AIRLINE STEWARDESSES are taught to avoid discussion of four topics with passengers: sex, religion, politics, and danger. This book is devoted to discussing the last three.
Religion and politics are generally recognized as having the same potentially explosive power as alcohol and gasoline. Both stimulate strong emotional commitments. When religious forces meet in opposition in the political arena, political convictions are reinforced by religious faith. The intensity of the conflict is increased, and the usual political processes of persuasion and compromise may be abandoned. How can a religious man compromise his faith? When evangelism takes precedence, the political system is in danger.
In 1956 and 1957 a political conflict between the Protestant and Catholic clergy presented a severe challenge to Connecticut's political processes.
Some determined efforts were made locally and on the state level to obtain public services to Catholic school pupils. These efforts were led or were stimulated by Catholics. They were opposed chiefly by Protestant clergy, Protestant school board members, and Protestant legislators.
Connecticut had suffered religious-political conflict in the past.1