Monday, August 7, 2023

Politicizing Christianity

From a review of two books about Lincoln's religion:
.... When the French writer Alexis de Tocqueville visited the United States in the 1830s, the future author of Democracy in America was deeply impressed by the vitality of American Christianity, and he attributed it, more than any other factor, to the clergy’s determination to “mark their distance from, and avoid contact with, all parties.” They went so far, Tocqueville observed, as to teach “that in God’s eyes no one is damnable for his political views so long as those views are sincere.” That perspective had all but vanished a generation later. It is far too rare today.

In the interim, there has been more than enough evidence to suggest that, when Christians forge too close an alliance with any political leader, movement, or party, they run the risk of politicizing Christianity instead of Christianizing politics. We are tempted to compromise our convictions in order to cement the alliance; those who seek our votes are rewarded for helping us feel righteous as we do so. ....
Robert Tracy McKenzie, "America’s ‘First Evangelical President’ Might Not Have Been a Christian at All," Christianity Today, August 1, 2023.

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