What do the leaders of the United States have to say about faith?
No matter their individual religious persuasions, the 44 presidents of the United States have tried in good faith to serve the American people. Many of these men have expressed their views on the importance of faith. Today we’re taking a look back at some of their remarkable words.
“I have often expressed my sentiments, that every man, conducting himself as a good citizen, and being accountable to God alone for his religious opinions, ought to be protected in worshipping the Deity according to the dictates of his own conscience.”
To the General Committee, Representing the United Baptist Churches in Virginia, May, 1789
“But I must submit all my hopes and fears to an overruling Providence, in which unfashionable as the faith may be, I firmly believe.”
Letter to Abigail Adams, July 3, 1776
“I trust that the whole course of my life has proved me a sincere friend to religious as well as civil liberty.”
To the Society of the Methodist Episcopal Church at New London, Connecticut, February 4, 1809
“Nevertheless, amid the greatest difficulties of my Administration, when I could not see any other resort, I would place my whole reliance on God, knowing that all would go well, and that He would decide for the right.”
Remarks to Baltimore Presbyterian Synod, October 24, 1863
John F. Kennedy
“We cannot depend solely on our material wealth, on our military might, or on an intellectual skill or physical courage to see us safely through the seas that we must sail in the months and years to come. Along with all of these we need faith. We need the faith which our first settlers crossed the sea to carve out a state in the wilderness.”
Remarks at the 11th Annual Presidential Prayer Breakfast, February 7, 1963
“If we ever forget that we are a nation under one God, then we will be a nation gone under.”
Remarks at an Ecumenical Prayer Breakfast in Dallas, Texas, August 23, 1984
“We are Christians and Jews, Muslims and Hindus, Buddhists and Sikhs, atheists and agnostics. Our religious diversity enriches our cultural fabric.”
A Proclamation on Religious Freedom Day, 2014
Learn about the religious affiliations of all 44 presidents here.
Which quote is your favorite? Tell us in the comments.