Presidents Christmas Special

It's that time of year and it's a good time to reflect on some of the interesting facts on the religious views of our past presidents.

Many on both sides of the political spectrum like to use the dead to serve the political ends of the living, but the truth is often more interesting than legend.

Some quick tidbits:

George Washington outlawed the practice of burning an effigy of the pope on Guy Fawkes day when he was trying to build support of his revolution among French Catholics in the north and Canadian territories.

John Adams was a Unitarian, a religion that even now is considered a sort of Hollywood type church. He was originally going to be a preacher, but left to pursue the practice of law which he believed was a higher calling.

Thomas Jefferson considered Jesus to be the greatest philosopher of all time, but rejected his divinity and miracles. He went as far as creating his own rational bible in which he blacked out all the miracles and had the gospels end with the stone being rolled in front of Jesus' tomb.

James Polk's father was a deist and much of his views on religious tolerance were formed when his minister refused to baptize him unless his father converted.

Andrew Jackson was heavily influenced by Old Testament teachings and would frequently refer to enemies as worshipers of Baal or Mammon.

20% (11) of the US Presidents were Episcopalian even though they only comprise 1.7% of the current US Population.

Christmas was not even a national holiday in the United States until Ulysses S. Grant declared it as such in 1870.

With that in mind- remember that history is never as clear cut as you think!

Merry Christmas-



James Polk: A Modest To Do List

I was surprised to learn that Polk is widely considered one of the most influential presidents of all time, but after reading this book I understood why.

Here's the platform he campaigned on:

1) Lower Tariff's
2) Restructure National Banking System
3) Take California from Mexico through peaceful or other means
4) Secure Oregon Territory and border with Canada/British

Polk promised all these things during his campaign, and unlike the vague and unachievable campaign promises of today, he put his credibility on the line and actually did them in the one term of office he served.

He kick started the industrial revolution by lowering Tariffs for manufacturers, averted financial disaster by restructuring his mentor Andrew Jackson's broken banking system. He stretched the borders of the United States from the Atlantic to the Pacific ocean, securing California which would eventually become one of the largest economies in the world in its own right. Oh yeah, and he averted what would have been a costly drawn out war with Great Britain through tough but fair negotiations.