Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Godly Daddies in the White House

A special election edition of my latest GodlyDaddy.com piece ...

Not only should you be getting out to vote by next Tuesday, you should take your kids. It's a good lesson in civics, and even if they're still too little to understand like my kiddos, they will someday.

We took our little ones when we voted early this week, and hopefully the guy we picked for president will make a difference for their lives - at least in the way that we would prefer!

I'm not here to endorse candidates because we can be Godly Daddies no matter who is in the White House, whether it's the Mormon or the guy who went to a church that preaches angry liberation theology.

Some of the inhabitants of the White House were more open with their faith than others.

There's even a chance that they didn't use naughty words for their opponents in printed interviews.

Presidential historian Darrin Grinder, author of “The Presidents and Their Faith,” argues that ever since George Washington spontaneously added “so help me God” to his inaugural oath, Americans have expected their presidents to believe in, worship and publicly invoke God.

“It’s going to be a long time before anyone who openly admits that he or she is an agnostic or an atheist is elected,” Grinder says. “We tie character and religious beliefs together,” even if a president’s religious faith may not make any difference in how he governs.

Let's hop in the Way Back Machine and see some examples of our forefathers looking heavenward for inspiration ...

Our second president, John Adams (1797–1801) was also the first to live in the White House, and in a letter to his wife, Abigail, he wrote, "Before I end my letter, I pray Heaven to bestow the best of Blessings on this House and all that shall hereafter inhabit it. May none but honest and wise Men ever rule under this roof."

Now, one could argue that Mr. Adams didn't get his wish, but we can't blame that on God, can we?

Adams' son, John Quincy Adams (1825–1829) served as a VP of the American Bible Society and was super dedicated to the absolution of slavery, which he regarded in religious terms:

"The highest, the transcendent glory of the American Revolution was this — it connected, in one indissoluble bond, the principles of civil government with the precepts of Christianity. "

Grover Cleveland, besides having a name that he now shares with a Sesame Street monster, was the only president to serve two non-consecutive terms (1885–1889 and 1893–1897). Cleveland was the son of a preacher who took his father's lessons to heart:

"I know there is a Supreme Being who rules the affairs of men and whose goodness and mercy have always followed the American people, and I know He will not turn from us now if we humbly and reverently seek His powerful aid."

You know how some folks get the heebie jeebies about using "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance? It was General Dwight D. Eisenhower as president who pushed to have the words added in 1954 and adoped "In God We Trust" as the USA Motto in 1956.

Eisenhower composed a prayer for his first inauguration, began his Cabinet meetings with silent prayer, and met frequently with a wide range of religious leaders while in office.

More recently, George W. Bush was well regarded for his faith, and especially how he framed it in the fight for liberty around the world:

"Freedom is on the march in this world. I believe everybody in the Middle East desires to live in freedom. I believe women in the Middle East want to live in a free society. I believe mothers and fathers want to raise their children in a free and peaceful world. I believe all these things, because freedom is not America's gift to the world, freedom is the almighty God's gift to each man and woman in this world."

I'm not saying that we should look to our leaders as the be all and end all to how we practice our faith, but sometimes it's nice to know that the leaders of this country share our values and seek the Bible for counsel in this wacky world.

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