How many US presidents have either been atheist or agnostic?
#83035. Asked by deadlydalton. (Jul 08 07 5:22 AM)
Jefferson was an Anglican, later an Episcopalian, then a Unitarian in outlook though not a member of what was then a Christian sect, and he held many Deist beliefs.|
His last words were, "I resign myself to my God, and my child to my country."
"James Madison was an Episcopalian.
"James Madison attended St. John's Episcopal Church while he was President. Some sources classify Madison was a deist."
Lincoln's friend, Herndon, said he was an agnostic and an atheist, yet he himself said, "I have been driven many times upon my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had nowhere else to go. My own wisdom, and that of all about me, seemed insufficient for the day." Another friend said he prayed every morning in the White House. His speeches were full of allusions to the Bible and to God, and he proclaimed national days of prayer and fasting.
My personal opinion, having read Sandburg's three volumes of his life and D. H. Donald's masterful biography, is that Lincoln was in fact an agnostic who was respectful, perhaps even envious, of others' faith, and a shrewd politician who purposefully used tropes that resonated with the American people.
All of this is contained in my much briefer first answer. :-)
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