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Saturday, October 17, 2020

US Presidents on the Bible


Bill Clinton takes the oath of office for his 2nd term as president of the United States, Jan. 1997.

George Washington served as the 1st president of the United States of America from 1789 to 1797. Previously, he led Patriot forces to victory in the nation's War for Independence. Like most gentlemen of his time, Washington was versed in the Bible, specifically the King James Bible, and he seasoned his discourse with biblical allusions and phrases. Washington’s papers contain hundreds of biblical quotations, figures of speech, idioms, proverbs, and allusions. No literary text is referenced more frequently in his writings.

John Quincy Adams was an American statesman, diplomat, lawyer, and diarist who served as the 6th president of the United States, from 1825 to 1829. He previously served as the eighth United States Secretary of State from 1817 to 1825. President Adams explained that Bible reading was an almost daily practice. His Diary entry for 26 September 1810 reads: "I have made it a practice for several years to read the Bible through in the course of every year. I usually devote to this reading the first hour after I rise every morning."

President Adams also wrote, "The first and almost only book deserving of universal attention is the Bible. I speak as a man of the world...and I say to you, 'Search the Scriptures.'"

Andrew Jackson was an American soldier and statesman who served as the 7th president of the United States from 1829 to 1837. Before being elected to the presidency, Jackson gained fame as a general in the United States Army and served in both houses of the U.S. Congress. Referring to the Bible, Jackson said, "That Book, sir, is the rock upon which our Republic rests."

Abraham Lincoln was an American statesman and lawyer who served as the 16th president of the United States from 1861 to 1865. Lincoln led the nation through the American Civil War, the country's greatest moral, constitutional, and political crisis. Lincoln wrote, "I am profitably engaged in reading the Bible."

Herbert Clark Hoover was an American politician, businessman, and engineer, who served as the 31st president of the United States from 1929 to 1933. He held office during the onset of the Great Depression. Hoover said, "There is no other book so various as the Bible nor one so full of concentrated wisdom."

Dwight David Eisenhower was an American politician and soldier who served as the 34th president of the United States from 1953 to 1961. During World War II, he became a five-star general in the Army and served as Supreme Commander of the Allied Expeditionary Force in Europe. 

Before he became President of the United States, Eisenhower served as president of Columbia University in New York City. While in that role, he pledged to be a "witness for Christ" at Riverside Church on Layman's Sunday (16 October 1949). "I don't feel qualified to preach a sermon," he commented, "but I would like to read one chapter from the Bible that has helped me more than anything else I have ever read." That chapter was Romans 12.

William Jefferson Clinton is an American lawyer and politician who served as the 42nd president of the United States from 1993 to 2001. Bill Clinton served two terms as the president of the United States. His acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention in New York on 16 July 1992 was full of biblical allusions and scripture references. However, the Arkansas governor's talk of a "new covenant" was perceived by some as "pseudo-Christianity."

In 2016, Hillary Clinton allegedly threw a Bible at a secret service agent's head.

George Walker Bush is an American politician and businessman who served as the 43rd president of the United States from 2001 to 2009. He had previously served as the governor of Texas from 1995 to 2000. While he was governor, George Bush Jr. read the Bible every morning. First thing in the morning, he made coffee for his wife, fed the growing group of cats and dogs, and then read the Bible.

Barack Hussein Obama II is an American politician and attorney who served as the 44th president of the United States from 2009 to 2017. Obama placed his hand on two different Bibles when he was sworn into office. He used the Bible that had been used by President Abraham Lincoln in 1861 for his first inauguration in 2009, and he used the Bible that had belonged to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at the swearing-in ceremony for his second term as president. Some view this as virtue signaling since there is no evidence that Obama reads the Bible with any regularity.

Donald John Trump is the 45th president of the United States. Before entering the political arena, he was a businessman and television personality. Donald Trump said in a 2016 radio interview that his favorite biblical teaching is an "eye for an eye."

President Trump was also accused of virtue signaling when he held up a Bible in front of St. John's Episcopal Church in Washington DC.

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