Protecting The Space of Faith
Coolidge . . . reverted to a logic as rigid as that of the preacher Jonathan Edwards. Had Coolidge not been president, Calvin [Jr.] would not have played tennis on the court outside. Had Calvin not played tennis, there would have been no blister. Had there been no blister, Calvin would not have died.
The process of politics held interest for him now. . . . Lincoln had not given up when his son had passed away; indeed, it had been after Willie’s death that he had made the decisive move that had won the Civil War, replacing the ineffectual General McClellan and eventually settling on General Grant to lead his armies. Coolidge would not give up until he completed his own campaigns. . . . Protecting the space that faith enjoyed in American culture, the realm of the spiritual, seemed to him especially important. In those early days after Calvin’s death he had refused many appointments, but had agreed to talk to a group of Boy Scouts in a telephone hookup. “It is hard to see how a great man can be an atheist,” Coolidge had told the boys. “We need to feel that behind us is intelligence and love.” . . . [H]e wanted to make clear his conviction that government’s power, since the days of Jonathan Edwards, had derived from religion, and not the other way around
Coolidge, p. 302