Larry Elder

At an ecumenical prayer breakfast in Dallas, Texas, in August 1984, Reagan said, "I believe that faith and religion play a critical role in the political life of our nation -- and always has -- and that the church -- and by that I mean all churches, all denominations -- has had a strong influence in the state.

And this has worked to our benefit as a nation. Those who created our country -- the Founding Fathers and Mothers -- understood that there is a divine order which transcends the human order. They saw the state, in fact, as a form of moral order and felt that the bedrock of moral order is religion. . . .

Without God, democracy will not and cannot long endure. If we ever forget that we're one nation under God, then we will be a nation gone under."

During his infamous "evil empire" speech before the National Association of Evangelicals in March 1983, Reagan frequently mentioned prayer, faith and Christianity: " . . . There are a great many God-fearing, dedicated, noble men and women in public life, present company included. . . . The basis of the ideas of those ideals and principles (that brought us into the public arena) is a commitment to freedom and personal liberty that, itself, is grounded in the much deeper realization that freedom prospers only where the blessings of God are avidly sought and humbly accepted."

Reagan then spoke of the country's Judeo-Christian traditions, and attacked government "attempts to water down traditional values and even abrogate the original terms of American democracy. Freedom prospers when religion is vibrant and the rule of law under God is acknowledged."

About the "evil empire," Reagan proposed that his administration would "negotiate real and verifiable reductions in the world's nuclear arsenals, and one day, with God's help, their total elimination."

Finally, Reagan closed his speech with a quote from Isaiah: "He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might He increased strength . . . But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary . . . "


Larry Elder

Larry Elder is a best-selling author and radio talk-show host. To find out more about Larry Elder, or become an "Elderado," visit