ONLY ONE NON-PROTESTANT PRESIDENT ?

I am not sure that Martin Luther would approve of this bit of information. After all, he began as a priest (as many young men did in the 16th century). We were still selling indulgences as tickets to the hereafter. The wars between the Catholics and the Protestants lasted for a very long time. Not sure who came out ahead, but in the New World, the Catholics seemed to win except for the English colonies. The Catholics even had a toe hold on the Louisiana territory until the United States purchased it.

From the outset, there was no doubt that the leaders of the fledgling country would veer to Protestantism. The only smattering of religious contention was the 1928 election in which Herbert Hoover defeated his Catholic opponent, Al Smith.

When we get to 1960, history is not something that I read about. It was all around me. There were anti-Kennedy songs about not bringing the Pope to the USA. Who would a President Kennedy owe his allegiance to first- the Pope or the American people? We all know the answer to that one- Marilyn Monroe

I thought that the non-Protestant thing was dead and buried. It was not. All of the Presidents since then have been Protestants of one kind or another. We almost had a Jewish Vice President in Joe Lieberman. No such luck. I’ll bet that some of you are crowing about an African American President. As far as I know, he is still a Protestant and is pretty proud of his denomination.

The 2016 election is going to be very interesting. The Democrats will field Hillary Clinton (although Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden will challenge her). She is Protestant. Carla Fiorina (former CEO of Hewlett Packard) was raised Episcopalian and is married to a Catholic. She says that she does not go to church much.  Jeb Bush is a long time Protestant, as is his whole family.

The rest of the field is somewhat muddled. Rick Santorum was raised and baptized Catholic. However, sometime in the 2008 election he said that he was drifting away from Catholicism and that he was partial to the Protestant Judeo Christian way of thinking. He announced

That this country was settled and created by Protestants.

Mike Huckabee is an ordained Baptist minister. Dr. Ben Carson is a solid Seventh Day Adventist. He was raised by his mom in that religion and still practices it faithfully. Rand Paul was raised a Presbyterian, but was baptized Episcopalian.  Chris Christie was born and raised a Catholic. He is devout, but has some problems with some church teachings such as homosexuality. He believes people and born that way. Scott Walker is the son of a Baptist preacher. He studiously avoids talking about religion, but says he gets his answers from God. There is skepticism about him on the religious right. I have not included minor luminaries such as Mike Pence and Bobby Jindal.

Other than maybe Chris Christie and Rick Santorum, all of the contenders from the right and from the left are Protestants of one kind or another. I am sure that there would be heated discussions about what the correct Protestant religion is, but there it is- Protestants.

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