Friday, January 23, 2009

Religious Affiliations of U.S. Presidents

Pew Forum has released some interesting facts regarding the religious affiliations of U.S. presidents. The denominational breakdown is as follows: Episcopalian (11); Presbyterian (8); Baptist (4); Methodist (4); Unitarian (4); No formal affiliation (3), Disciples of Christ (2); Dutch Reformed (2); Quaker (2); Catholic (1); Congregationalist (1) and United Church of Christ (1).

Of special interest is the fact that nearly half the nation's presidents have been affiliated with the Episcopal or Presbyterian churches, with John F. Kennedy remaining the only Catholic to have held the nation's highest office. Only three U.S. presidents — Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln and Andrew Johnson — have been unaffiliated with a specific religious tradition.

And finally, President Barack Obama was a member of Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago, Ill., for over 20 years before resigning his membership in 2008 — the only member of the elite list with this affiliation. []

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