The Protestant Search for Political Realism, 1919-1941

The Protestant Search for Political Realism, 1919-1941

The Protestant Search for Political Realism, 1919-1941

The Protestant Search for Political Realism, 1919-1941

Excerpt

This book is not about typical men. Protestant ministers intent upon politics between 1919 and 1941 were a minority of their profession; those who were strong political liberals a minority smaller still. A Baptist pastor defending socialism, a Presbyterian pastor working for industrial democracy, an Episcopal pastor manning picket lines, a Methodist pastor serving the United Front: such men were living out purposes only dimly felt by others. They did not represent Protestant ministers as a whole; certainly they did not represent the Protestant congregations. Often they spoke for only a handful, were disavowed by more, and were ignored by most.

They were, if not typical, symptomatic. They registered points of pressure, significant not only for themselves but for their unheeding fellows. What occupied them was not a matter of their own invention. It is possible to argue that religion and politics should not be associated in some one particular way or another; it is not possible to prove they need be in no association whatever. They are related everywhere; only the consciousness with which the relationship is faced and realized varies. The pastors studied in this book were those of fullest consciousness. For most of them . . .

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