Old Inauguration Day
Virtually every president acknowledged the importance of faith at his inauguration.
For example, John Adams said in 1797:
Veneration for the religion of a people who profess and call themselves Christians ... to consider a decent respect for Christianity among the best recommendations for the public service.
In 1809, James Madison invoked:
Guidance of that Almighty Being.
In 1825, John Quincy Adams declared:
Except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh in vain.
I deem the present occasion sufficiently important ... in expressing to my fellow citizens a profound reverence for the Christian religion.
In 1853, it was Franklin Pierce's turn:
There is no national security but in the nation's humble, acknowledged dependence upon God.
Then in 1857, President James Buchanan pleaded:
Cultivate peace ... with all nations ... in a spirit of Christian benevolence.
Next, in 1861, it was Abraham Lincoln's turn:
Intelligence, patriotism, Christianity, and a firm reliance on Him who has never yet forsaken this favored land, are still competent to adjust in the best way all our present difficulty.
In the next century, in 1925, President Calvin Coolidge declared:
America ... cherishes no purpose save to merit the favor of Almighty God.