Churchill's religion included the belief that God was preserving him for some higher purposes. Andrew Roberts notes that he had many narrow escapes: childhood illnesses, near-death from ruptured kidney, near-drowning in Lake Geneva. He survived close brushes fighting in five wars on five continents from 1897 to 1916. He was nearly killed by a car in New York, survived assassination plots and enemy aircraft. Lord Roberts adds: "Not without reason he believed that the Almighty's chief obligation was to watch over the life of Winston Churchill."
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