I was having a discussion with a friend today on the American political debate.
For me, as an outsider, it is very much my opinion that in recent decades the general level of politicising religion has increased dramatically, and when we look back, people such as Eisenhower and LBJ were essentially secular with respect to invoking religion in public. My friend, as an American, disagreed with this and said that the debate has always been as religious as it is today.
For a singular example of what I mean -- it is difficult these days to find people in the political sphere who in some way do not use extensive religious imagery in their speeches, e.g., "God save America" is more or less a traditional phrase to end a speech.
Hence, my question is from when has the American political debate been as religious as it is today?