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I listened to Greatest Presidential Speeches of the 20th Century a couple years ago. As I recall, FDR and Eisenhower each ended one of their speeches by leading the nation in prayer, a bit like Gordon Hinckley did with the Church in General Conference a few years ago. A public gesture like that requires some goodwill from all sides. The non-religious have to put up the prevailing sentiments of their countrymen. The religious have to not think of such displays as more than civic bonding. That goodwill seems absent today on either side.

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