GOD IN AMERIC1 - GOD IN AMERICA DID THE PRESIDENTS...

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GOD IN AMERICA: DID THE PRESIDENTS RELIGIOUS BELIEFS HAVE AN IMPACT ON AMERICA? Name: Course Date:
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2 GOD IN AMERICA: DID THE PRESIDENTS RELIGIOUS BELIEFS HAVE AN IMPACT ON AMERICA? Introduction Religion in the US is characterized by high adherence level. The United States' first constitution amendment protects the religion by preventing the government from exercising any authoritative powers over religion. 1 This implies that there is free exercise of religion in the United States. It is apparent that politicians in America discuss their religion publically during the campaigns. Notably, several religious figures appear to be politically active. They largely influence people especially when they get into power. This essay focuses on the former American presidents by examining their religious beliefs and the impacts of these beliefs on America. George Washington 1789-1797 George Washington is the US first president. Since he held office, his religious beliefs have been the debate's subject. The faith of George Washington has been categorized at times as mainline Protestant Christianity, Free Masonry, deist, and evangelical Christianity. However, Washington was raised and married in Episcopal church. This church is the branch of the Anglican Communion in the United States. However, Washington rarely took communion. Also, his church attendance was sporadic. There is no evidence on whether Washington a Christian. However, claims from evangelical Christians portray that he accepted Jesus Christ as his savior. 1 Anderson, Ray Sherman. Theological Foundations for Ministry: Selected Readings for a Theology of the Church in Ministry . Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 2009.
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3 Washington could mention Jesus Christ concerning morality on rare occasions especially in public speeches. George Washington was labeled a deist, but he did not seem to be one. A deist is a person who perceives God as a clockmaker, as well as a being who doesn't interfere with the world he had created. 2 Washington was in contrary to this belief. He believed that God can answer prayers and respond to human need. One of Washington's experiences in the battlefield Washington admitted that apart from being given human protection, he experienced God's protection that is beyond human protection. Washington kept a secret on his personal life because, in his diaries, he did not portray belief or non-belief. Due to this secret, the debate on Washington's religious background has been kept alive. However, the is little room for the debate about the commitment of George Washington to religious liberty as well as his belief on the association of religion with morality. The experience that Washington gained through leading the Continental Army as well as fledging the nation facilitated in shaping his opinion that bigotry and religious intolerance caused divisions that were dangerous where unity was needed. 3 George Washington expressed the link that exists between morality and religion. In his
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