The Church is the First Responder

The Church is the First Responder

As midterms near, clergy preach politics and civics lessons from their pulpits.

By Alana Wylie

Updated March 8, 2018 10:14 a.m. ET

With fewer ballots to be counted, the final results of the 2016 presidential election are in. It took a while for Republicans to win every contested state in the nation. But they finally did: Donald Trump and Republican opponent Hillary Clinton are not just the president and his nominee, but are now the co-presidents of the United States.

The election was also a reminder that the United States is more divided than ever. This time, no party was able to secure a majority of votes nationwide. The electorate was a mix of voters of every political persuasion, and even of those who voted for third parties.

In a time of crisis, many Americans turned to their faith for help. Church-goers from all denominations, and many from none, turned out to get elected to office.

Some are now in the White House. Others remain in ministry but are at home for more pressing issues. But many of those who reached the political level have become active in the church. And they’re not the ones who took over our government. Rather, they are the clergy and the congregations – and the communities – who are taking action at the local and state level to bring about the changes they want.

Among the most effective of them: The members of the clergy who are the “first responders” at their churches, colleges, synagogues and mosques, and who serve as leaders of their congregations, the parish or temple, and church-owned businesses.

“What they have done over the last two years is to build and connect people,” says Scott Brown, the executive director of the Center for Church and State, and an associate professor of theology at the United States Military Academy at West Point. “They’ve connected the dots of the American church with the American public.”

They are also the ones who are often the first out of the proverbial church to find out

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