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The Religious Affiliation of U.S. President
Woodrow Wilson


Woodrow Wilson was the 28th President of the United States.

Woodrow Wilson was a Presbyterian. He was the son of a Presbyterian minister.

From: Peter Roberts, "Woodrow Wilson" page in "God and Country" section of "Science Resources on the Net" website (http://www.geocities.com/peterroberts.geo/Relig-Politics/WWilson.html; viewed 29 November 2005):

Religious Affiliation: Presbyterian

Summary of Religious Views:
Wilson, whose father was a theologian, had an upbringing steeped in religion, and remained deeply religious throughout his life. He was a frequent church-goer, and read the Bible regularly, especially toward the end of his life.

Views on Religion and Politics:
Wilson's religious views were the driving force in his political career, informing his quest for world peace.

Quotations:
"[The Bible is] a book which reveals men unto themselves, not as creatures in bondage, not as men under human authority, not as those bidden to take counsel and command of any human source. It reveals every man to himself as a distinct moral agent, responsible not to men, not even to those men whom he has put over him in authority, but responsible through his own conscience to his Lord and Maker. Whenever a man sees this vision he stands up a free man, whatever may be the government under which he lives, if he sees beyond the circumstances of his own life." -- speech on the tercentenary of the King James Bible, Denver, 7 May 1911

"My life would not be worth living if it were not for the driving power of religion, for faith, pure and simple. I have seen all my life the arguments against it without ever having been moved by them . . . never for a moment have I had one doubt about my religious beliefs. There are people who believe only so far as they understand -- that seems to me presumptuous and sets their understanding as the standard of the universe . . . I am sorry for such people." -- letter to Nancy Toy, 1915

"It does not become America that within her borders, where every man is free to follow the dictates of his conscience, men should raise the cry of church against church. To do that is to strike at the very spirit and heart of America." -- speech, 4 November 1915

From: Richard N. Ostling (Associated Press), "Old custom: U.S. presidents tangle with their religious denominations", published 9 February 2003, in The Post & Courier (Charleston, South Carolina) (http://charleston.net/stories/020903/rel_09prez.shtml; 6 July 2003 version of page viewed via archive.org on 29 November 2005):
..."It's relatively easy for presidents to get on the outs with their denominations," says Wake Forest University Divinity School Dean Bill J. Leonard. It's hard to find a 20th-century president who didn't butt heads with some in his faith:

-- The devout Woodrow Wilson upset fellow Presbyterians as he moved the nation toward entering World War I, including William Jennings Bryan, who quit as secretary of state...

Ultimately, Southern Methodist University ethicist Robin Lovin says, politicians' moral judgments are influenced far less by today's church pronouncements than by their religious upbringing. The sermons, discussions and Sunday school classes in their home congregations many years ago may be their guide.

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Webpage created 29 November 2005. Last modified 30 November 2005.
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