Letter to the Editor

Faith of the presidents

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Dear Editor,

Is it important for presidents and political candidates to have a religious preference?

After visiting Mexico, Pope Francis spoke Spanish and used an interpreter to scold Donald Trump. He said "building a wall is not Christian."

Trump knew this was in reference to the wall that he wants to build along the Mexican and U.S. border. He answered the Pope, saying "I am a Christian and a Presbyterian."

Religious freedom is guaranteed by the First Amendment to the Constitution.

A recent article written by Richard Davis, professor of political science at BYU, was published Feb. 14, 2016 in the Deseret News.

Davis has uncovered interesting facts about candidates and presidents.

Opponents in the 1800s labeled Thomas Jefferson as an atheist.

They concluded this after he removed certain passages from his Bible and because he said they corrupted the teachings of Jesus.

Jefferson also was critical of the Anglican Church in Virgina.

Facts uncovered by Davis about Abe Lincoln showed that he had no religious affiliation, be attended the Presbyterian Church while he was the U.S. president.

George Washington was ecumenical and tolerant of other people's religious views.

Hillary Clinton has ties to the Methodist Church. Bernie Sanders, the socialist candidate from Vermont, is Jewish.

Ted Cruz, the Republican candidate from Texas, says that he is "a born again Christian." (His dad is a pastor.)

Marco Rubio, the son of Cuban immigrants, is a devout Catholic.

Jeb Bush as a Protestant who converted to Catholicism.

Mitt Romney, former presidential candidate, has held offices in the Mormon church and was a missionary in France for two years.

Religious freedom is essential and is alive and well in the minds of candidates and presidents.

Here is a grouping of presidents. and their religions:

Episcopalian: George H.W@. Bush, Gerald Ford, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Chester A. Arthur, Franklin Pierce, Zachary Taylor, John Tyler, William Harrison, James Monroe, James Madison and George Washington.

Presbyterian: Ronald Reagan, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Benjamin Harrison, Grover Cleveland, James Buchanan, James K. Polk and Andrew Jackson.

No formal affilation: Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln.

Quaker: Richard Nixon and Herbert Hoover.

Disciples of Christ: Lyndon B. Johnson and James A. Garfield.

Dutch Reformed: Theodore Roosevelt and martin Van Buren.

Congregational: Calvin Coolidge.

Catholic: John F. Kennedy.

Baptist: William Clinton, Jimmy Carter, Harry S. Truman and Warren G. Harding.

Unitarian: William Howard Taft, Millard Filmore, John Quincy Adams and John Adams.

Christian: Barak Obama, Andrew johnson and Rutherford B. Hayes.

They reflect our country's belief in religious freedom and the Second Amendment of the Constitution, which gives us that right.

Helen Ruth Arnold,

Trenton, Nebraska

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