God, Bush, and Obama

Why the President Needs to Practice What He Preaches

An Easter Prayer Breakfast in the East Room of the White House. (Jim Young / Courtesy Reuters)

Until very recently, scholars theorized that the advent of modernity would inexorably lead to a less religious world. Simply put, modernization equaled secularization. In Europe, that assumption was common to the theories of Karl Marx, Max Weber, and Sigmund Freud. In the United States, too, social scientists with policymaking influence, among them Walt Rostow and Daniel Bell, predicted the inevitable decline of religion as modernity marched forward.

The world today disproves that thinking. In the rapidly industrializing BRIC countries, Brazilians, Russians, Indians, and Chinese are turning increasingly to religious faith. The same is true in some ultramodern nations that are changing under the pressures of globalization, such as South Korea and even constitutionally secular Turkey. Africa, which as a whole is making significant economic gains, is also home to some of the world's fastest-growing

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