Jewish Journal


July 2, 2011

The presidential campaign season outside the Christian mainstream?


Cool Los Angeles Times op-ed from Doyle McManus about the religions of U.S. presidents. Hint: no Mormons, Muslims or Jews.

There was one Catholic—JFK—which McManus characterizes as “outside that mainstream tradition,” though I did not mean Mainline because four presidents have been Baptists.

Then the LAT’s political ace notes:

But among the leading candidates for this year’s Republican presidential nomination, not one is a member of the Protestant denominations that for so long have dominated American political culture.

Two of the potential candidates are Mormons (former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr.); one is a member of an interdenominational evangelical church (former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty); two others are Catholics (former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and former Sen. Rick Santorum). Rep. Michele Bachmann, who says she’s considering the race, worships at an evangelical Lutheran church; if elected, she’d be the first Lutheran president.

But no matter who wins from this list, it won’t be an Episcopalian, a Presbyterian or a Methodist.

Read the rest here.

The question of whether that’s a problem is more for political strategists (at least I hope) than it is for religious folks. Though I don’t think those evaluations of those groups are mutually exclusive.

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