Teddy Roosevelt’s reasons for going to church:
Ladies Home Journal 1917
In this actual world a churchless community, a community where men have abandoned and scoffrd at or ignored their religious needs. is a community on the rapid downgrade. It is perfectly true that occasional individuals or families may have nothing to do with church or with religious practices and observances: and yet, maintain the highest standard of spirituality of ethical obligation. But this does not affect the case in the world as it now is, any more than the exceptional men and women under exceptional conditions have disgraded the marriage tie without moral harm to themselves interferes with larger facts that such disreguard if at all common means the complete moral disintegration of the body politic.
Church work and church attendance mean the cultivation of the habit of feeling some responsibility for others and the sence of braced moral strength which prevents a relaxation og one’s own moral fiber.
there are enough holidays for most of us which can quite properly be devoted to pure holiday making… Sunday’s differ from other holidays-among other ways-in the fact that there are fifty two of them a year…On Sunday, go to church.
Yes, I know all the excuses. I know that one can worship the creator and dedicate oneself to good living in a grove of trees, or by a running brook, or in one’s own house, just as well as in church. But I also know as a matter of cold fact the average man does not thus spend his time in good works or in lofty meditation. He looks over the colored supplement of the newspaper.
He may not bear a good sermon at church. But unless he is very unfortunate he will hear a sermon by a good man who, with his good wife, is engaged all the week long in a series of wearing and humdrum and important tasks for making hard lives a little easier.
He will listen to and take part in reading some beautiful passages from the bible. And if he is not familiar with the bible, he has suffered a loss.
He will probably take part in singing some good hymns.
He will meet and nod to, speak to, good quiet neighbors. He will come away feeling a little more charitably toward all the world, even toward those excessivly foolish young men who reguard church-going as rather a soft performance.
I advocate a man’s joining in church works for the sake of showing his faith by works.
The man who does not in some way, active or not, connect himself with some active, working church misses many opportunities for helping his neighbors, and therefore, incidentlly, for helping himself.
TR Roosevelt campaigns faced a similar antic only on my blog: