Religion: Religion & Politics

Nobel Prizewinning Novelist Albert Camus, with his Frenchman's taste for the epigrammatically provocative, once wrote: "A government, by definition, has no conscience." With this as his text, Associate Professor of Religion Warren B. Martin of Cornell College (Iowa) examines Presidents and their religions in the Protestant weekly, the Christian Century. He comes to an odd conclusion. Because a U.S. President must be tough, shrewd, and even ruthless to be effective, writes Professor Martin, his church affiliation is unimportant only so long as he is "predictably nominal in his faith." Religion, he adds, only "becomes a relevant and divisive issue whenever the...

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