The Bible in the State of the Union

Jan 21, 2011 5:52pm

ABC's Jed Feiman and Morgan Manousos Report:

If history serves as any indicator for potential themes in the State of the Union address on Tuesday, at least one source of inspiration for President Obama as he drafts his speech is likely to be the Bible.

Here are some biblical references from past State of the Union speeches:

Franklin D. Roosevelt
January 3, 1936
The principle that they would instill into government if they succeed in seizing power is well shown by the principles which many of them have instilled into their own affairs: autocracy toward labor, toward stockholders, toward consumers, toward public sentiment. Autocrats in smaller things, they seek autocracy in bigger things: "By their fruits ye shall know them." 
(From Matthew 7:16)

Franklin D. Roosevelt
January 6, 1942
Our enemies are guided by brutal cynicism, by unholy contempt for the human race. We are inspired by a faith that goes back through all the years to the first chapter of the Book of Genesis: "God created man in His own image."

Franklin D. Roosevelt
January 7, 1943
Today the United Nations are the mightiest military coalition in all history. They represent an overwhelming majority of the population of the world. Bound together in solemn agreement that they themselves will not commit acts of aggression or conquest against any of their neighbors, the United Nations can and must remain united for the maintenance of peace by preventing any attempt to rearm in Germany, in Japan, in Italy, or in any other Nation which seeks to violate the Tenth Commandment–"Thou shalt not covet."

Harry S. Truman
January 5, 1949
In 1945, when I came down before the Congress for the first time on April 16, I quoted to you King Solomon's prayer that he wanted wisdom and the ability to govern his people as they should be governed. I explained to you at that time that the task before me was one of the greatest in the history of the world, and that it was necessary to have the complete cooperation of the Congress and the people of the United States.

Dwight D. Eisenhower
January 6, 1955
It is not a struggle merely of economic theories, or of forms of government, or of military power. At issue is the true nature of man. Either man is the creature whom the Psalmist described as "a little lower than the angels," crowned with glory and honor, holding "dominion over the works" of his Creator; or man is a soulless, animated machine to be enslaved, used and consumed by the state for its own glorification.
(From Psalms 8:6)

Lyndon B. Johnson
January 10, 1967
“So our test is not whether we shrink from our country's cause when the dangers to us are obvious and dose at hand, but, rather, whether we carry on when they seem obscure and distant–and some think that it is safe to lay down our burdens.”
("This is the time and place to rest, to give rest to the weary. This is the place to lay down your burden." Isaiah 28)

Jimmy Carter
January 19, 1978:
Each of us here tonight—and all who are listening in your homes—must rededicate ourselves to  serving the common good. We are a community, a beloved community, all of us. Our individual fates are linked, our futures intertwined. And if we act in that knowledge and in that spirit, together, as the Bible says, we can move mountains.

Ronald Reagan
January 25, 1984
Let us be sure that those who come after will say of us in our time, that in our time we did everything that could be done. We finished the race; we kept them free; we kept the faith.
(I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 2 Timothy 4:7)

Bill Clinton
January 24, 1995:
“So tonight we must forge a new social compact to meet the challenges of this time. As we enter a new era, we need a new set of understandings, not just with Government but, even more important, with one another as Americans. That's what I want to talk with you about tonight. I call it the New Covenant. But it's grounded in a very, very old idea, that all Americans have not just a right but a solemn responsibility to rise as far as their God-given talents and determination can take them and to give something back to their communities and their country in return.

Bill Clinton
February 4, 1997
Just a few days before my second inauguration, one of our country's best-known pastors, Reverend Robert Schuller, suggested that I read Isaiah 58:12. Here's what it says: "Thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations, and thou shalt be called the repairer of the breach, the restorer of paths to dwell in."

George W. Bush
January 28, 2003
Yet there's power, wonder-working power, in the goodness and idealism and faith of the American people.
(Wonder-working power refers to the power of the Holy Spirit to change lives. )

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