When Churchill referred to Christian civilization, he did not mean to exclude Jews or Buddhists or Muslims. Just as, to him, the word “man” meant humanity, his allusions to Christianity embodied principles he considered universal. He meant the Ten Commandments (a “judgmental” set of moral imperatives now expunged from certain public places). He meant the Sermon on the Mount and the Golden Rule. He meant charity, forgiveness, courage.
I am in the final stages of writing a book on the religious beliefs of post-World War II Presidents. In the chapter on Dwight Eisenhower, I wrote that although Eisenhower asked for the “blessing of Almighty God” on D-Day, few assessments of him would dwell on his religious character: “In fact, Eisenhower’s faith might be more accurately described by Winston Churchill’s remark that he had made “so many deposits in the Bank of Observance” as a youth that he had been confidently withdrawing from it ever since. Can you confirm the quotation? —D.H., Virginia