Churches are meddling in politics. Ministers are leading social movements, backing and attacking candidates, campaigning from the pulpit.
That was the complaint in the 1950s and ’60s, when clergy pushed for civil rights legislation, nuclear disarmament, and withdrawal from Vietnam. . . . In 1964 conservative journalist David Lawrence pushed back: “To preach a sermon . . . calculated to have an effect on the current Presidential campaign . . . raises a question of propriety if the principle of separation of church and state is to be maintained.”
Today, however, religion is associated strongly with the right. The transformation is evident not only in headlines, but also in white Americans’ behavior.
The rest of the post appears as this column in the Boston Review.