E. Stanley Jones, The Christ of the American Road, 1944
“Can the government of this country be christianized? Not denominationalized,nor priest-ridden, or pastor-ridden, but can it function in an effective, Christian way? (…) It was good for church and state to be separate. In being so, each could possess its soul. But now the matter is clear: they have become too separate! The power of living Christian faith has not been turned into the public life of this country to purify and dedicate it to great ends. Only incidentally has religion been a purifying force as it purified individuals going into public life. Now the purification must be deliberate and intentional, not only of individuals, but of policies which those individuals hold(…)
Christian faith and government processes must come together —not formally but forcefully,not verbally but vitally. The Christian movement can prepare for this new vital alliance by two steps. First by giving up its attitude of aloofness —the attitude that says, “We cannot have anything to do with politics.” Can’t have anything do do with politics? But politics has something to do with us! It regulates our lives, tells us what to do and not to do, what to eat and not to eat! Abdicate there? Then you abdicate at the place where life is vitally determined for millions. Purify politics, or it will stain you! (…)
The call to put Christian principles into public life is just as sacred a call as to utter them from a pulpit…Those elected to public office should go with a sense of mission —a sense that they are being sent by God, and with the backing of the prayers and moral convictions of good people.