Prayer and the Presidency

We like our leaders to have faith. So why do we make it so hard for them to express it?

Illustration for TIME by Hadley Hooper

Having a President in your Parish can go to a pastor's head, as Dwight Eisenhower learned soon after he took office. Ike, though personally devout, wasn't much of a churchgoer, but he didn't think people would want a President who just played golf on Sundays. So he became the first President to be baptized in office and joined National Presbyterian. The minister had promised there would be no publicity, but as Eisenhower wrote angrily in his diary, "we were scarcely home before the fact was being publicized, by the pastor, to the hilt."

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