Ronald Reagan was born and raised in Tampico, Illinois. His father was of Irish Catholic descent and is said to have been a believer, but his mother's devotion to her Presbyterian faith overpowered the household, and Reagan identified with being Presbyterian his whole life.
Even after leaving the presidency in 1988, Reagan attended the Bel-Air Presbyterian Church in Bel-Air, California until his death in 2004.
Reagan's faith played a powerful role in his politics. As the overseer of the beginning of the end of the Cold War between the United States and Communist USSR, Reagan saw it as good vs. evil, as Christian America overcoming evil, atheist Russia who were raging a "savage, brutal war on religion."
Reagan had no problem with the combination of church and state. In fact, according to Reagan:
If we ever forget that we are One Nation Under God, then we will be a nation gone under.
Freedom prospers when religion is vibrant and the rule of law under God is acknowledged.
"Rule of law under God" evokes images of pre-Enlightenment Europe when Kings and Popes ruled with an iron fist with only the divine right as justification for their reign.
But Reagan was well-known as a tolerant man, both religiously and racially. The persecution of the Jews was a major justification for Reagan's rail against the Soviet Union.
Inspiration for future generations of conservatives
In this day in age, Ronald Reagan has become an icon of conservatism. He is quoted, invoked, cited, and highly respected by members of the U.S. Tea Party and the more conservative Republicans.
However, many of Reagan's policies, if implemented today, would have the U.S. conservative base incredibly upset. Reagan regularly raised taxes, increased the federal deficit by three times what it was when he took office, he bailed-out social security, gave amnesty to illegal immigrants, and provided funding and training for Islamic insurgents in Afghanistan to fight the Russians–the same insurgents who would later become the likes of Osama bin Laden and the Taliban.
Much of America's astronomical debt can be attributed to Ronald Reagan. It was his mission to win the Cold War. He knew that a nuclear war would be disastrous, so he implemented an arms race on a scale that had never been seen at that point and has yet to be matched to this day. He essentially out-spent the Soviet Union, leading to their ultimate economic collapse.
Of course, this is the smallest summary of "The Reagan Years," as they would come to be known. Reagan was president of the U.S. for eight years and, as such, there were quite a few political events during that time. We'll conclude with encouragement to do more research and this poignant quote:
Within the covers of the Bible are the answers for all the problems men face.
I wonder where unemployment is covered in the Bible?