From The Elegant Variation: Book Launch 2.0.
From Arts & Letters Daily: eSkeptic: Gimme that Old-Time Irreligion
It is well known, of course, that some our most eminent presidents—Jefferson, Lincoln, Madison—spurned orthodoxy in religious matters, even to the point of—to use Paulos's convenient title—irreligion. This, of course, is sufficiently embarrassing to our fundamentalist ayatollahs that they have been furiously rewriting history, chiseling away at the facts with all the fury of the restored priests of Amun hacking off Nefertiti's heretical nose. What interested me more, however, was the question of whether disdain for religion was purely the province of politicians who where gifted intellectuals as well, or whether it was at one point so widespread and socially acceptable that even routine mediocrities, hacks, and tub-thumpers could espouse such views without being banished from public life and high office.
So I picked me a president—the most unmemorable I could find (Millard Fillmore is too memorable for being unmemorable)—and took a peek at what is known or surmised about his religious convictions. Chester Alan Arthur fit the bill admirably. According to The Religious Views of our Presidents, by Franklin Steiner, Arthur finds his place in the list under the heading "Presidents whose religious views were doubtful."