Any place for God here? one might wonder, as he sits in a cluttered, hectic, earthy office waiting to see his senator or congressman. Or, for that matter, does it really make any difference to the operation of government whether the legislator is a man of Christian faith?
Many politicians respond with a quick, “Yes, it does matter.” In a CHRISTIANITY TODAY interview four legislators, all active churchmen, discussed what that “Yes” means.
They were: Senator Mark Hatfield, a Baptist from Oregon and a well-known evangelical speaker; Representative Wilmer (Vinegar Bend) Mizell of North Carolina, who belongs to the Christian and Missionary Alliance; Illinois Representative John Anderson, a member of the Evangelical Free Church; and Senator George McGovern of South Dakota, who grew up in a Wesleyan Methodist parsonage, went to Garrett Theological Seminary, and is now a United Methodist layman.
Each man was ready with some well-thought-out responses to the question, How does a legislator’s Christian faith influence his life in politics? Three of the four talked first about the personal matter of inner peace. “Each day I try to spend time in personal devotions,” said the graying Anderson. “It is a constant struggle to remain fresh, but I keep trying.” Mizell concurred: “It’s a policy; I don’t start the day without at least a few quiet moments with Him.”
“An important thing about this,” added Hatfield, sharply dressed in a dark suit with maroon shirt and tie, “is that it helps ease the hurly-burly of politics. A lot of people think politicians don’t have feelings, so they throw daggers and make snide remarks. But we do have feelings, ...1
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