There was a time, in the United States, when the phrase “Christian progressive” meant that you wished to re-form social institutions according to the moral teachings of Jesus Christ, while keeping your eyes also upon the union with God for which man is made. A Christian progressive might battle to limit a man’s working hours to fifty a week, not primarily because he believed that a man had no right to ask someone else to work sixty, but because families needed their fathers at home also. A Christian progressive might be wary about woman suffrage, not because he believed that women were foolish, but because he did not want the household to be supplanted by the individual as the fundamental unit of the society. But something happened: the international interference of Woodrow Wilson, the Bolshevik seizure of Russia, the socialist and bitterly anti-religious revolution in Mexico, the rise of neo-paganism in Germany and Italy, and soon enough Christian leaders were shedding the tenets of their faith. Instead of interpreting politics in the light of Christ, they began to interpret Christ in the light of politics. — from Out of the Ashes
James V. Schall, S.J.
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