Resources on Faith, Ethics and Public Life

Ronald Reagan on Why He Does Not Attend Church in First Reagan-Mondale Presidential Debate

October 7, 1984

I have gone to church regularly all my life, and I started to here in Washington. And now, in the position I hold and in the world in which we live, where Embassies do get blown up in Beirut [...] but I pose a threat to several hundred people if I go to church. I know the threats that are made against me. We all know the possibility of terrorism. We have seen the barricades that have had to be built around the White House. And, therefore, I don't feel—and my minister knows this and supports me in this position—I don't feel that I have a right to go to church, knowing that my being there could cause something of the kind that we have seen in other places, in Beirut, for example. And I miss going to church, but I think the Lord understands.

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