Kresta in the Afternoon – June 6, 2019 – Hour 2

+  Kresta Comments: FDR’s D-Day Prayer

+  “In this poignant hour, I ask you to join with me in prayer.” (2 segments)

  • Description: FDR's most famous quote is probably his radio address after the Pearl Harbor attack, declaring it a "day which shall live in infamy." But he has another address that is just as impactful - his address to the nation on the evening of June 6, 1944, following the landings at Normandy. Those of you who have seen Saving Private Ryan have some idea of just how brutal that battle was, but the nation at the time had no idea it had happened until Roosevelt's announcement. We continue our look at the D-Day Prayer with historian Gary Scott Smith.
  • Segment Guests:
    • Gary Scott Smith
      Dr. Gary Scott Smith is the retired chair of the history department at Grove City College and is a fellow for faith and politics with The Center for Vision & Values. He's the author of "Faith and the Presidency from George Washington to George W Bush" and "Religion in the Oval Office: The Religious Lives of American Presidents."
  • + Resources Mentioned Available in Our Store:

    • Faith and the Presidency From George Washington to George W. Bush

      In the wake of the 2004 election, pundits were shocked at exit polling that showed that 22% of voters thought 'moral values' was the most important issue at stake. People on both sides of the political divide believed this was the key to victory for George W. Bush, who professes a deep and abiding faith in God. While some fervent Bush supporters see him as a man chosen by God for the White House, opponents see his overt commitment to Christianity as a dangerous and unprecedented bridging of the gap between church and state. In fact, Gary Scott Smith shows, none of this is new. Religion has been a major part of the presidency since George Washington's first inaugural address. Despite the mounting interest in the role of religion in American public life, we actually know remarkably little about the faith of our presidents. Was Thomas Jefferson an atheist, as his political opponents charged? What role did Lincoln's religious views play in his handling of slavery and the Civil War? How did born-again Southern Baptist Jimmy Carter lose the support of many evangelicals? Was George W. Bush, as his critics often claimed, a captive of the religious right? In this fascinating book, Smith answers these questions and many more. He takes a sweeping look at the role religion has played in presidential politics and policies. Drawing on extensive archival research, Smith paints compelling portraits of the religious lives and presidencies of eleven chief executives for whom religion was particularly important. Faith and the Presidency meticulously examines what each of its subjects believed and how those beliefs shaped their presidencies and, in turn, the course of our history. (learn more)

    • Religion in the Oval Office: The Religious Lives of American Presidents

      In his highly praised book Faith and the Presidency, Gary Scott Smith cast a revealing light on the role religion has played in presidential politics throughout our nation's history, offering comprehensive, even-handed examinations of the role of religion in the lives, politics, and policies of eleven presidents. Now, in Religion in the Oval Office, Smith takes on eleven more of our nation's most interesting and influential chief executives: John Adams, James Madison, John Quincy Adams, Andrew Jackson, William McKinley, Herbert Hoover, Harry Truman, Richard Nixon, George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama. Drawing on a wide range of sources and paying close attention to historical context and America's shifting social and moral values, he examines their religious beliefs, commitments, affiliations, and practices and scrutinizes their relationships with religious leaders and communities. The result is a fascinating account of the ways in which religion has helped shape the course of our history. From John Quincy Adams' treatment of Native Americans, to Harry Truman's decision to recognize Israel, to Bill Clinton's promotion of religious liberty and welfare reform, to Barack Obama's policies on poverty and gay rights, Smith shows how strongly our presidents' religious commitments have affected policy from the earliest days of our nation to the present. Together with Faith and the PresidencyReligion in the Oval Office provides the most comprehensive examination of the inseparable and intriguing relationship between faith and the American presidency. This book will be invaluable to anyone interested in the presidency and the role of religion in politics. (learn more)

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