Franklin Delano Roosevelt was born January 30, 1882, in Hyde Park, New York.
He was baptized at St. James' Episcopal Church in Hyde Park, New York.
Roosevelt was home-schooled till age 14 when he was put in an Episcopal boarding school in Groton, Massachusetts.
The school's headmaster, Rev. Endicott Peabody, preached that it was a Christian's responsibility to help the less fortunate.
Peabody later officiated Roosevelt's wedding and visited him as President.
Roosevelt described Rev. Peabody as “the biggest influence in my life," adding:
"As long as I live his influence will mean more to me than that of any other people next to my father and mother."
Roosevelt graduated from Harvard and attended Columbia University School of Law till he was admitted to the New York bar.
He was elected as a:
- New York State Senator, 1911-1912;
- Assistant Secretary of the Navy, 1913-1920, the same position previously held by his older fifth cousin Theodore Roosevelt;
- Governor of New York, 1929-1932;
- 32nd U.S. President, elected in 1932.
Considered one of the most powerful Democrat politicians in history, he won the:
- 1932 election with 57.41% of the popular vote;
- 1936 election with 60.80% of the popular vote;
- 1940 election with 54.74% of the popular vote;
- 1944 election with 53.39% of the popular vote.
Roosevelt started the tradition of prayers by clergy at Presidential Inaugurations.
His second inauguration, January 20, 1937, had an opening prayer by Episcopal U.S. Senate Chaplain ZeBarney Thorne Phillips and closed with a benediction by Catholic Father John A. Ryan.
At his third inauguration, January 20, 1941, Episcopal U.S. Senate Chaplain ZeBarney Phillips gave the opening invocation and Catholic Father Michael J. Ready gave the closing benediction.
At his fourth inauguration, January 20, 1945, due to the nation being at war, the event was not held at the Capitol but at a more secure location off the South Portico of the White House.
Episcopal Bishop Agnus Dun gave the opening invocation and Catholic Monsignor John A. Ryan gave the closing benediction.
A a faithful member of St. James' Episcopal Church, Roosevelt served the congregation as senior warden of the Vestry, working with the parish rector.
In June of 1940, with war looming, Roosevelt received a letter from Rector Frank Wilson:
"I do not relish the need of adding to more to your attention when the troubles of this present world are greater by far ... but I am hoping ... we can have a Vestry meeting ...
There is now no further funds to pay the sexton, his assistant, the organist, and I have not received anything since the 15th of April ... so ... if you can give us a date to call the men together."
Roosevelt wired back:
"Delighted to have Vestry meeting. I suggest at the Church July seventeenth after the morning service."
Franklin D. Roosevelt was in office longer than any other President, over 12 years, serving during the Great Depression and World War II.
He died during his fourth term on April 12, 1945.
The 22nd Amendment, limited all future Presidents to two terms.
It passed in Congress, 1947, and was ratified by the states in 1951.
It is interesting to ponder whether this highly popular Democrat President could have been nominated and elected by the modern Democrat Party.
He was a liberal 80 years ago, but in the intervening years, both the political left and right have moved further to the left politically, resulting in many of FDR's statements being such that if spoken today would likely be censored by the main stream media.
At a campaign event in Brooklyn, New York, November 1, 1940, Democrat Franklin Roosevelt condemned Germany's National Socialist Workers Party, stating:
"Those forces hate democracy and Christianity as two phases of the same civilization.
They oppose democracy because it is Christian. They oppose Christianity because it preaches democracy."
At Madison Square Garden in New York City, October 28, 1940, Franklin D. Roosevelt warned:
"We guard against the forces of anti-Christian aggression, which may attack us from without."
FDR said in a Fireside Chat, April 28, 1942:
"This great war effort must be carried through ... It shall not be imperiled by the handful of noisy traitors -- betrayers of America, betrayers of Christianity itself."
Roosevelt stated in his Labor Day Address, September 1, 1941:
"Preservation of these rights is vitally important now, not only to us who enjoy them, but to the whole future of Christian civilization."
FDR addressed Congress regarding the Yalta Conference, March 1, 1945:
"I saw Sevastopol and Yalta! And I know that there is not room enough on earth for both German militarism and Christian decency."
FDR stated May 27, 1941:
"The whole world is divided between ... pagan brutality and the Christian ideal. We choose human freedom which is the Christian ideal."
Roosevelt addressed the Federal Council of Churches of Christ in America, December 6, 1933:
"Early Christians challenged the pagan ethics of Greece and of Rome;
We are wholly ready to challenge the pagan ethics ... of our boasted modern civilization."
FDR remarked in his State of the Union, January 6, 1942:
"The world is too small ... for both Hitler and God ...
Nazis have now announced their plan for enforcing their ... pagan religion all over the world -- a plan by which the Holy Bible and the Cross of Mercy would be displaced by Mein Kampf and the swastika and the naked sword."
FDR stated July 19, 1940:
"We face one of the great choices of history ... the continuance of civilization as we know it versus the ultimate destruction of all that we have held dear -- religion against godlessness."
Franklin D. Roosevelt gave a radio greeting to the Boy Scouts, February 7, 1938:
"On this 28th birthday of the Boy Scouts of America we should be especially thankful for a youth movement which seeks merely to preserve such simple fundamentals as physical strength, mental alertness and moral straightness."
In a Fireside Chat, March 9, 1937, FDR stated:
"I hope that you have re-read the Constitution of the United States ... Like the Bible, it ought to be read again and again."
On October 6, 1935, FDR stated:
"We cannot read the history of our rise and development as a nation, without reckoning with the place the Bible has occupied in shaping the advances of the Republic ...
Where we have been the truest and most consistent in obeying its precepts, we have attained the greatest measure of contentment and prosperity."
FDR stated January 6, 1942:
"Our enemies are guided by ... unholy contempt for the human race.
We are inspired by a faith that goes back ... to the Book of Genesis: 'God created man in His own image.'"
FDR stated November 4, 1944:
"I can't talk about my opponent the way I would like to, because I try to think that I am a Christian.
I try to think that some day I will go to Heaven, and I don't believe there is anything to be gained in saying dreadful things about other people."
FDR stated in a Radio Address at a Dinner of the Foreign Policy Association.
New York City, October 21, 1944:
"I'm sort of old-fashioned ... even in a political campaign, we ought to obey that ancient injunction - Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor."
FDR stated October 1, 1938:
"I doubt if there is any problem in the world ... that would not find happy solution if approached in the spirit of the Sermon on the Mount ... in conformity with the teaching of Him who is the Way, the Light and the Truth."
FDR stated January 4, 1939:
"An ordering of society which relegates religion ... to the background can find no place within it for the ideals of the Prince of Peace.
The United States rejects such an ordering, and retains its ancient faith."
FDR stated January 31, 1938:
"There has been definite progress towards a spiritual reawakening ...
I receive evidences of this from all our Protestant Churches; I get it from Catholic priests and from Jewish rabbis as well."
FDR stated December 6, 1933:
"Churches and government ... can work hand in hand ...
Government guarantees to the churches -- Gentile and Jewish -- the right to worship God in their own way ...
State and Church are rightly united in a common aim."
In a Radio Address, November 4, 1940, FDR stated:
"Democracy is the birthright of every citizen, the white and the colored; the Protestant, the Catholic, the Jew."
FDR stated at Madison Square Garden, October 28, 1940:
"Your government is working ... with representatives of Catholic, Protestant, and Jewish faiths. Without these three, all three of them ... things would not be as ... easy."
Roosevelt had a mixed record in respect to Jews, such as refusing asylum to Jewish refugees on the ocean liner St. Louis in 1939, as did Cuba and Canada.
His wartime advisor, James McDonald, confided that FDR discussed plans to resettle German Jews in America, but it met political resistance.
Nevertheless, in a 1944 Executive Order 9417, he created the War Refugee Board, which is credited with rescuing thousands of Jews from Nazi-occupied countries.
Roosevelt nominated a Jew, Felix Frankfurter, to be a Justice on the U.S. Supreme Court, and another Jew, Henry Morgenthau, Jr., to be Secretary of the Treasury, putting him in the presidential line of succession.
Hearing of the atrocities suffered by Jews, FDR stated regarding Justice for War Crimes, March 24, 1944
"In one of the blackest crimes of all history -- begun by the Nazis ... the wholesale systematic murder of the Jews of Europe ...
Hundreds of thousands of Jews ... are now threatened with annihilation as Hitler's forces descend more heavily ...
That these innocent people, who have already survived a decade of Hitler's fury, should perish on the very eve of triumph over the barbarism which their persecution symbolizes, would be a major tragedy."
FDR stated regarding Jewish Refugees, June 12, 1944:
"This nation is appalled by the systematic persecution of helpless minority groups by Nazis ...
The fury of their insane desire to wipe out the Jewish race in Europe continues undiminished ...
Many Christian groups also are being murdered ... Nazis are determined to complete their program of mass extermination."
FDR wrote to Rabbi Stephen Wise of the United Palestine Appeal, February 6, 1937:
"The American people ... watched with sympathetic interest the effort of the Jews to renew in Palestine the ties of their ancient homeland and to reestablish Jewish culture in the place where for centuries it flourished and whence it was carried to the far corners of the world ...
Two decades have witnessed ... the vitality and vision of the Jewish pioneers in Palestine.
It should be a source of pride to Jewish citizens of the United States that they, too, have had a share in this great work of revival."
FDR told the American Youth Congress, February 10, 1940:
"Mankind has always believed in God in spite of the many abortive attempts to exile God."
On September 4, 2012, the Democrat Party almost removed "God" from its Party Platform (Washington Post).
Headlines reported (1/29/19) "Dems to strike 'so help you God' from oath taken in front of key House committee, draft shows" (Fox News).
FDR stated May 27, 1941:
"The Nazi world does not recognize any god except Hitler; for Nazis are as ruthless as the Communists in denial of God ...
Will our children wander goose-stepping in search of new gods?"
FDR stated September 11, 1941:
"The times call for ... inner strength that comes to a free people conscious of their duty and the righteousness of what they do, they will with Divine help and guidance -- stand their ground."
FDR ended his famous December 8, 1941, speech with the line:
"With confidence in our armed forces -- with the unbounding determination of our people -- we will gain the inevitable triumph - so help us God."