This is an excerpt from my latest blog post on GroundReport.com:
As we consider the political climate of 2012, it seems hard to believe that many U.S. presidents of the past did not lean on their faith as a factor in their electability. Either they ran in times when the public was less concerned with religion or they had other ideas that merited greater consideration.
America wonders what religion and the upswing in Christian fundamentalism means to our present and to our future. Some are greatly comforted by the trend; some are terrified that we are becoming a nation of religious fanatics.
We watch with great interest as a Mormon candidate vies for acceptance and many wonder what exactly Mormonism is, how it differs from mainstream American Christianity, and how it may influence important decisions and policies.
According to many sources, in times past, there were many notable presidents who were defined as “Deist.” A Deist believes in a supreme creator, but not in one who interferes with human affairs. Miracles, the trinity, and other standard fare for Christians are not a beliefs common among them. We count some big names among them, including George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, James Monroe and John Tyler. According to americanhumanist.org, many of these “Deist” presidents may also be considered “humanists.”