American presidency

Clinton Moves from One Religion to Another – You Must Come Too

By Jane Robbins

Hillary Clinton grew up an “old-fashioned Methodist” and presumably still considers herself part of that denomination. But as Paul Kengor relates, over the last few years she has vocally abandoned many of the moral rules of her old-fashioned faith, gravitating toward the progressive fringe beliefs roiling the Methodist church as they are so many others.

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Obama and the Presidential Imperative to Promote International Religious Freedom

By: Judd Birdsall

In a world ablaze with religious violence, persecution, and intolerance, President Obama is under constant pressure to “do something” to advance international religious freedom (IRF) and the security of vulnerable religious minorities.

We are told the president should do more to promote religious freedom in Country X, Y, or Z. He should (or should not) use the term “Islamic” when describing the ideology and actions of violent extremist Muslims. He should work to create safe havens for Christians in Iraq. He should add more countries to the US government’s official list of the world’s worst persecutors. And on the list goes. 

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The Reformation of Political Religion: The Clash of Declarations

By: Ken Masugi

An examination of twentieth century presidents’ religious freedom policies is nothing short of a reflection on the transformation of America, from the onset of the Progressive Era to the continuing divisions over the constitutional revolution. We see the regard for America’s political religion and its religions change, from Theodore Roosevelt’s making “Onward, Christian Soldiers” his 1912 campaign song to a multicultural America that disparages any such outward signs of religiosity (not to mention demonstrates an outright militancy against such displays). To paraphrase Woodrow Wilson on democracy with slight exaggeration, we have gone from domestic and foreign policies that made the world safe for Christianity to those that often seem to make the world safe from Christianity. The wise constitutional prohibition on religious tests for national office has become a banishment of religion from the public square. 

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Promoting Religious Freedom from the Oval Office

By: William Inboden

From the beginning of the United States’ development of a modern foreign policy, religious freedom promotion has held an important, albeit underappreciated, place. At the dawn of the nineteenth century, America’s debut in the elite ranks of global powers also brought with it a new sense of concern for religious freedom internationally. It is not that past presidents had not cared about religious freedom, but that the United States did not previously have the ability or interest in projecting power and influence abroad. 

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The Clinton Presidency and the Pivotal Era for Religious Freedom

By: Allen Hertzke

President Clinton enjoys a permanent place in the annals of religious freedom because his signature is affixed to the two pivotal federal laws that shape policies over the protection of domestic religious liberty and efforts to promote it internationally.  Indeed, these two laws—the 1993 Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) and the 1998 International Religious Freedom Act (IRFA)—serve as bookends of his presidency and constitute a considerable legacy of the Clinton era. 

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