With all due respect for the separation of church and state, allow me to point out that the “mystical faith” of Jesus’ early disciples had a very objective impact on the political climate. With its teachings on love and forgiveness and its practical emphasis on charity, Christianity spread rapidly throughout the Roman world. The manipulation of Christian sects by cruel and ambitious leaders did not negate the effectiveness of Jesus’ original teachings nor their sweeping influence on Western arts, education, government, and health care. Modern ideals of equality and kindness grew out of Christian beliefs in individual worth and personal accountability to God. Our leaders would do well to pay more attention to these principles.
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