Outstanding writer and journalist, Billy Kennedy,pens a splendid piece in the News Letter (Jan 7).
He describes how almost all American presidents have belonged to various Christian denominations with the only Catholic being John F Kennedy.
He notes: “The Presbyterian footprint has indeed been deeply embedded in the White House.”
President-elect Donald Trump is nominally Presbyterian.
Are US Presidents influenced by religious affiliation?
David Brog gives a penetrating historical analysis.
The USA was the first country in the world to recognise the state of Israel in 1948 and the chief rabbi of the new nation visited President Harry S Truman in early 1949. Later Israel’s first prime minister also came to thank the president and remarked: “I don’t know what the Americans are saying about you but in the eyes of the Jewish people you will live for ever.”
Truman burst into tears,one of only four occasions when he wept publicly( and all connected with thanks given to him for helping to create the Jewish state). Harry S Truman as Billy Kennedy tells us grew up as a Presbyterian and later became a Methodist.
Prior to Truman,President Woodrow Wilson, son of a Presbyterian minister played a crucial role in securing the Balfour declaration in Nov 1917 and he commented: “To think that I, the son of the manse, should be able to restore the Holy Land to its people”.
The key Biblical verse for Christian Zionists is Genesis 12:3, “You do good things to the Jewish people, and God will bless you”.
In the same issue of the News Letter the lead letter( UK sided against Israel) by Andrew Shaw and Steven Jaffee,co-chairs Northern Ireland Friends of Israel, deplores the resolution passed at the UN Security Council condemning Israel with the US withholding its veto.
Has secularism replaced Christian belief?
George McNally, Londonderry