on one president's faith and to promote the sincerity of the other's faith.

  • By JMack on August 25, 2013

    In reading "The Presidents & their Faith", the reader will observe to basic trends. First, the need to the president to be "showy" with his faith has become greater with time. The call in the bible to pray in private cannot be observed by the president. Second, the separation of church and state has eroded as the president's faith has become more public. The very reason early presidents chose not to be showy was to allow the game of politics to corrupt the church. The concise volume that is this book is informative. The authors provide the evidence and largely allow the reader to judge the strength of the president's faith. The information shies away from framing history, particularly along political lines.While many would like us to believe the first presidents were devoted to their faith, many readers will be shocked to learn the beliefs and often ambivalence of the early presidents. It would further seem that church attendance has been quite optional for the presidents. The tide for a devotion to Christianity really seems to blossom around the presidency of Eisenhower. The irony of this development is the little discussed fact the Eisenhower was once a Jehovah's Witness which would have alarmed many Americans at the time.A book of just over 200 pages is not designed to be definitive so much as an overview. With this in mind, the authors are fairly informative and largely unbiased. I have a theory about their political leanings, but it is not evident in their writing. Teachers of American history would be well served to proselytize information from this book in their classes.


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