U.S. Presidents and their faith: how religion has shaped leadership from Washington to Obama

May 17, 2012

Preeti Upadhyaya

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Religion has become an increasingly important topic when discussing the future leadership of our country, and pivotal social issues such as abortion rights and same-sex marriage are at the heart of the current presidential race.  President Obama’s recent declaration of support of same-sex marriage is a key example of how important these issues have become to his leadership. It seems religion has never played a more dominant role in presidential politics than it does today, and is likely to continue driving the conversation in coming years.

The old adage “never discuss religion and politics” is completely disregarded in the new book, Presidents and their Faith by Dr. Steve Shaw and his colleague Dr. Darrin Grinder.  The book explores the often complicated religious views of the nation’s leaders, starting with George Washington leading up to Barack Obama, and concisely details each president’s leadership style and policies as they related to his faith. 

Dr. Steve Shaw joins host Steve Edwards on Thursday’s Afternoon Shift to discuss how religion has influenced our past leaders and the complex dynamic of faith and politics in the United States.