FDR and his fellow presidents talk about God

By Tom Quiner

Franklin Roosevelt was not shy about invoking God or Christianity in his speeches

Franklin Roosevelt was not shy about invoking God or Christianity in his speeches

What do you do when your country is attacked? Turn to God.

I’ll never forget after 9/11 how people flocked back to my church and churches all over this great nation. People just showed up.

We wanted to be together in our time of need.

Presidents are just the same.

On this 75th anniversary of Pearl Harbor, I’d like to share some of the quotes from American presidents on God and religion, with a special emphasis on President Franklin Roosevelt:

Franklin Roosevelt: “Those forces [Communism and Naziism] hate democracy and Christianity as two phases of the same civilization. They oppose democracy because it is Christian. They oppose Christianity because it preaches democracy.”

Franklin Roosevelt: “We call what we have been doing ‘human security’ and ‘social justice.’ In the last analysis all of those terms can be described by one word; and that is ‘Christianity.’

Franklin Roosevelt: “With every passing year I become more confident that humanity is moving forward to the practical application of the teachings of Christianity as they affect the individual lives of men and women everywhere.”

George Washington:  “While we are zealously performing the duties of good citizens and soldiers, we certainly ought not to be inattentive to the higher duties of religion. To the distinguished character of Patriot, it should be our highest glory to add the more distinguished character of Christian.”

Barack Obama: “The future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam”

John Adams: “Suppose a nation in some distant Region should take the Bible for their only law Book, and every member should regulate his conduct by the precepts there exhibited! Every member would be obliged in conscience, to temperance, frugality, and industry; to justice, kindness, and charity towards his fellow men; and to piety, love, and reverence toward Almighty God … What a Eutopia, what a Paradise would this region be.”

Barack Obama:  “We will convey our deep appreciation for the Islamic faith, which has done so much over the centuries to shape the world — including in my own country.”

Ronald Reagan: “The time has come to turn to God and reassert our trust in Him for the healing of America – our country is in need of and ready for a spiritual renewal.”

Barack Obama: “As a student of history, I also know civilization’s debt to Islam.”

Thomas Jefferson: “I am a real Christian – that is to say, a disciple of the doctrines of Jesus Christ.”

Barack Obama: “Islam has a proud tradition of tolerance.”

James Madison: “A watchful eye must be kept on ourselves lest while we are building ideal monuments of Renown and Bliss here we neglect to have our names enrolled in the Annals of Heaven.”

Barack Obama: “Islam has always been part of America.”

James Monroe: “When we view the blessings with which our country has been favored, those which we now enjoy, and the means which we possess of handing them down unimpaired to our latest posterity, our attention is irresistibly drawn to the source from whence they flow. Let us then, unite in offering our most grateful acknowledgments for these blessings to the Divine Author of All Good.”

Barack Obama: “we will encourage more Americans to study in Muslim communities”

Andrew Jackson: “[The Bible] is the rock on which our Republic rests.”

Barack Obama: “These rituals remind us of the principles that we hold in common, and Islam’s role in advancing justice, progress, tolerance, and the dignity of all human beings.”

Abraham Lincoln: In regards to this great Book [the Bible], I have but to say it is the best gift God has given to man. All the good the Savior gave to the world was communicated through this Book. But for it we could not know right from wrong. All things most desirable for man’s welfare, here and hereafter, are found portrayed in it.”

Barack Obama: “The Holy Koran tells us, ‘O mankind! We have created you male and a female; and we have made you into nations and tribes so that you may know one another.’”

Harry Truman: “The fundamental basis of this Nation’s law was given to Moses on the Mount. The fundamental basis of our Bill of Rights comes from the teachings which we get from Exodus and St. Matthew, from Isaiah and St. Paul.”

Barack Obama: “I look forward to hosting an Iftar dinner celebrating Ramadan here at the White House later this week, and wish you a blessed month.”

Teddy Roosevelt: “I believe that the next half century will determine if we will advance the cause of Christian civilization or revert to the horrors of brutal paganism.”

Barack Obama: “Whatever we once were, we are no longer a Christian nation”

Franklin Roosevelt: [The United States is] founded on the principles of Christianity”

Barack Obama: “We do not consider ourselves a Christian nation.”

Harry Truman: “This is a Christian nation.”

Barack Obama: “I also know that Islam has always been a part of America’s story.”

Ronald Reagan: The Bible and its teachings helped form the basis for the Founding Fathers’ abiding belief in the inalienable rights of the individual, rights which they found implicit in the Bible’s teachings of the inherent worth and dignity of each individual. This same sense of man patterned the convictions of those who framed the English system of law inherited by our own Nation, as well as the ideals set forth in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.”


  1. d. knapp on December 7, 2016 at 6:13 pm

    Mr. Quiner, R U trying 2 tell us something of our presidents past….and especially present? Hmm? I can’t put my finger on it, but a reoccurring theme just kept popping up. Now, what COULD it possibly be that I was seeing again and again? I’m sure it was nothing. I mean the POTUS has repeatedly reassured us 1) He is Christian and 2) He is NOT Muslim. He wouldn’t fib…right?

    • quinersdiner on December 7, 2016 at 6:24 pm

      All I did, M’am, is quote various presidents’ heartfelt expressions on religion. Our current prez’s religion is not as relevant as his public comments on other religions, don’t you think?

      As to your question, “would he fib?” All I can say is he promised my healthcare premiums would drop; that I could keep my doctor; and that I could keep my current plan. Shall we leave it at that? 🙂 Thanks for writing!

  2. d. knapp on December 7, 2016 at 9:45 pm

    I was just noticing that one of the presidents, more often than not, speaks in an Islamic way regarding religion. If one notices he uses the term “Holy Koran” and the term “Bible”. My spouse was an Arabic speaker for the military and is extensively knowledgeable in all aspects of Islamic custom and Middle eastern history and politics. A Muslim would never refer to the Koran w/o the descriptive “holy” and would never refer to any other religious text as holy. I would not so much care what the religion of a leader were if they did not make it a point to hide it. Just about all I have read of this man and have heard him say on the topics of Islam and Christianity tell me he is (at best) a Muslim and (at worst) an atheist. Most elites are atheistic. His attending a church w/ a most ungodly minister does not convince me otherwise. I think he just did so to play to the crowd. America is not ready to elect either a Muslim or avowed atheist. Mostly I was just giving you a good natured ribbing. I can always tell when Obama or his followers are lying. Their lips are moving.