The Presidency: A Time Exclusive: The Other Born-Again President

Ford refused to take his private faith public, even when doing so might have saved his political career

We can never know the real story about a President's faith. We know only what he does--or refuses to do--in God's name. Voters were unwilling to forgive Gerald Ford for his great act of forgiveness, the unconditional pardon of Richard Nixon. But there was another side to the pardon, the presidency and the 1976 campaign that received much less attention, in part because Ford wanted it that way. The contest between Ford and Jimmy Carter was a battle between two born-again Christians--but only one was willing to run as one.

Ford's faith was ignited in Grand Rapids, Mich., a center of...

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