Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Faith of President Gerald Ford

President Ford's memorial service was today in Washington. I didn't watch the service but heard parts of it from the television in the adjoining room. One thing that struck me was that I heard "Holy, Holy, Holy" playing as the recessional.

Was President Ford a religious man? President Carter defeated President Ford by campaigning as a born again Southern Baptist and carrying a majority of the evangelical vote. Nancy Gibbs and Michael Duffy are releasing a book in August 2007 about Billy Graham's interaction with the men who have sat in the Oval Office over the years. The title is The Preacher and the Presidents: Billy Graham's White House Crusade. Sounds interesting. Time has an article today by Gibbs and Duffy wherein they discuss President Ford's faith. Gibbs and Duffy point out that Ford flatly refused to "advertise [his] religious beliefs" while Carter campaigned on his. It was the difference in the race.

History will remember President Ford as the "accidental president" or someone who restored faith in the White House. But what could have been if he had publicly declared his faith in that race in 1976? Might it have made a difference? We'll never know. But one thing is certain. One's faith is not something to hide from in the political arena. Voters need to see and know of a candidates belief in God, or lack thereof. It will speak volumes about how they will vote or react in certain situations.

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