Protestant ministers of all denominations throughout the United States responded with candor and directness to CHRISTIANITY TODAY’S inquiry: “What change for the better in American affairs do you desire for your candidate if elected?” More than 2,000 clergymen, participating in this representative sampling of personal conviction, mirrored their long-range concern for a brighter America.
Their answers hold a significant interest not simply for the victors at the polls, but for the large and influential Christian community in American life.
In its pre-election news section (Oct. 29 issue), CHRISTIANITY TODAY reported that its random sampling of ministers from all states indicated favor for President Eisenhower over Governor Stevenson by eight-to-one. These percentages were more than confirmed by many hundreds of additional replies received after press time. Yet the manses, parsonages and rectories of America left no doubt that, whichever party would be triumphant at the polls, the national scene calls urgently for specific improvements during the next four years.
The wide disparity between the eight-to-one ministerial vote and the public vote generally sounds a warning against regarding ministerial conviction as an automatic index to the public mind. Less disparity exists between the Protestant clergy and Protestant church members, doubtless, than between the clergy and the citizenry as a whole. Yet the clergy are often motivated more intensely (dare we say, always more highly?) and their statistics provide a specialized index of opinion.
Ministers expressed deep conviction that the future of America depends more upon the application of spiritual concepts in national and international life and less upon a specific ...1
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