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, ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

Have something to add about this? See something we missed? Share your feedback here.

Our digital archives are a work in progress. Let us know if corrections need to be made.

Tags:
Issue: