Politics and the Pulpit

President Trump has signed an order aimed at easing a rule limiting political activity for religious organizations. The order directs the Treasury Department not to take action against religious organizations that engage in political speech. It’s no surprise that this is already drawing mixed reviews, even from religious leaders, some of whom believe politics has no place in church.

We wouldn’t be America if religion and politics hadn’t mixed. We wouldn’t have a Constitution.

Some of our founding fathers were ministers. John Witherspoon was. Robert Treat Paine was a military chaplain during the Revolution. Francis Hopkinson was a church music director and choir leader, and also edited a hymnal. Roger Sherman wrote a doctrinal creed. Benjamin Rush started Sunday School in America and the first Bible Society. James Wilson trained for the clergy, but became a lawyer who taught students the Biblical basis of civil law.

The Black-Robed Regiment refers to clergymen who promoted American independence from England and helped muster support among members of their congregations. They were called “Black-Robed” because that’s what clergymen of the day wore.

Twenty-nine of our founding fathers attended Harvard, Yale, William and Mary, Princeton, Cambridge and Westminster – all seminaries of the day.

Just as students of today are influenced by classes on college campuses across our nation, so, too were our founding fathers influenced by the Biblical principles of the colleges they attended. When one reads our Constitution, we see Biblical principles throughout.

Few people of that time had book collections or libraries. If fortunate, they owned one book from which to learn and it was the Bible – still a bestseller today. (Abraham Lincoln did that.)

Separation of church and state is the rallying cry of our day. If those who promote it win, we will all lose our freedom.