In the past, Americans have looked to their Presidents as spiritual leaders as well as politicians. Is that changing?
Franklin Graham, Billy Graham’s son, was asked a few years ago if President Obama was a Christian. He said something like, “I accept him as what he says. If he says he’s a Christian, I accept that. I’m not going to say he’s not. . . . He is a nice man. And his wife is a class act and their kids are class — you can’t help but like them.”
Mr. Graham was severely criticized in the media for his seeming ambiguity.
A few years before that Bill Maher said that he didn’t believe Mr. Obama was a Christian at all. He said he thought the President was a secular humanist pretending to be a Christian for appearance sake.
Mr. Maher was not severely criticized in the media.
Mr. Obama converted to Christianity as a young man in Chicago. In 2010 President Obama became the 12th president, dating back to Harry Truman, to meet with Billy Graham. (See photo.)
Mr. Graham said, “I am pleased to have had President Obama in my home this afternoon.” Mr. Graham gave Mr. Obama with two Bibles, one for him and one for the First Lady. Then they prayed together. Mr. Obama is a Christian but these posts did not see that as relevant to his performance in office.
We felt similarly about both Presidents Bush. The first President Bush was once asked if he were a born again Christian. He responded with his characteristic verbal awkwardness that “I’m clear-cut affirmative to that.”
The second President Bush was once asked if he had a Bible in the Oval Office. He said he did but that he only read it in the private residence. “I’m strengthened by people who pray for me, not by specific verses.”
The presidents are politicians, not spiritual leaders.
As to Donald J Trump – ask us later.