Christmas in USA: how religion influences American policy

December 25 in the US, Christmas is an important festival for the millions of Christians who celebrate it, usually with family. States is a fairly religious country and the question of the faith of the candidate is important for them and for voters. About it writes “Газета.Ru”.

Рождество в США: как религия влияет на американскую политику

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The support of the President of the United States Donald trump is extremely high in Christian circles, however the number of those who are willing to vote for President-an atheist.

Religion still plays a big role in American political life: according to a survey by 2016, 73,7% of Americans consider themselves Christians. Presidents take an oath on the Bible, Congress before the meeting with a prayer, and near public buildings you can see a monument depicting the “Ten commandments”.

However, despite the fact that most of the presidential candidates publicly speak about their faith, the importance of religious beliefs of a candidate is reduced. According to a recent Gallup poll, 60% of Americans said that can vote for President-an atheist.

This was 4% more than in 2012, as well as a huge jump by 40% in comparison with the figure in 1958. Then the Americans asked this question the first time.

The number of those who are still not ready to vote for a President-an atheist also declined from 43% in 2012 to 40% in 2019.

At the same time, if to speak about the religion of voters, as a rule, the more religious are traditionally considered to be supporters of the Republicans than the Democrats. According to another Gallup poll, 92% of supporters of the Republican party who consider themselves religious, approve of the work of trump as President. For comparison: among those Republicans who are not considered to be so religious, activities of the head of the country approves of 87%.

Religious voters see the American leader of the defender of traditional Christian values. As noted by the American Professor and theologian John Farina, despite the fact that “militant style” pushed by trump many traditional supporters of Republicans, at the same time he helped “awaken religious feelings and to draw to the election of the majority of the faithful Christians.”

According to experts, religious voters like trump’s attack against the Washington political elite. Believer the electorate fully concurred with the allegations, which the then candidate for US President was sent to Washington: the power of sinners, they rotted in the pursuit of money and power and do not think about the interests of ordinary people.

The trump during his election campaign had often referred to his religious upbringing.

“I was born and brought up in the house, is impregnated with the religious spirit. Father and mother said to me: to whom much is given, much will be asked, he said. — I swore on the same Bible that I read is our mother, when we were young, and this belief lives in my heart.”

It is known that trump was brought up in the traditions of the Presbyterian Church and was a parishioner of the temple in Manhattan. There he met pastor Norman Vincent peel, the author of “the Power of positive thinking” about finding God.

However, as pointed out by Farina, “trump did not climb out of my skin to talk about himself as a Christian.”

“He did not quote passages from the Bible not say that Jesus Christ is his role model,” said Farina.

Trump was the first in many years, the American President that in 2017, congratulating compatriots on the occasion, said the words “merry Christmas!”.

Despite the fact that this expression is often heard in the family circle of Christian believers, as well as in the “Christmas movie”, politicians prefer not to use it publicly. In order not to offend people of another faith, they prefer the neutral “Happy holidays”.

Presidents, faith and “prayer breakfasts”

The big role religion played in the lives of many American presidents, in particular, Democrat Jimmy Carter, who was a very pious man. In his memoirs he says that he tried to attend Church without pomp together with his family, so as not to attract attention. During his trips abroad, he often touched on religious issues in dealing with world leaders, including even those whose countries were under Soviet influence.

Thus, the Polish leader Edward Gierek in 1977, asked Carter about how he came to religious faith. The former US President wrote in his memoirs that Gierek himself was seriously interested in this and even told me that his mother recently visited the Vatican.

No less religiosity had replaced Carter the presidency Republican Ronald Reagan. As I recall Reagan knew, partly his negative attitude to the USSR was associated with atheism in Soviet society. It is worth noting that the “evil Empire” of the Soviet Union Reagan called, speaking before the National Association of evangelicals USA.

The advancement of religion in the Soviet Union under Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev has contributed significantly to the dialogue between the two countries, recalled the American writer and social activist Susan Massey, who has repeatedly advised Reagan on the subject.

In turn, US President George W. Bush admitted that he was able to communicate better with Russian leader Vladimir Putin after was shocked by his story about the family cross, which survived the fire. It was then that Bush himself came to religion in adulthood, said: “I was able to look into his soul.”

Religious activities help to establish political dialogue. This happens during the so-called “prayer breakfasts” that are held at the White house annually with the participation of the President of the United States.

For the first time, Dwight Eisenhower visited him in 1952 marking the beginning of the presidential visits to a “prayer Breakfast”. Prompted him to take this step now-deceased priest-Evangelist Billy Graham, who later was a Confessor of many presidents. Speaking at the Breakfast, which was attended by more than 400 religious and secular figures in the US, Eisenhower declared that the government “is based on a deep religious faith.”

According to the scientist-americanist Areg Galstyan, “prayer Breakfast” — a “tribute to Protestantism and the Protestant ethic”.

“The event has a high status, as it is attended by the President, which serves Breakfast dignitaries. They can communicate on any topic. But it’s certainly not an event where important political decisions are taken. Rather, it is a “tick” for the Protestant lobby”, — says the expert.