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The Religion of Bill Clinton

  • James M. Penning
Part of the The Evolving American Presidency Series book series (EAP)

Abstract

President William Jefferson Clinton is one of the most complex, enigmatic persons to ever occupy the American presidency and there is little doubt that long after Clinton’s controversial presidency, scholars and citizens alike will continue to puzzle over questions relating to his personality, character, and religious life (Pfiffner 2000). Was Clinton a man of high character and personal faith? One can muster considerable supporting evidence. As president, Bill Clinton frequently attended church services, liberally sprinkled his speeches with biblical references, promoted a “New Covenant” with the American people, and regularly sought spiritual counsel from clergy. As he left office, Clinton enjoyed an exceedingly high (65 percent) public approval rating, higher that that enjoyed by Ronald Reagan and John F. Kennedy (Jackson 2001). And he received support, even from conservative clergy such as former Jerry Falwell associate, the Rev. Ed Dobson, who argued that Clinton “is more deeply spiritual than any president we’ve had in recent years” (Cloud 2000).

Keywords

Clinton Administration Religious Expression Civil Religion Sunday School American Presidency 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Mark J. Rozell and Gleaves Whitney 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • James M. Penning

There are no affiliations available

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