“The good man out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil man out of his evil treasure produces evil; for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.  Luke 6:45 (RSV)

When Franklin Roosevelt was inaugurated president for the first time in March of 1933 the country was even more divided than it is today. There was so such unrest that machine guns were trained on the crowds that gathered to hear him speak. He was able to calm the fears as he spoke his first words. The goodness of his heart poured out on the crowds and through the country. “My fellow Americans,” seemed to melt frozen spirits. Thus began the most amazing twenty minutes in American history. He went on to quote more Scripture than any modern politician would dare do today.

According to Christine Wicker, religion writer, “Franklin Roosevelt’s powerful biblical imagery brought hope to a nation in the depths of an economic and social crisis, and instilled support for his progressive social vision.”  His most potent weapon against the nation’s despair was the Bible.

Of course the Bible has been used since the founding of our country for good and evil. It was used to defend slavery and spousal and child abuse. It is used today to defeat programs for the poor or to encourage programs for the poor. Many uses of Scripture by politicians today are simply not understood by their younger audiences. Unlike the older generation, they have not grown up steeped in Scriptural references. References to sport heroes or rock stars gain far more attention.

We need heroes who inspire us. Mine has always been FDR. Ms. Wicker is writing a book on the faith of FDR. I am looking forward to reading it.