Americas

Mark Hatfield, Maverick Evangelical Politician, Dies at 89

Former governor and senator known as 'Saint Mark' was steadfast in opposing war, abortion, corrupting power.

For nearly four decades, perhaps American evangelicals' most prominent and admired politician was a man associated with liberal politics, one of the country's leading voices against the Vietnam War and military spending, and a critic of the nascent religious right.

Mark Hatfield, who served 30 years in the U.S. Senate and two terms as governor of Oregon, died Sunday, August 7, at age 89.

"For a certain sector of evangelicalism, he was the political hero," said David R. Swartz, assistant professor of history at Asbury University. "He was morally upstanding, explicitly spiritual, and they really admired him for identifying as an evangelical so publically. Someone admired by the secularists and political elite was exhilarating for them, especially before the 1970s Newsweek cover on 'The Year of the Evangelical.' Hatfield offered respectability they craved."

Indeed, Hatfield's outspoken faith earned him the nickname (used both warmly and derisively) "Saint Mark" among his colleagues. But his ...

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