While doing research on a biography of former First Lady Nancy Reagan, a literary treasure was uncovered in 2018 by Washington Post columnist, Karen Tumulty. The discovery was, as Tumulty describes, an “intimate missive, four pages of White House stationery randomly tucked in a file.” In a September 14, 2018, column, Ms. Tumulty discusses the amazing letter dated August 7 (in 1982) from The White House.
The author of the letter was Ronald Reagan, 40th President of the United States, who addressed the letter to his father-in-law, Loyal Davis, a pioneering neurosurgeon who was dying and “by most definitions of the word [was] an atheist.” Tumulty quotes Dr. Davis as once saying, “I have never been able to subscribe to the divinity of Jesus Christ nor his virgin birth. I don’t believe in the resurrection, or a heaven or hell as places.”
As professor Paul Kengor in God and Ronald Reagan a Spiritual Life (2004) says: “[Reagan] often wrote of Jesus Christ in private correspondence . . . and he wasn’t shy about Christian apologetics, frequently making the case for Christ” (127).
The following brief excerpt from the President’s 1982 letter to his father-in-law is a powerful example of Kengor’s observation about Reagan and apologetics. Tumulty describes it as manifesting “earnest intensity . . . an intimate, humble profession of faith.”Read More