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Is Christianity Really a Political Movement? A Brief Historical View

Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap. [1] who is archbishop of Denver, at this mornings Catholic Prayer Breakfast;

We need to understand that in the early Church, those words – “Jesus is Lord” – were a political statement. The emperor claimed to be Lord both in the private and public lives of the citizens of the empire. When Christians proclaimed Jesus as Lord, they were proclaiming the centrality of Jesus not only in their personal lives, but in their public lives and their decision-making as well.

That took real courage. And it had huge consequences for their lives. Jesus was hung upon the cross because of his claim of Lordship. Christianity was illegal for the first 250 years of the Church’s life because Christians proclaimed, “Jesus is Lord.”

It puts the intentions of the founders of this country in a diferent light, now, doesn’t it?

Now, I’m not suggesting by any means that Christianity is directly political.  After all, Politics is naught but a reflection of the values of the person or persons in question.  But given the deeply rooted values of Christians, and the roots western culture in general has in Christianity, that’s bound to affect the politics and the culture of any western country.

And the founders understood this relationship, and this history.