The 2012 presidential election is surprising in one important respect.
Protestants of various sects dominated national leadership until John F. Kennedy broke the barrier in 1960. Yet today there is only one Protestant in the highest offices of American politics: Barack Hussein Obama.
For the first time ever there are no Protestant justices on the Supreme Court. The Court consists of six Roman Catholics and three Jews. The head of the Judiciary, Chief Justice John Roberts, is Roman Catholic. The leaders of the Legislature are Speaker of the House John Boehner, a Roman Catholic, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Mormon.
As President Obama completes his first year in office, little attention has been given to a question that sparked raucous argument during the campaign. How would Barack Obama’s religious beliefs affect his performance as president?
During the campaign, the question of Obama’s long relationship with Reverend Jeremiah Wright loomed large. In some quarters, so did Senator Obama’s middle name. The Obama candidacy was widely and deeply opposed by religiously-inspired groups against abortion rights and gay marriage. There was similar strong opposition from those arguing for “moral clarity” on the war on terror, calling into question Obama’s credentials to fight Islamic religious extremism.