Last year for Presidents Day (please note once again that there is no apostrophe anywhere in the holiday’s name), I presented a little multiple-choice quiz on our presidents and their ideas about religion.
This year, given the theocratic claptrap being spouted by all candidates of both parties, such a quiz is even more desperately needed. You can find the answers by looking at the first comment to this post.
1. Who said:
I am tolerant of all creeds. Yet if any sect suffered itself to be used for political objects I would meet it by political opposition. In my view church and state should be separate, not only in form, but fact. Religion and politics should not be mingled.A. John Quincy Adams
B. Millard Fillmore
C. Franklin Pierce
D. Martin Van Buren
2. Which two presidents might have had this debate about morality:
The truth is, politics and morality are inseparable. And as morality's foundation is religion, religion and politics are necessarily related. We need religion as a guide. We need it because we are imperfect.
Twenty times in the course of my late reading, I have been upon the point of breaking out: This would be the best of all possible worlds, if there were no religion in it!
A. George H. W. Bush and James Madison
B. Herbert Hoover and Thomas Jefferson
C. Ronald Reagan and John Adams
D. Lyndon B. Johnson and Abraham Lincoln
3. Which little-known president is responsible for the following amazing quote?
The United States has adventured upon a great and noble experiment, which is believed to have been hazarded in the absence of all previous precedent — that of total separation of Church and State. No religious establishment by law exists among us. The conscience is left free from all restraint and each is permitted to worship his Maker after his own judgment. The offices of the Government are open alike to all. No tithes are levied to support an established Hierarchy, nor is the fallible judgment of man set up as the sure and infallible creed of faith. The Mohammedan, if he will to come among us would have the privilege guaranteed to him by the Constitution to worship according to the Koran; and the East Indian might erect a shrine to Brahma if it so pleased him. Such is the spirit of toleration inculcated by our political institutions… The Hebrew persecuted and down trodden in other regions takes up his abode among us with none to make him afraid… and the Aegis of the government is over him to defend and protect him. Such is the great experiment which we have tried, and such are the happy fruits which have resulted from it; our system of free government would be imperfect without it.A. John Tyler
B. Chester Alan Arthur
C. James K. Polk
D. Benjamin Harrison
4. Which two presidents of two different parties could have agreed on these ideas?
No matter what other personal desires or crises we have faced, I've never forgotten that this is the time to celebrate the birth of the Baby Jesus, and the impact of this event on the history of the world.
It is only when men begin to worship that they begin to grow.
A. George W. Bush and Bill Clinton
B. Warren G. Harding and Woodrow Wilson
C. Franklin D. Roosevelt and Herbert Hoover
D. Jimmy Carter and Calvin Coolidge
5. Who said:
Next in importance to freedom and justice is popular education, without which neither justice nor freedom can be permanently maintained. Its interests are intrusted to the States and the voluntary action of the people. Whatever help the nation can justly afford should be generously given to aid the States in supporting common schools; but it would be unjust to our people and dangerous to our institutions to apply any portion of the revenues of the nation or of the States to the support of sectarian schools. The separation of Church and State in everything relating to taxation should be absolute.A. Andrew Johnson
B. Rutherford B. Hayes
C. William McKinley
D. James A. Garfield
6. Which two presidents could have had this discussion about education?
I believe God did create the world. And I think we're finding out more and more and more as to how it actually happened.
There is no need to teach that stars can fall out of the sky and land on a flat Earth in order to defend our religious faith.
A. Richard Nixon and Lyndon B. Johnson
B. John F. Kennedy and Harry Truman
C. George W. Bush and Jimmy Carter
D. Gerald Ford and Ronald Reagan
7. Which two presidents had the following different ideas about religious sensitivity?
The Jews, I find are very, very selfish. They care not how many Estonians, Latvians, Finns, Poles, Yugoslavs or Greeks get murdered or mistreated as D[isplaced] P[ersons] as long as the Jews get special treatment. Yet when they have power, physical, financial, or political, neither Hitler nor Stalin has anything on them for cruelty or mistreatment to the underdog.
If they are good workmen, they may be of Asia, Africa, or Europe. They may be Mohometans, Jews or Christians of any Sect, or they may be Atheists.
A. Harry Truman and George Washington
B. Franklin D. Roosevelt and James Monroe
C. Dwight D. Eisenhower and Grover Cleveland
D. Richard M. Nixon and Theodore Roosevelt
8. These two presidents would be horrified at all the faith talk in this year’s political arena. Who are they?
Voters ... make up their minds for many diverse reasons, good and bad. To submit the candidates to a religious test is unfair enough — to apply it to the voters is divisive, degrading and wholly unwarranted.
If there is one thing for which we stand in this country, it is for complete religious freedom, and it is an emphatic negation of this right to cross-examine a man on his religion before being willing to support him for office.
A. William Howard Taft and William McKinley
B. John F. Kennedy and Theodore Roosevelt
C. Herbert Hoover and Harry Truman
D. Ulysses S. Grant and Abraham Lincoln
9. The country lucked out when neither of these two religious nuts were elected. What two losing candidates said:
If we have to give up either religion or education, we should give up education.
I believe that the purpose of life is to glorify God.
A. Charles Evans Hughes and Alfred E. Smith
B. Alf Landon and Barry Goldwater
C. William Jennings Bryan and Al Gore
D. Bob Dole and George McGovern
10. Who said:
We have the most religious freedom of any country in the world, including the freedom not to believe.
A. Richard M. Nixon
B. Lyndon B. Johnson
C. George W. Bush
D. Bill Clinton
For these and many other great quotes, I highly recommend that you read 2000 Years of Disbelief by James A. Haught and The Quotable Atheist by Jack Huberman — or simply visit Positive Atheism.